Moment #1 – Discovery – “Discoveries keep our mind sharp.”
Discovery occurs when you learn something new about a person, place, thing, or a situation.
Vampire bats are real. They suck the blood from sleeping animals, such as cattle and pigs; and they are a vector for the spread of rabies. They are found primarily in Central and South America.
Unless you’re a bat enthusiast, you probably just learned something new when you read the above passage. You just experienced what I call discovery.
A few examples of discovery:
You find out your teacher’s name is Lisa.
You find out your son is gay.
The innocent gal in the movie you are watching suddenly produces a bloody hatchet from within her petticoat.
You order something new from a menu. After your first bite, you discover that you don’t like it.
You watch a nature show and learn about Loggerhead sea turtles.
What you discover can be a minor piece of information (your spouse forgot to take the clothes to the dry cleaner) or a life-changing event (you get a phone call that your mother passed away). Each and every discovery we make keeps us thinking and processing information. Discoveries keep our mind sharp. You can either sit back and let life throw discoveries at you or you can get out there and make some discoveries on your own. It doesn’t take much to get in a few discoveries every day.
Discovery in a relationship – Do you know all there is to know about your spouse? Talk with your partner about their past, their desires, or things that distress them. However, a word of caution. Suddenly asking questions about a person’s past may seem strange to someone who is accustomed to your normal manner of communication. In fact, you might find that it’s easier to make discoveries about someone new in your life than it is to learn about someone you’ve known for a long time.
Discovery in books – Endless discoveries lie before you at your local library or even on the internet. You can focus a few minutes a day on the internet and discover all sorts of things regarding current events, history, or even the intricate details of a celebrity’s life.
Discovery in movies – Watching a movie is an entire process of discovery. From the opening credits to the final scene, you are constantly learning about the characters and situations presented to you. A great movie will captivate you from beginning to end and will have cleverly placed discoveries within the storyline to keep you guessing what the outcome will be. Next time you watch a movie, pay close attention to the information that is presented to you. A well crafted movie will have multiple discoveries in every scene.
Discovery while driving – Most of us drive the same path to work everyday. I say change your path. Take a freeway instead of side streets. Take side streets instead of a freeway. Turn left instead of right. Go the long way. Park a few blocks from work, and walk the rest of the way. Break your routine. Let the discovery of new buildings, cars, streets, etc. enter your mind. I guarantee that the first day you drive a new path to work you’ll be more focused on driving; and you will be more in the now than you have been in quite a while.
Discovery in a new relationship – When we become romantically involved with a new partner, it is inevitable that we will experience a multitude of discoveries within the first few months of getting to know this person. We discover our partner’s habits, strengths, and weaknesses. We learn this person’s insecurities and pet peeves. We discover what makes this person laugh and what makes this person angry. We learn which restaurants our partner prefers and what kinds of food our partner enjoys. While you are learning all these things, your partner is also learning about you. Indeed, the first few months of a new relationship are always exciting. Not only do you have countless discoveries about each other, but if you take the time to experience new things together, you will both share in a discovery as a couple However, once the discoveries become fewer and far between (at least in regards to learning about each other), you begin to find out if your compatibility level is high enough to survive without the added benefit of constant discovery.
Discovery in a restaurant – Try a new restaurant. Or, the next time you go to your favorite restaurant, sit somewhere that you would normally never sit. If the thought of sitting at the counter of your favorite coffee shop makes you uncomfortable, make sure you sit there the next time you go. You’ll discover a whole new perspective on the same place you’ve been visiting for years.
If you feel stuck in a rut and find daily life a little monotonous, try mixing your lifestyle and actively seek discoveries.
Take the bus to work.
Visit an art gallery.
Next time you’re in a public place, sit or stand somewhere that would otherwise make you uncomfortable for whatever reason. Soak in the new perspective, even if it upsets you.
Go to the gym at a different time of day, or join a new gym altogether.
Find a 24-hour restaurant and go to eat there at 3 a.m.
Rent a really nice car, one that you can’t afford to buy. Or better yet, rent a wreck that you wouldn’t be caught dead driving.
Visit a place where English isn’t the primary language, and learn what it’s like to be a foreigner.
Listen to a new radio station.
Learn how to make one gourmet dinner.
Discoveries are everywhere, just waiting for us to experience them. However, the more experienced we are in life, the less punch our discoveries will have.
When we’re kids, everything we see is a major discovery. Kid life is one big discovery. When we have children, life’s discoveries get re-visited again as our kids start growing. It’s only as we get older that discoveries become less frequent and less meaningful. At that time of life, it becomes our responsibility to seek them out for ourselves.
The next part of this article series is titled How To Improve Your Quality of Life by using the Seven Moments – Moment #2
“This is a multi-part article submission with excerpts directly from my book Life: The Seven Moments that really matter. Enjoy. – Christian Blake.”