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Posts Tagged ‘Kilimanjaro’

I’ve been reading Michael Crichton’s “Travels” and have found much to think about and ponder…I loved this – after climbing Kilimanjaro, he writes, “I realized then that I had defined myself too narrowly. The experience of climbing Kilimanjaro affected me so powerfully that, for a long time afterward, if I caught myself saying, “I’m not a person who likes to do that activity, eat that food, listen to that music,” I would automatically go out and do what I imagined I didn’t like. Generally, I found I was wrong about myself – I liked what I thought I wouldn’t like. And if I didn’t like the particular experience, I learned I liked having new experiences.”

I loved reading this because I it succinctly defined a feeling that I’ve always had, yet challenged me at the same time.  Although I have always enjoyed new experiences, I recognized that often the experiences I consented to fell within a certain comfort zone. Often enough, I have refused a new experience out of fear or a fairly vague feeling that  I wouldn’t enjoy it. To a certain extent,  self-delusion played a part – I felt as though I was being adventurous, but if it fell within a preexisting comfort zone, it was neither truly adventurous nor brave. Here is where the challenge came in…immediately having read this, I remembered several things I had been loathe to try, and vowed that I would try them – there was no legitimate reason why I shouldn’t other than the aformentioned vague discomfort with the idea. The other temptation when dealing with this trait is to compare yourself with others. Yes, compared to a certain population, I am exceedingly adventurous. However, I am not as apt to try new things as I feel I should be.  To meet my personal goals for growth and development, I need to be more willing to try something a more daunting, and practice what I am constantly preaching – that growth only occurs outside of your comfort zone. I have no intention of making my life a quest for new, daring adventures – I am no Evel Kneival,  and the thought of doing somthing like eating a live octopus is just plain ridiculous. I won’t forsake common sense. However, I won’t let prejudice stop me from trying new things any longer.

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