With the piles of new things I’m always trying, it might surprise you know that I’m a creature of habit.
Does this song have a poppy hook? I will download it immediately and listen to it 100 times.
Oh, is this a funny, self deprecating memoir? I’m on the library waitlist yesterday.
Last month my book club/dinner club read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. While I didn’t particularly like the book I was glad I read it because it was totally different than any book I would have chosen for myself. Left to my own devices I would never read anything involving codes, warlocks, or history. Super no.
But when I read this book – so far out of my comfort zone – strange, wonderful things started happening in my brain.
I had new ideas for blog posts (like this one).
I thought of a different way to structure my consulting offerings.
I remembered the pile of recipes in my desk drawer I’d been meaning to try.
As obvious as it probably seems, good things happen when you break out of your ruts – no matter how comfortable and well-written and funny those ruts are.
Reading different books, watching different movies and tv shows, listening to different types of music – they expose you to new ideas, new rhythms, new approaches, new people. And you don’t even have to like those new ideas for them to have a positive effect on you!
So how can you go about finding good, useful, well-made things outside of your usual?
I love music that has been mockingly called ‘Brooklyn elf music,’ so I’m going to ask for recommendations from my friends who love metal. And country. And punk.
The only shows I watch are half-hour comedies. But I bet my friends who love dark hour-long dramas could recommend some stuff. Or my people who like action movies. Or war movies with largely male casts (uggggh, I hate those movies!)
And all those memoirs? I’m going to give them a break in favor of some nonfiction, a few collections of essays, and (dare I say it?) sci-fi?
Stretching your brain and your boundaries feels good. Opening yourself to new ideas fills you up. Having diverse sources makes you a more interesting person.
I might learn something from codes and warlocks yet.
Do you get into culture and media ruts? How do you get out of them? And (more importantly) what metal and country music would you recommend? Are there any action movies I should see?
photo by zitona // cc