Expanding Your Horizons.
There are a few things in your life that will open up the whole world to you. There is no wrong time in your life to carve a new path out for yourself. Expanding your horizons is about becoming more well rounded, about growing and changing as an individual – becoming maybe even a better version of yourself. The thing is, nothing about expanding your horizons or doing something new and challenging is boring.
You have the chance every day to build on your foundations and challenge what you think you know, and how you live right now.
When it comes to learning more about the world, and yourself, then travel is probably top of the list. If rather than staying in the resort, you head out it and interact with locals, you will get more of a feeling for the culture and the location. Typically most people spend the most amount of time talking to staff in the hotel or tour guides. But you can learn more from the locals. Like, where is the best place to eat? How much should a taxi really cost?
If you are a driver, then it might be time to tank up and take off. There is something very deliberate and personal about choosing to take a road trip. You are committing yourself to a lot of hours driving per day (and often into the night) – and once you reach your destination, you are simply going to turn around and come home again. You can opt to do this with a friend or alone, depending on how much you like your own company. If you choose to go alone, you will need to be the map reader, the driver, the hotel/motel chooser, and so much more. You can learn a lot about yourself when you give yourself no option and a lot of time. Reflections, ideas, a lot of emotions. Of course, you can turn it into a sightseeing trip too – it’s all in your hands.
This is a feel-good thing to do too. Things that give you a pop of happiness are usually great things to do. But this is a great way to learn a new skill or put skills you already have to good use. You’ll get to meet new people from all walks of life with different reasons for volunteering. Here are a few great places to consider volunteering.
- Animal Rescue Shelters
- Homeless Shelters
- Soup Kitchens
- National Parks
- Political Campaigns
Millions of people want to learn a new language, but only a small percent of us actually do it. In high school, most people will learn German, French or Spanish. Although the options are now much broader – it still isn’t as in-depth as many people would like. If you really want to get the most from your travel, then really you might want to learn the basics in as many languages as possible. Not only that, but it will improve your chances of getting promotions at work too. A great way to motivate yourself is to choose a language and as you are learning it, save up and visit the country in question after about a year.
Learning languages is excellent – obviously – but there is so much more to learn. If you are in a particular business field, you might like to consider going for the degree up from the one you have. For example, if you have a business administration degree, heading to the University of Alabama Birmingham for a masters. Or maybe you don’t even have your first degree yet! In which case, spend some time thinking about what it is you want to do in the future. The job market moves quickly, and each year, there are thousands of freshly qualified people leaving university. However, in any jobs, they ideally want someone with life experiences and a qualification – which means ‘adult learners’ can have a serious advantage. Learning online is also an excellent option for people who are time-poor, or want to learn over a more extended period of time – it has a lot of freedom and less cost too.
Aside from the fact hobbies make you happier, they are a great way to try new things. It might be that you are looking for something that will help you wind down at the end of a long day. In which case, reading and journaling might be your best bet. If you are looking to explore your creative depths and have a tortured artists moment, then painting or book writing will let you live out those moments. Learning to play an instrument is a combination of relaxation and discipline which many people really enjoy.
You might be looking to do something that gets you out of the house and interacting with others. Yoga, beginners dance classes, pottery, and so much more are great options to help you meet people and explore your creativity. You might find you have a natural affinity for things you didn’t know before.
Just for fun, take some time creating a Pinterest board of the things you want to do. Pinterest is somewhat of a rabbit hole, so be prepared to get lost for a while if you do this. Think about something you have always wanted to make and search for it on Pinterest. From that pin start pinning things that look interesting or that you want to try out. Once the board has somewhere in the region of 15-20 pins take a look at your board. Are there any common themes? It might be time to make those items your ‘to-do’ list for the next year and see where your interests take you.
People who are well-read (more than just holiday novels) have a wide range of topics for a conversation they can draw from. And, much like travelling they are more interesting to spend time with. Of course, it can be tough to take a lot of time to read but if you have a long commute, or you aren’t a great sleeper you might find that you actually have more hours to fit in more words than you had thought. Not every subject interests everyone, so try a few different genres and writers to see what you like. Although there is nothing wrong with fiction, you can get a lot of conversational material and thought-provoking stuff too.
This one is cool because it can be applied to your whole life – your business or your work, your downtime and even how you eat. When you practice it every day, it is likely you will see a change in how you view things – more so if you are quick to judge or react to a situation. If you carry around items from the past, or you have a lot to deal with currently, mindfulness can give you a lot of perspectives and coping techniques. Two great apps to check out are The Calm app and Headspace. They both have a range of guided meditations, music and things to help you relax too.
Expanding your horizons doesn’t always mean working your way up in someone else’s company. Sometimes it means starting something for yourself. Although often being the most significant learning curve of your life, it will stretch you and grow you in ways you cannot imagine. But it is a lot of fun too. You’ll learn as you go about all aspects of business, from finance to accounting – and all of the finer points too.
Personal development is something that you should be looking to invest time and money in throughout your life – what shape that takes is up to you.