I love the ‘Big Bang Theory’ on TV. I especially love emotionally stunted and people-phobic Sheldon Cooper.
I remember the episode where Sheldon is talking about learning to swim. About how he’s downloaded the videos and bought the online books to teach him how to swim. So how is at swimming?? Well, he’s never actually taken to the water to find out. He’s researched the bejesus out of swimming, knows about all of the strokes, the breathing techniques, the best ways to do it – he just has never set foot in a pool.
And because of that he’s never experienced the weightlessness of being in water, the resistance that you feel. Living his life through research is safe, but it’s not satisfying.
Humans are designed to do things – not just read about them. To feel the wind in their hair.
For those like Sheldon – it can be kinda scary. They imagine all sorts of ‘what if’s’ – making problems in their head that don’t even exist yet – and probably never will. Big-ing up tiny things – making mole hills into mountains, creating a tsunami in a teacup.
Experiences enrich our lives – both small and large. They give us stories that we can bring back to life years later.
For the Sheldon’s amongst us – baby-step experiences to gradually expand our comfort zone rather than just smashing it out of the park are the most useful. A short experience with nature. A little adventure with other humans. Actually the gradual expansion of our comfort zone is a really sustainable way of increasing life through experiences for everyone.
I have had so many experiences in my life – good and bad – random lunch invitations from people I’ve just met in Iran, sky diving, feeding injured kangaroos, getting married (then divorced) – and I wouldn’t change any of them. They have helped me to grow as a person.
How can you expand your comfort zone to include more experiences?