New experiences and trying new things is critical to a good life.
It seems that as we age we get more reluctant to try new things.
So that’s the first item to overcome when it comes to this topic. In order to see the benefits of trying new things we have to get over the hump of coming up with excuses not to try them in the first place.
The next time someone asks you to do something, something new to you, just say yes. See how it goes. It may result in a new hobby or experience that you really enjoy.
That brings up the second point of the topic – how do you know if you like something new?
It may seem obvious, but it’s not always obvious. Sometimes we do things, as adults, not because we enjoy them but because we think we should be doing them. We feel like others want us to do them.
Maybe the key is to get back to our younger ways when we had a few key indicators of whether we liked something or not…
1. Curiosity To Learn More
I put his one first because I think it might be the most important and also the most overlooked. Especially in adults.
You can tell when a kid like something because they do it for no outside reasons. Nobody is telling them to do it. They just do it. And the biggest reason is usually that they’re just curious to learn more.
You see a kid reading a book. They want to learn more. Then they get more in the series or from the same author. They want to learn more.
When you find something that you really like there will be a curiosity to learn all you can about it. It’s a very big indicator that it’s something that could provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
2. There’s A Hint Of Ability
This one is also overlooked. I don’t think it’s 100% accurate, but we generally like doing things that we’re at least a little bit good at. And usually there has to be a hint of ability right from the start.
Watch a kid try something for the first time. A video game or some kind of sport. Take baseball for example. A kid is very likely to love baseball if they show an ability to hit things with a bat. It just comes naturally for some kids.
If you try something new you’re probably not going to be amazing at it. But if you show a bit of ability it’s an indicator that you might really enjoy it if you keep going back to try more.
3. You Stay In The Present
Have you ever watched a kid get totally lost in something?
It could be something simple as playing a made up game in the backyard by themselves. Or maybe they’ve been shooting free throws in the driveway for the last few hours.
When you like something you get lost in the moment. You’re not worried about how long you’ve been doing it or really about what’s coming up in the future. You’re just consumed and staying in the moment.
It’s difficult to force this moment of zen. It usually comes when you’re doing something that you like doing. If you try something new and find yourself lost in the moment it’s an indication that you should try it again.
4. Failure Doesn’t Bother You
When you’re doing something new it’s inevitable that you’ll hit rough patches. Probably early. Probably often. But the interesting thing about things you like is that those failures don’t really bother you.
This is big for adults because as we get older we become averse to failure. We do all we can to avoid some kind of perceived embarrassment.
But if you find something that still interests you even when you fail and struggle a bit then you really could have something special on your hands.
5. You Want To Improve
The one we’ll end with is the feeling you get when you want to improve. I see this with golf all the time. The ones that really get the golf bug really want to improve. They go to the range more and more to practice. They’re chipping around the basement at their home in the winter. They watch golf instruction videos on YouTube during work. They’re doing all they can to figure out how to improve.
If you want to improve at something it may be time to spend more time doing it.
I’m a big believer in strengths. When you see the indicators above you want to push yourself more in that direction. Don’t stop trying new things, but if you’re not seeing the signs that you will like it then try it and move on. Try something else until you find one or two things that give you these signs.
This works for hobbies, work and more. All kinds of things.
The first step is trying new things. The second is knowing when you’re onto something good and that’s where the tips above should work well.