Surprise yourself

surprise yourself

We all have different likes and dislikes. That’s just how it is. A personal example how is I like video games and although I do have preferences for shooters, sports and espionage; I’ll give any genre a shot.

People often ask me why I like a certain game and depending on my answer, they’ll decide to play it. It’s as if they’re asking for my permission. That’s crazy! In an age where we can rent video games for a few days and ‘test’ them out, there’s no need to make a commitment to buying. If we don’t like them we don’t buy them. It’s that simple!

The same behavior exists in other areas like business where executives want to know if a new idea has wings before it’s even put into play. It’s not that expensive to try one new thing a week.

Some see this as wasting their time and that’s the problem. Instead ask yourself: what did I learn from this experience?

My point is that just like acquiring new knowledge and skills takes time, you have to surprise yourself and put yourself in uncomfortable situations because that’s the best way to learn new things. A few ways to do this are:

Change roles

A great way to do this in the work environment is to switch roles with someone for a few weeks. By doing this you’ll be exposed to challenges from a different angle and this will give you multidimensional perspectives you need to solve your own problems. Who knows you might come up with a fresh solution nobody would’ve thought about.

Read widely

Another way to acquire new knowledge is go to a Borders or Barnes & Noble, grab a handful of magazines you’ve never read before and sit in a chair. Dig through them and see what happens. Ask yourself what’s interesting about what you’re reading. Get curious.

Yesterday I had a few hours to kill and headed to Borders, grabbed magazines of rock climbing, celebrity gossip, military history, aviation, national geographic and weapons. Read most of them, skimmed through others. Don’t you think I acquired new knowledge in that short amount of time? Of course I did.

Be a Yes Man

That’s right, become a Yes Man!. There’s even a movie with that name on it that’s all about ‘surprising yourself’ and it stars none other than Jim Carrey. The idea is to say yes to doing things you would never have thought of doing before with the intent of surprising yourself. If you’ve seen the movie then you know exactly what I mean.

The bottom line is: more of the same leads to boredom. The element of surprise is always the ultimate equalizer Smile

How do you surprise yourself?

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