They say that our experiences define us and that we are the sum of all our experiences. Say "yes" more often and "yes" to creating more moments.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
You Are the Sum of Your Experiences
They say that our experiences define us and that we are the sum of all our experiences.
Everything we experience shapes and informs our thoughts, actions and decision-making processes. And our past experiences dictate the opportunities and risks we’re willing to take in the future.
A pleasant experience means we're likely to repeat the activity because we know it's safe, comfortable and familiar.
Now think about this - if we are, indeed, the sum of all our experiences, what would happen if we made a conscious effort to experience new things. We could reshape ourselves, our outlook and our lives through new experiences.
Moments That Remind Us We’re Alive
It's common for people to be nervous about new experiences. We don't want to have regrets. But the truth is we're more likely to regret the things we didn't do.
It´s easy to get stuck into a rhythm and a routine. And, hey, there´s nothing wrong with a little routine, and the certainty and comfort it brings us. But, life is about moments, connections, memories, and places. Life is at its most magical and wondrous when we put ourselves "out there".
And when we talk about experiences and the memories they create, we don't just mean dream holidays and wild adventures. We're talking about any moment or experience that reminds us we're alive.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller
“Have You Done Anything Noteworthy or Mentionable?”
If you haven´t already seen the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, go and watch it now.
Walter Mitty is a daydreamer who lives an ordinary life working for LIFE magazine. He decides to join a dating website in hope to be matched with a work colleague has a crush on. A representative from the dating agency calls Walter, to ask why he has left questions blank on his profile. Walter says he didn´t know what to put down. The representative then asks Walter “Have you done anything noteworthy or mentionable?” to which Walter responds he hasn´t.
This charges when Walter goes on an adventure of a lifetime – through Iceland, Greenland, and beyond - to find the missing photo negative that´s needed for the final TIME magazine cover.
You don´t need to be a daredevil or go all the way to Greenland like Walter Mitty to experience extraordinary moments, they are here to be had in our everyday life. Whether it´s talking to a stranger, trying a new recipe, walking a different route home, or taking a book to a park and enjoying the sunshine, it´s important to do something different and break our routines.
Making an Effort
At the end of the day, all we have is our memories, which are created by moments, experiences, and events. The truth is anytime we make an effort to do anything, the probability of creating a memorable moment increases.
If we don´t make a conscious effort, it´s possible to go through life living each day the same as the one before. You wake up at the same time every day, go to work, come home, make dinner, watch TV, go to sleep. And repeat.
The smallest of decisions can make the biggest impact. The conversations we´re willing to strike up. The experiences we wish to have. The places we´re willing to go. The effort we are willing to make.
We can continue doing the same thing every day, or we can make an effort to experience something new.
"Experience is the teacher of all things."
– Julius Caesar
Just Say “Yes”
Next time your work colleague asks if you´d like to grab a drink after work, say yes. Next time you're asked to go to lunch, say yes. If there is an after-work social or after work sports team to join, say yes. It´s in our willingness to say “yes” to experiences that create lasting memories.
It doesn´t have to be an earth-shattering activity to be meaningful or to leave an impression. It´s simply every time you do something that is out of the ordinary, it becomes an experience.
Think back to the last time you took a day trip, spent a couple of hours with a stranger or acquaintance, or attended an event. It embedded a memory in your mind that you can recall and cannot be replaced.
Set yourself the challenge to say yes to every social invitation you receive for a month.
The Joy and Experience of Travel
For many of us, travel is one of life´s greatest experiences. As travel writer Freya Stark famously said: “To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”
Travelling is a great way to shake up your routine. A chance to meet new people, see new sites and create some memorable moments. Widening our horizons is one of the greatest ways to help us grow and make our life richer.
Be open to opportunities to travel. If a friend invites you to join them abroad or your partner suggests taking the family away, do it!
Remember that travel doesn't have to cost the earth. There's plenty of opportunities to broaden your horizons closer to home. Say yes to the weekend in your auntie's leaky caravan. Live in the city? Get out to the country. Love comfy hotels? Challenge yourself with a camping trip.
If travel is important to you, then think about how to make it possible. Do you really need to pay out for endless box sets and movie subscriptions? Or would the saved money go towards creating a get-away fund?
Why We Travel
Travelling can feel like the ultimate way to break our routines. An easy way to take a break from the day-to-day, and switch cloudy commutes with sandy beaches. To quote sociologist Charles Horton Cooley, “To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.”
But what if we didn´t need to escape our day-to-day life? Because we said “yes” more often and every day contained a memorable experience? To that, famed travel writer Bill Bryson says “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
"For some reason when I travel, I am able to surrender more than in my real life. I am able to let go. I think it's why I like it so much."
– Chelsea Cain
What’s Going On?
Have you heard this popular quote doing the rounds on social media? “I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, and dreams that turned into reality.” It´s all about the experiences.
Pick up the culture, events or arts section of your local newspaper and see what´s happening in your city. From weekend craft markets, free concerts, music in the park, gallery exhibitions, there is always something on offer.
Maybe you choose to try something out of your comfort zone? What about going to the ballet, or seeing a local am-dram show? It might not be for you, but you'll make a lasting memory because it's something different from your ordinary life.
So, you might not find your new great passion or hobby. It's not about that. It´s about experiencing things, even if it´s just to know that it´s not for you. How do you know if you like or dislike something without trying? Through experience.
Wherever possible, invite a friend, family member, date, or colleague along to experience these events with you. Memories and moments are more powerful when shared with others.
Relive the Experience Over and Over Again
The best thing about experiences is that they can be recalled and relived over again.
Sometimes we hear a specific song that makes us think of an old flame or smell a certain scent that takes us back to a childhood holiday. It takes us back to the memory, the experience.
Whatever the memory may be, it´s an experience that left a mark and an experience that was significant enough to remember.
Aside from being nice to recall, the lessons we learn from these experiences shape who we are today.
25 Experiences to Try Today
- Enroll in a foreign language class
- Take a city bus tour in your own city
- Take a cooking class
- Take a dancing class
- Take a guided tour through a museum
- Go to a nightclub and dance into the early hours of the morning
- Take an out-of-city day trip
- Take a photography or art class
- Attend a speed dating evening
- Try a tasting menu at a local restaurant
- Go to the opera
- See amateur theatre
- Attend an outdoor movie screening with friends
- Do a guided tour of a local football stadium
- Run a marathon
- Go skiing
- Watch live music – go to a concert every month
- Take a road trip…somewhere. Anywhere.
- Watch the sunset or sunrise
- Take a picnic to a local park
- Do yoga in the park
- Rent a bicycle and ride to work
- With a friend or two, try a new restaurant or bar every week
- Go to a music festival
- Go to a football match
Make it Happen
Step away from the familiar and the comfortable. Live for new experiences. No more excuses, no more cancelling engagements, no more “maybe next weekend”. If not now, when?
Sometimes it's hard to prioritise experiences when you have money problems. How can you focus on making memories when you don't know if you're going to be able to keep on top of your finances?
Maybe it´s just a small sum of money before payday that you need. Ferratum’s MicroLoan is a great solution to bridge the gap. Or if you need a larger amount to repay over a few months, you can check out our PlusLoan.
You can complete an application quickly and easily online. No paperwork, no waiting in line. Simply select which loan is best for you and get a decision in just minutes. If approved, you will then have the funds in your account within a day.
Start living today.
"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience."
– Paulo Coelho
Learn more about how to make the most of life and money on the Ferratum blog. Click the Read more button to find out how to navigate all the choices you face every day...
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