Our ability to cope with any given situation must be connected to the range of experiences we have been exposed to in life.
Older people seem to be able to cope with crisis so well. Things just don’t seem to unnerve them. Probably because they have seen it all before, nothing comes as a surprise to them. They even seem to be able to grieve the loss of a loved one better than younger people.
But i think it is so much more than just age. People who have experienced more in their lives, have traveled more, learned more, felt more or cried more.
People who have experienced and conquered fear. People who have witnessed other cultures, other ways of life.
These people all become so much more compassionate and accepting. They have a greater awareness of themselves and their place on the world. They understand the world and how it all works. They seem to instinctively know that no matter how hard they think that they have things, they will get through it, eventually.
Their world and their lives are so much bigger and because of it they become so much wiser. They have a better understanding that nothing is new and that they are not alone in the world.
We hate and fear what we do not understand, so the more we know, the less we feel hate and the less we have to fear.
Only when we see real hate do we understand how hurtful hate can be. Only when we see love do we understand what true love means. Only when we have been scared, do we know what it is to be brave.
How can you appreciate how winning feels unless you have first experienced what it is to loose? The more I fail, the better I become.
Learn to begin saying ‘no’ to the things you know and ‘yes ‘ to things that you have never experienced before.
It doesn’t have to be the big things. Begin with little things in life like trying food that you never thought you would like. Listen to some music or go to a show that you thought you would never like. Say yes to an invitation to spend time with someone even though you can’t imagine having anything in common with them.
Go to someone else’s church just for a change. Have you ever been to a synagogue, or discussed religion with a Muslim or chatted to a Buddhist?
Try something that frightens you, just so that you know how fear really feels, rather than just imagining it.
If you are one of those people who never take a day off work, take a week off and leave your phone and your email behind.
It took some courage to do the first time, but when I would go out and walk at night, I learned to sing out loud if I wanted to. I know I cant sing, but what does it matter? It doesn’t. If I want to sing out loud, then I should. Maybe I even gave someone else the courage to do it too.
All of these experiences are important, they help us cope with whatever life throws at us. Things that we don’t understand are no longer scary to us.
The more experiences that you have, the more things you will have in your life that you enjoy and the fewer that you fear or hate.
The more people that you meet, the fewer you have to spend your life avoiding.
For many people even the idea of being alone is frightening, but some time alone is exactly what they need. Away from expectations and distractions. Where you can focus only on yourself.
I am a great advocate of the notion that we should do things because they feel like the right thing to do. Sometimes feeling scared or vulnerable is the right thing to do.
The more we experience, the more we understand. The more we learn to tolerate, the less we will live in fear. The more curious we become, the less judgmental we will be. The more we fail the better we will get.
When we come to a fork in the road, we must choose to go left or right. We choose one and we go down that road and often we will just stay on that road. But how do we know if this is the right road for us, if we have not been down the other road?
Have the courage to question your own beliefs and examine your values.
The wider the range of experiences that we have, the more options and coping mechanisms we will have at our disposal in times of need and crisis.
Get into the habit of changing little things in your life and welcoming new experiences. You owe it to yourself, everyone around you who’s life you touch and you owe it to your children.
Get curious. Do something each day that you have never done before in your life.