Rule #45. Maintain an explorer’s mind.
I love to explore new places, to experience new things, to see things I’ve never seen before. Though it is uncomfortable at times, and I often have to overcome my own fears, it just seems natural to seek out the new and novel.
I also enjoy returning to places with which I’ve become familiar, old haunts that I know like the back of my hand, and seeing them become new all over again.
How is it that I can do both and feel like I’m always experiencing something fresh?
It’s an explorer’s mind. Always curious, always wondering, always seeking. An explorer doesn’t just get excited about places he or she has never been before, but also by bringing new ideas and experiences to the places he or she has already visited. An explorer is always exploring, even when they’re at the local grocery store.
In You’re Not Bored, You’re Boring I discuss how people allow obstacles to hold them back; they don’t have much time or money, and thus believe they can’t have an adventure. People who have an explorer’s mind, however, don’t have this problem. When they get bored, they explore. Sometimes they’re exploring a place they’ve already been, or an activity they’ve already experienced; they’re just exploring deeper.
Without an explorer’s mind, it won’t matter where you go, or what you do, eventually you’ll get bored. With an explorer’s mind, however, you’ll always be able to find an adventure, even if it’s a small one. You’ll see the possibilities before you, or you’ll find a way to make some.
So how can you develop an explorer’s mind? It’s easier than you might think. It starts with trying something new. New foods, new activities, and new places are all great, but it’s just as important to also try new perspectives, new ideas, and new attitudes. Not every moment of every day can be a new and novel experience, so you must also look at old experiences differently. Ask yourself how you can improve at what you’re doing, how you can make it more interesting, what about it is important, and if there’s a perspective you haven’t thought about. Slow down, look at things more closely; examine a leaf, kneel down to watch a snail, look at the things that we usually rush past. If you can’t explore something new on a macro scale, do so on a micro scale, because both will help you to develop your explorer’s mind.
Albert Einstein once said, “Never lose a holy curiosity.” That’s what an explorer’s mind is; a holy curiosity that will open the world to you, if you open yourself to it first. So regardless of where you’re at and what you’re doing, avoid being bored; maintain an explorer’s mind.
“Rules for Intrepid Living” is a weekly post giving guidelines for how we can all live a bit more of an intrepid life.