Humans are wired to seek security. It’s how we survived, individually and as a species. It’s in our genes.
Seeking security leads us to entrench in the familiar, which includes the way we do things and how we think. We become “set in our ways.” We forget how to venture out and explore. We develop a fixed mindset.
That’s the contracted state I found myself in a couple years ago. I had the security of familiarity. But I wasn’t very happy. Truly, I was bored with myself.
One day in exasperation, I said, out loud and to no one in particular,”I’ve got to expand my horizons.”
Despite loving the comfort of familiarity, humans also have an impulse toward growth and expansion. That’s what moved me to declare that I needed to experience more in my life.
Expansion is the opposite of entrenchment in the familiar. It is openness to discovering opportunities, willingness to challenge ourselves, and curiosity to see what happens when we try new things.
I can confirm that expansion makes life more interesting.
Within a week of declaring my need for expanded horizons, I learned about a course teaching the transformational coaching method. I enrolled and dived in. As that was wrapping up, I heard that philosopher Ken Wilbur was offering a new course. Too good an opportunity to be missed. So I signed up…even though by then I was engaged in a coaching practicum.
After that, I took an eclectic variety of courses because they interested me: Pedram Shojai‘s Life Mastery, Jean Houston‘s Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose, Mark Silver‘s Transformational Business, and Master Chunyi Lin‘s Spring Forest Qigong.
I listened to numerous podcasts and on-line summits to learn more about health, creativity, and wellbeing. I started writing this blog, and am about to create a guidebook. I am now a member of the Media Academy and Course Builder’s Laboratory.
My life will never be the same (thank goodness). In that spirit, my blog this summer will share a variety of things to think about. I hope you’ll find some in this smorgasbord that are intriguing and maybe challenging.
Let’s start with a few books…
- Who Moved My Cheese: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
- The Alchemist
- Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much
- Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
- In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing
And if you’d rather watch a thought-provoking video…
Carol Dweck is a leading psychologist. Her research revealed the irony that wanting to be perfect stops people from reaching their potential. She presents her work widely; this was at the School of Life in London.
The School of Life is “a place to step back and think intelligently about central emotional concerns. You will never be cornered by dogma, but we will direct you towards a variety of ideas that will exercise, stimulate and expand your mind. You will meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment.” They have a variety of materials available through their shop and they ship worldwide.
As Carol Dweck concludes, by giving up the notion of perfection, we can start the rewarding journey to becoming ourselves. And it seems to me that becoming ourselves increases our sense of security. So can we have both security and expansion? How does it get any better than that?!