The tension when we try new things

If we never try new things we will never discover what is possible. If we never risk failure we never create anything lasting.

And the world is less bright for our fear of trying.

try new things

But we are also suckers for new stuff.

It’s easy to get distracted like a kid in a toy store. Everywhere we turn there is a new tool, a new project, a new book, a new gadget, a new coffee mug (don’t ask).

So how do we navigate the hyperbolic tension between the fear of trying new things and the obsession with new stuff?

One way or another it all boils down to contentment.

Contentment with our circumstances leads to a stagnant life devoid of color and wonder. While discontentment with our circumstances inspires creative action, risk and adventure.

Discontentment with our possessions fuels a downward spiral of self-destruction and financial bondage (credit cards, anyone?). While contentment with our possessions results in a life free free from debt where we find more value in relationship and experience.

Honestly, I’m not great at walking this tight rope.

I love trying new things. I launched the Dad Life Rules podcast last week, co-founded a digital publishing company this summer, and started reading The Sketchnote Handbook to learn a new skill.

But, I’m distracted by new stuff. I find it easy to always want one more. The newest iPhone, another LEGO set, a better car, and so on.

Buying new stuff gets in the way of trying new things. Especially when both carry a price tag. Money I waste on new junk isn’t available to pay for new tools, experiences or projects.

I don’t know what your priorities are, but I imagine your dreams are bigger than the mountain of junk accumulating in your garage or office.

New stuff is fine, but don’t let it rob you of the chance to try new things. You just might discover a creative passion or skill that will bridge the gap to your dream job.

Or at least have a lot of fun and meet new people.


Photo Credit: westpark via Compfight cc