When I was a little kid my dad let us help with everything around the house. From soldering to gardening we did it all. Most people wouldn’t have the patience for this but my dad is cut from a different cloth. He would let us help even if it meant taking two times as long to do a simple project. I loved helping my dad and I think those experiences shaped my desire to try new things. I’m still very young (22 to be exact) but in my short time on this beautiful rock I’ve had the opportunity to try a ton of different things. From weird food to cool jobs I’ve had the courage to try it all but why do I go outside my comfort zone so frequently? Here’s 5 reasons why I constantly push myself to try new things.
1: I learn a lot. I have figured out that the best way for me to learn is by doing. I might watch a YouTube video before I dive in but my fastest learning experiences all happen when I’m doing something hands on. A great example of this was learning to operate a snowcat. When I arrived at Sky Tavern I signed up to be a ski patroller (I’d never done that before but I found a program online and decided to give it a try). After a few months I was a certified alpine patroller and I noticed that our patrol director was also a groomer. I told him I wanted to try and he put me in a cat the next week. There aren’t a ton of online resources that teach you to operate a snowcat so you have to trust the guy or gal that’s teaching you. My teacher was a little shortly on patience but now that I’ve trained someone I totally get where he was coming from. Lack of patience aside, I eventually learned how to operate and groom out the snow until it looked like a pristine single sheet of snow. Now I love grooming and think it’s one of the coolest jobs you can have on the mountain.
2: It helps you grow as a person. I have always been impressed by the old guys who have a million stories about their lives and love hearing about all that they have done. When I try new things I feel like I’m experiencing new cultures and ways of life. A great example of this is my love of weird and new foods. When we were little my dad persuaded us to try his leftovers from when he took customers out to lunch. He would save us parts of the meal he wanted us to try. This could be anything from steak to curry but somehow he always got us picky kids to try it. I know I’m still young but when I’m older I want to have a story for every occasion. The only way I know to do this is to learn every day by trying and doing new things.
3: It helps you discover who you are and what you like or don’t like. I won’t act like everything I’ve done has been the best thing ever. However, even the bad experiences have helped me learn and decide what path I want to take in life. One summer I spent my time mowing lawns across rural Nevada. We would have to drive about an hour between jobs and if you know anything about Nevada it’s hotter than a frying pan in the middle of summer. I worked with a great group of guys that summer but I learned that I didn’t want to do manual labor every day of my life to earn a living. This experience grew my self identity and taught me that I should stay in school so I can get the job I want when the time comes.
4: Trying new things keeps your life interesting and entertaining. I love telling people a story and seeing their excitement. It makes me feel super cool and I enjoy sharing my learning experiences with others. A great example of this is when I was helping a friend install a new refrigerator. They didn’t have the correct water line running to their fridge so I decided to help them out and replace it. My friend was astonished the whole day as I cut, fit, and soldered the new water line. There is a certain sense of satisfaction I feel when I can impress someone with my skills and the only way to earn and hone your skills is by doing and trying new things.
5: When you try new things it teaches you to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. This is one of the most important benefits of trying new things. When we first start trying different activities we will constantly be uncomfortable and a little uneasy. This is totally natural and is a defense mechanism our body uses to protect us. The more we get outside of our comfort zone the easier this will be. When I first started working on cars I was always super uncomfortable and a little worried about how I was going to put it back together. Eventually I learned that if I took careful notes and kept all the bowls organized I will be able to put the car back together every time without any serious issues. By putting myself in these uncomfortable situations over and over again, I adapted and learned. Now I don’t get that crazy feeling when I first start and I only get the smallest twinge of nervousness when trying new activities. This has allowed me to live a full life which I think is more fun.
So if you skimmed this whole blog and only read this last paragraph I would sum it up in just one sentence. Live your life to the fullest and try new things. I promise it will get easier and you will grow as a person. Remember, you are never too old or too young to try new and exciting things. Until next time.