When we’re really young, everything is new.
Every single day we’re doing things for the first time. Encountering new scenarios, new objects, new feelings. We build habits.
As we get older, this process slows down. Most of the big steps have already been taken. We’ve learnt to crawl, walk, talk, read, write, run, jump and do many other things beside. We reach a point where it all seems natural. These things are ingrained, almost automatic.
This is useful in some ways. But it can make us complacent. We get lazy.
The temptation is to believe we know what we’re doing. But the power comes in realising we haven’t got a clue. Nothing is fixed. What you know now is a tiny portion of a vast potential. Things that you take as given today may be completely different tomorrow.
This concept applies to everything from the most basic to the most complicated parts of our awareness. If we examine even the smallest of tasks, we soon realise that how we do things is just one tiny snapshot of what is possible.
It’s very easy to run little experiments to prove this. Try holding your toothbrush in the other hand. Try putting the other shoe on first. Try writing with the other hand. Take a note of how all these things feel.
And that’s just the regular stuff. What about the big, grown-up matters? What would living in a different city feel like? What about a different country? What would happen if you got rid of everything you owned except what you could fit in a rucksack?
Think about your job. Do you have a pre-conceived notion of what work should feel like? How about what constitutes ‘life’? Are you unconsciously limiting your possibilities?
We can always expand our knowledge in the same way as we did when we were small. We never have an excuse to stop learning. It’s all too easy to get comfortable and take things for granted. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security.
Treat everything like a game. You get to pick the rules. You get to decide how you play.