Monday, January 25, 2016

Expand Your Universe

If you have ever tried to grow an indoor plant, you likely came to realize that the size of the plant would often be determined by the size of the pot or container it is planted in.  When small, the plant thrives better if the container is not overly large. However, as the plant grows and matures, that same sized pot becomes restrictive and can stunt its growth, requiring that the plant be re-potted into something larger, allowing it more room to facilitate growth.

We are not all that dissimilar.  The smaller our personal Universe, the less space we have to grow. Though the size of our universe may have 'fit' and suited us when we were first starting out, we need to continually be expanding the space around us to provide us with the stimulation and room needed to grow and expand.
Grow your Universe to allow for Personal Growth
Expanding the size of our Personal Universe need not be difficult or arduous, but it does require that we remain open to constant exploration and learning.  Just as the Star Trek Enterprise expanded the size of the known Universe by 'seeking out new life and new civilizations', you too need to give yourself room to grow by continually expanding the environment you have to grow into.

The following are some great tips for helping you to give yourself some room to grow.  There is only growth or stagnation. If you want to keep on earning, you have to keep on learning.  There is no other or better way.

  1. Travel.  As much as you can, to as many places as you can.  See places for yourself. Meet the people.  Learn how they live.  Don't allow other people's interpretations to shape your impressions, experience it first hand.  
  2. Read.  There is no excuse for not expanding your mind, knowledge or understanding by not picking up a book.  Even if it's only for 10 minutes a day - Read!  There are free resources everywhere so cost is not an issue on this one!  Everything you read is an investment you make to your Brain Trust so don't shortchange yourself.
  3. Do something new.  Pick a new sport, a new activity, a hobby.  Give it a try.  You don't have to stick with it, you don't have to perfect it... just try it.  Experience it for yourself.  You will never uncover new interests, strengths or talents without trying something new.  
  4. Take a class.  Explore a new subject or skill by taking a class in it.  You can sign up at a local school or college or you can take advantage of free online resources.  MIT has open course ware now as do other great schools. Formal learning and education has never been so accessible.  
  5. Podcasts.  Listen to some podcasts on subjects that you know little about.  Gain some insight into new research, follow discussions on topics outside of your field, try a new interest on for size. Listen to what others are thinking and doing to stimulate your thoughts and actions.
  6. Ask Questions.  Develop your curiosity by asking more questions and seeking out answers. Don't hesitate to ask questions of others, to google questions that pop to your mind... you'll never get answers if you don't seek them out and questions are one of the easiest, fastest and best ways.
  7. Online Videos.  The internet is such a great resource available at your fingertips, eliminating excuses for not having access to information or tools.  TED is a phenomenal source of talks on a wide range of topics, many of which you may never have thought about but that open your mind to new avenues of thought, science, activity and research.  Whether you have 5 minutes or 15, TED has something to share.  Don't underestimate the value of YouTube as a resource, it has more to share than simply videos of cats jumping in boxes, or check out Instructables if you are looking to learn how to do things yourself - many new skills just waiting for you there.  
You can Expand your Universe with only 5 minutes a day.  The main point is to expand it, even in small ways.  Just as a plant's growth becomes stunted in a too small pot, so too does your growth become limited if you are trying to grow in too small a space.  Make a change, do something different, pick up something new...  it all adds not only to the size of your Universe and your potential growth, but to the quality of the life you experience along the way.

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