Year To Success

Lesson 41: Trying New Things

The world is full of new and exciting things to try. There is a certain kind of freedom, or renegade quality, to living by the words “variety is the spice of life” or “try everything once; go back and do the things you like again,” but this kind of advice can be dangerous to living a successful lifestyle.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is by taking the “if it feels good now, then do it” approach to trying new things. We spend so much time and effort preaching to our youth about the dangers of alcohol and smoking, and we expect them to put off this need for immediate pleasure in favor of long-term wellness. Yet as post-pubescent adults full of “wisdom,” we choose to try new things in quite the same way as a 13-year-old would. We may not have our co-workers next to us egging us on (“Go! Go! Go!”), but we choose to try new things based purely on immediate gratification.

The best way to quit any destructive habit is never to start in the first place. Quitting something we get pleasure out of is very difficult, especially when it comes to substances that are chemically addictive. According to a recent HBO Family special on teenage smoking, 7 out of 10 high school seniors who smoke wish they’d never started. Don’t live in regret and be a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” type of person; be smart enough to think before you act and avoid more serious longer-term consequences to your short-term pleasures.

In our continual efforts to better ourselves and improve our lifestyle, we want to try new things. But before we do, we should consider the consequences of our actions. This is done by asking yourself, “Will trying this put me closer to my goals and my life purpose?” For example, trying a new dish for dinner made up of pasta and fresh vegetables to replace a Big-Mac™ meal, would be a good choice whereas trying cigarettes that will lead to all kinds of social and physical problems, would clearly not be a good choice.

So perhaps it would be wiser for us to adopt the credo, “Try anything once, providing it is consistent with your life’s goals; go back and do the things you like again.” I admit, it may not sound as “smooth” or catchy, but it sure makes a lot more sense.