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Re-Challenging Yourself to Experience Something New

September 30, 2017 by  
Filed under blog

I just got off of an all-night flight to London and, wow, I can’t believe I slept the entire way. I had planned to write this week’s blog while inflight but that didn’t happen.  So later, with writing my blog on my mind, I left our hotel which is right across the river from the London Eye, that gigantic Ferris Wheel on the banks of the river Thames.

As I strolled around by the river and close to Buckingham Palace where they have the changing of the guards, I couldn’t help but feel excited and inspired by all that I observed. I realized then what my subject for the blog should be—new and inspiring experiences. But when I began writing it I remembered that back in 2010 I wrote a blog titled “Challenging you to Experience Something New”.

Being pretty tired after the long flight, I’ve decided I’m going to be a bit a lazy and simply reprint that old post.  Perhaps you didn’t see it back when or you are due a reminder. I know I get a lot out of reading my own past posts. So here ya go.

Challenging you to Experience Something New

If you’ve been reading along with my blog for a while, you’ve heard me go on about getting out and exposing yourself to new and varied experiences. Most recently I’ve been touring Europe and it just amazes me how energizing and motivating it is to be among different people, seeing new sights, and being exposed to diverse mind-sets. Being that I was reminded again of the importance of exposing yourself to novelty, I thought I’d emphasis it again here with a few more specific ideas.

Now you don’t have to travel to Europe to find novel experiences but entrenching yourself in different cultures is an ideal way to jump-start your spirit, your mind, and your passion. Even where you live, there are probably cultural areas, shops, events, etc. that you have no experience with and may even be a little fearful of because of the lack of familiarity. But forcing yourself to walk into that strange store or spend a day at an unusual event, or, even better, visit another country (Mexico or Canad, for instance … these places aren’t far) will expose you to unexpected ideas, people, and sensations and you may find something new that you love!

So, I challenge you to travel, be it near or far, to a place you may be hesitant to venture into. Go in with an open mind and actively look for new experiences, talk to new people, and make an effort to understand and appreciate cultural differences. You never know what you’ll find or whom you’ll meet.

–MOH, September 17, 2010

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Money Can Buy Novelty

November 14, 2014 by  
Filed under blog

It’s too bad that much of the time money, especially having a ton of it, gets a bad rap. The negative view of money probably started a very long time ago, maybe even before the Christian bible made the comment that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” I do believe that tons of money can ruin some people’s lives, especially if they come into that money overnight and not by their own hard work over many years. But let me talk about one super wonderful thing that money can do for you, especially if you are wise enough to do the right things with that money.

It seems that way too many people think that the best thing to do with lots of money is to go out and buy a lot of stuff, especially fancy and high status goods. But that stuff can quickly become worn out and/or very boring. Consider the following as an alternative and one that can, and will, jump start and excite your brain as well as lasting a very long time.

This is all about giving your brain a huge dopamine boost through experiencing new and novel things. You see, the human brain craves novelty, and money makes it so much easier to give yourself novel experiences. Gregory Berns in his book Satisfaction says, “Novel experiences are the surest route to satisfaction.”

As I write these words my wife and I are on a flight to the French Rivera. Just minutes ago we had lift off and as we did, believe me my brain got a big dose of dopamine and that’s just the beginning. We’ll be staying in Cannes at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel and then later in another 5 star hotel in Nice. Then we’ll drive to the Italian town of San Remo to meet an old Swiss friend, Reto Moro, who I met 30 years ago on a tennis court in the south of Germany. We are visiting places, some of which are totally new to me or, in other words, ‘novel’.

Castles, old churches, new restaurants and all that I will see will pump my brain with dopamine. As you probably know dopamine is the natural brain chemical that makes you feel so very satisfied. I just love it. For years I didn’t have a clue about this thing called dopamine that was making me feel so good, but I certainly knew that I got a huge charge and brain boost by my visits to new places, so much so I came up with my bucket list of trying to visit every country in the world. I currently have hit 84 countries and my wife tells me that since I am now 70 years old I better pick up the pace—there are, at present, 196 countries in the world!

I guess I could have spent my money on fancy new cars and other expensive stuff but I’m pretty sure the novelty of a new car wouldn’t last very long. Traveling to new places has given me great memories that will last for many, many years, especially since I can easily re-stimulate my brain chemicals with so many pictures and videos!

The bottom line is, it’s true that money can’t necessarily buy happiness, but it can open up so many possibilities and make it easier to obtain more novel experiences. It gives one more time to carefully and creatively design, plan and carry out a wide range of novel experiences. So now I hope I have given you another good reason to push yourself to earn, save and invest your earnings.