Exploration is not a topic of everyday conversation. In our minds, exploration is left only to scientists, philosophers, and astronauts. It is interesting to contrast this with our lives that contain to do lists, habits, routines, and responsibilities. All providing comfort & certainty in our day.
Often we hear of the need for us to continue learning. To evolve and grow. Reflect and improve. Always working to create a slightly better version of ourselves so that happiness, clarity, and calm surround us more often in our daily lives. Yet it is not clear how we might begin.
Before new learning can occur, there must be exploration. As adults, I find that our field of exploration gets reduced primarily to travel. Wanting to visit a new city or country for the first time. Taking a tour that sounds interesting and far from our normal routine.
Children are masters in exploration. Toddlers provide our best template for this. Where everything around them is new, different and worthy of their attention. Without priorities or biases holding them back. Allowing the randomness & richness of each discovery to sink in unfiltered in their minds in the moment.
As an adult, to explore requires a commitment to explore. Without a commitment there remains a vast cavern of emptiness in our lives with respect to new learnings. We don’t easily try new foods. Nor do we willingly try to do something where we believe we can never become proficient. Many times we need to force ourselves to explore because we easily say no to many things.
There is a newness to life when we explore. Surprises that pop up we never anticipated. New roads found that were missing in the small world of our life’s GPS. Even dreams require exploration to become reality. We need to explore the edges of a dream to understand what is possible.
When we choose to explore, we must be willing to be either delighted or disappointed while creating a new experience for us to learn from. New experiences then expose us to possibilities, opportunities, new interests as well as things to avoid. Focusing on learning, as an outcome of experiences, can lead to more substantive personal growth.
Making ourselves stronger, more resilient and most importantly capable as we continue to navigate life’s challenges while we continue to evolve.