Something I believe is truly valuable in life is to reach out to others, new ideas and new experiences. Many people tend to settle into their routines where they can keep change to a minimum and feel comfortable in their lives. One major downside to this is that many people simply fall into a life of complacency never looking to expand. They just continue to live the same thing over and over again. This isn’t always bad but considering most people do have desires and plans to change some things and improve areas of their lives, its important to look for ways to practice that. I also believe that new experiences and people is joyous so definitely worthwhile pursuing. A few of the areas I recommend that you make a monthly effort (at least) at to ensure you don’t find yourself getting stuck in a continual drone cycle are the following:

  • Get out of the office at lunch and meet with someone you rarely see. Rarely is someone you haven’t seen in over a YEAR! Call them up, invite them for lunch or coffee sometime and get away from your usual daily crowd.
  • Step out of your circle of friends if your in a group and make a real effort to talk with someone else or someone new. Its great to have a close knit group of friends, but that shouldn’t limit you to ONLY those friends. Take some steps out of your normal group and introduce your self to someone new, or have a talk with someone you really don’t know that well or have just met recently.
  • At work people often focus ONLY on what they are directly involved with. Its amazing to see how many people need help, struggle in their jobs and hundreds of nearby employees don’t do anything to assist them, even direct peers. Get away from your own focus, your own ego or competitive mindset and for just a few minutes think about the colleagues around you. An offer of help to teach them, simply to listen or maybe even to help them get something done goes a LONG way to develop a lasting relationship.
  • Doing something for a complete stranger. Even having a brief conversation and introducing yourself in a public place. Try it sometime if you take public transit. Ask questions about that person, listen more than you talk and you can leave a lasting impression. How about complimenting a stranger. If you’ve ever done that you know the feeling when you see the HUGE smile it can put on another’s face.
  • One step further (which you might include in a step above) is doing something for the poor or needy. I assume most people reading this blog have it fairly well off and live a very comfortable live. Get out of that comfort zone, don’t just let life slip by without making an impact on others. How about volunteering or serving the poor or inviting someone over or out for dinner.
  • Break out of your normal reading and writing habits. Read a type of book or topic that you don’t normally read. Often our reservations are routed more in fear of change than anything else so you can discover new interests and insights by expanding your exposure to new ideas. If your a writer or blogger (common on here) then write to a new audience. How about writing about an uncommon or unfamiliar topic. Do some research and write about your findings in a new area.
  • Tackle your fears and do something to face them instead of avoiding them. Maybe that is public speaking, some adrenaline sport, extreme activity, heights, whatever, just take it head on and get out of your comfort zone in doing it.
  • Change your food and try some new things in your meals.

people-differentiated-small.png All of these things help you adapt better to change and makes stepping out of your comfort zone when you NEED to much, much easier. Its a lot easier to adapt to change and try something new if you’re well practiced at it. Change is good and it provides a path for learning, accomplishment and satisfaction. Eagerness to change is a mindset of many leaders and is a valuable trait when exploring your self and how you impact others.

So, I hope this gives a few ideas to reach out of your comfort zone and learn to accept the challenge quickly, look for the opportunities in it and to develop a mindset and positive attitude toward change. This personal strength builds great character and an ability to continue to analyze things and improve one-self. A great trait to have, and definitely one that is important for any reader of a blog like this. It will differentiate you and help break you free from areas of complacency in your life. You really DON’T have to be like everyone else. Its just seems so many people think they do nowadays.

Prev: Book Review: Listening: The Forgotten Skill
Next: A Great Way to Start and Finish Every Day