I’ve been observing and experiencing life from a wide lens my entire life. One such interest of mine is the idea that we tend to gravitate toward and feel the need to attach ourselves to other people’s experiences.
For example; We follow, attend, gravitate toward a person or persons that we admire. Through varying degrees, we attend their courses, conferences, workshops, read their books, follow them on social media, possibly seek their approval and lean into their world.
Perhaps this is a good example of self-help magnified to the point where we are living through another’s experiences and not that of our own. We may even be observing these experiences while sitting on our couches. I hope not.
Did we give up? When did we think that our experiences didn’t matter? That our experiences pale by comparison to someone else’s. And why do we even care to compare? In doing so, it tends to paralyze, perhaps even sabotage our efforts in having our own experiences. To create our own stories. Trust me, the grass is not always greener – it’s an illusion.
Interestingly our values are tied to our experiences. What we learn, what we experience and come to understand and discover helps to inform our beliefs and values. What holds true for us. It changes over time as we experience more, because, the more we experience in life, the more we have to offer ourselves. Our way of thinking changes. We tend to embrace and consider further thinking.
Of course, it’s great that we gather ideas and find out about experiences that we would like to be having for ourselves. It’s when we take it a little too far. When we follow a little too closely. We see our shadow but not ourselves. We’re too connected to another to see where they started, and where we then take off. The whole point is for us to ‘take off’ – to get inspired and then take the information learned and gathered and find our own truth and experiences.
But what happens is that we can get dependent upon what’s fed to us. We crave more. We want more of what another is experiencing. We’ve taken voyeurism to a whole other level.
Think of it this way; We’re invited (metaphorically) into the homes of people we follow, and we don’t want to leave. THEY don’t want us to leave either.
It’s a “warning Will Robinson” moment as we feel enticed to consume more and more of someone else’s life, and when we do, we will inevitably lose ourselves to it.
So, I ask you – What kind of experiences do YOU have? If you’re not, then what are you afraid of? More importantly; What KIND of experiences do you want to be having? What would that look like for you?
Consider this as we’re not currently able to really travel due to this pandemic, NOW would be a good time to sit down and plan, yes plan what experiences you want to be having. Even in the throes of this pandemic. It’s time.
Maybe it’s learning a new language, learn a new skill, taking up an instrument, writing a book, training for an event – even during social distancing you can train with groups virtually and set a date to participate. Take a road trip. Go on a family hike. Hop on a bike. Host a podcast. for that matter start a podcast! The list is endless and guess what? It’s personal. It’s personal to you.
When we follow others and want to dive into their world, what we’re saying is; “I need a roadmap, I need a rule book – for that matter a playbook that guides me, walks me through life.” When in fact what we really need is to blaze our own trail of experiences. Start trusting ourselves more.
Sure, it’s cool to follow people that we dig (for a while) – we all have crushes on, and a fascination with people. We may think that they have life all figured out; they don’t. They’re figuring it out as they go, and so should we.
Experiencing more starts with us making it happen.