What happens to our imagination as we grow older? I’m sure scientific discoveries may point to a particular time in our brain’s development but I’m always curious how much our society has to play in this.
Is it parenting? Our education systems? Or nutrition? Or other factors?
Why do some of us continue to have our imagination and our sheer wonder of things well into adulthood when many others block it out and rarely recreate those childhood feelings?
Having a vivid and wild imagination can create some of the most ingenious things and help our world progress further ahead, in a positive direction, for generations to come. It can make us more creative and unlock the potential for happiness. It can help us question our surroundings and develop our purpose.
I’m wondering how we could tap into that more often and have it “on-demand” versus locking it away for only special occasions.
I’m just curious.
Our imaginations can be a wild and freeing thing.
I thought it might be something we could all ponder for a bit today.
When we live in our bubble the things we know and feel become very familiar. Our senses are dulled because we can already anticipate what is going to happen. We see it often. It’s comfortable.
The only way to actually grow, or see if we are growing, is through exploration. Visiting a new scene, a new area, a new world.
Traveling outside our bubble can unlock many “spidey senses” that live deep down but don’t get to come out often. We get to have our guard up and make choices. We get to paint a portrait of a new landscape we’ve never seen before.
It can make us alive again. It gives us a perspective that the world is much bigger than our bubble and it rattles our thinking a bit. It makes us question what we believe at this moment.
That’s a good thing.
Because that’s how growth happens, through challenging our thinking, expanding our experiences, and exploring a whole new world we’ve never seen before.
It’s 2020 and the Dozen Months of Discovery have begun!
Part of the premise of the Just Get Started Podcast is to get out of your comfort zone and try to accomplish things far greater than you ever imagined. Whether it is changing your eating habits, a better fitness routine, starting a business, etc. At the micro-level, everything you do has to be “started” at some point but are we truly pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones as much as possible and learning new skills or knowledge that can become valuable. Or, maybe it doesn’t become something valuable but you can say you tried it because it was interesting at the time. That’s okay, too.
That, my friends, is the whole premise of the Dozen Months of Discovery.
12 months to have 12 new challenges or adventures. This could be anything from committing to a workout plan one month to learning how to play the piano another, learning a language, or detoxing from Social Media. Whatever it is you have to invest time into it and you have to practice but more than that you must create a different mindset and the focus on accomplishing the challenge must be present every day. We (and I certainly mean me) say over and over “I wish I could do….” Or “I wish I tried….”. As the old saying goes, “You can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one gets filled up first”.
Stop wishing. Why not go out and do it? I know your answer. I don’t have time. It may actually take less than you think. Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote that you need about 10,000 hours to master a skill. But I’m not asking you to master a skill, I’m asking you to try and learn something new whether it be a new skill or just challenge yourself to stick to something for an extended period of time. So, how long would that take to try?
Well, someone already did that research for me and his name is Josh Kaufman. Now, Josh did a phenomenal Ted talk about this topic and, in short, concluded that to learn and be good at a new skill it would take about 20 hours. I highly recommend you watch the entire Ted Talk here –How to Learn Anything in 20 Hours – as it provides a lot more context.
Also, Podcast Guest (Episode 76) Scott Young and his book “Ultralearning” is a fantastic guidebook of some useful techniques and stories to speed up your learning and actually make it sticky.
So, the question I posed to myself a little while back and will pose to you right now is…How far did you advance yourself this past year? How much more could you have done that would have led to increased skill development, more fulfillment or joy in your life, new doors being open…all of it….How far did you push that needle?
Get out of your comfort zone and try to make the next year your best year even. You certainly won’t get there by doing the same thing you are doing now. You must broaden your horizons and I think this is one way to do it.
So here’s the challenge.
Pick 12 new skills/challenges/topics you think would be cool or interesting or maybe something you always wanted to learn. If you can’t think of that many then ask your friends and family or post online and ask your larger community to throw out ideas.
Next, write them down and share with the world those 12 you are going to learn.
Here is my working list for 2020 (I may slip in something if I come across it during the year and swap out with one already on the list but that is still to be determined)
January – No Social Media for 30 Days
February – 1 Hour of Stretching / Mobility work every day
March – Learn Spanish
April – Learn the Ukelele
May – No Sugar (Less than 20g a day)
June – Conduct an Interview a Day
July – Plastic Free Month (Don’t use single-use plastics)
August – Learn Adobe Illustrator
September – Run a Mile a Day (With 20 LB Weight Vest)
October – Charity Month (Donate 30 Hours of my time)
November – No Complaining
December – Random Acts of Kindness Per Day
Finally, each month you need to pick a goal (if it is a learned skill) so you have something to reach for by the end of that month. If you don’t pick a goal you can’t conclude if you truly learned anything. Don’t make it too easy but I’d rather it be achievable than overly aggressive.
Now, start with the first one on the first day of the next month and do it. Learn by taking classes locally, watching videos online, syncing up with a friend skilled in that craft, whatever. Invest around 20 hours that month and see what you can accomplish.
I’m starting this endeavor on January 1st, 2020. My first monthly challenge is to not launch one social media app (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter) for the entire month. I’ll document each journey prior to starting and the week after I finish each month.
If you are down to join, let me know and we can hold each other accountable. If not, we’ll catch you for the next one and I’d love to hear what you are trying to do to challenge yourself and push beyond your comfort zone.
Let’s crush 2020!
Dozen Months of Discovery in 2020Brian Ondrako2021-03-19T10:41:55-04:00
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