Why We Should Never Lose Our Enthusiasm to Try New Things
I recently got into a new habit of working out in the morning before I go to work. For the past few years, I‘ve always been curious about it, but I resisted the act of actually doing it — I was comfortable with my routine and I didn’t want to shake things up. If it’s not broken, then why fix it? Right?
Right…but, also not really.
After a whole month of creating this new habit, I can honestly say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I’ve always been that classic ignorant person who knocks something before they try it. Then, once I do try it, I have to deal with the person who was convincing me to try it when they say, “I told you so” — That person usually being my sister.
My sister has always seen the flaws in my, often peculiar and slightly unorthodox, methods. She’s always pushed to help me improve. I know she means well, but of course, I resisted.
After all, who enjoys being critiqued on the ways they go about doing things anyway? I certainly don’t.
My motto was always, “It’s working for me, so leave me alone”. But, as a writer, and even as a human being, this is a terrible mindset to have. That mindset will never help better ourselves in the long run.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Trying something new can always be intimidating and unnerving. We always ask ourselves,
“What if I don’t like it?” or “What if I’m no good?” or “What if I fail?”
And, the short answer to those questions is…So, what?
The truth is, we won’t always like every new thing that we try. We won’t always be good at something the very first time around. And frankly, failure is just inevitable in life — These are lessons we have to learn and come to terms with. Once we do that, the unfamiliar will seem a lot less scary.
And most importantly, we should never lose our child-like enthusiasm — Our enthusiasm to try new things.
If we do, life will get pretty damn boring.
Trying new things creates new habits.
I recently started reading the book, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. In the book, he argues that our everyday choices are not necessarily well-thought out actions, but instead they’re habits that we’ve formed over a period of time.
At the beginning of the book, he cites psychologist William James,
“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits — practical, emotional, and intellectual — systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be.”
By this, he means that our lives are one big composition of the habits that we’ve created for ourselves.
This may seem a little terrifying to think that everything we do is an automated habit and in fact, nothing we do is at all random. However, that’s not to say that old habits can’t be broken and new ones can’t be formed — That’s basically the whole point of Duhigg’s novel.
There’s always room to improve.
At the beginning of the book, Duhigg introduces a woman who was participating in a research study based on her long-time smoking habit. By the end of the story, she winds up completely eliminating her smoking habit, which then created a ripple effect on many other habits she had.
For example, her eating and sleeping habits improved, she began exercising, and she eventually went on to run a half-marathon which ultimately proved that one single positive change of habit can create a multitude of positive changes of habit throughout many areas of your life.
That being said, trying something new can essentially turn your whole life around.
If you never try, you’ll never know.
When all is said and done, you’ll only regret the things that you didn’t do rather than the things that you did do.
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” — Lewis Carroll
You don’t want to go on with your life knowing that there was something that you wish you had tried but never had to courage to.
If you never try, then you’ll never truly know how things could have been — And the regret of not taking action is always going to be ten times harder to bear than the regret of taking action.