The First Time

“Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar

I listen to podcasts every morning as I am getting ready for work. So while I am putting on my make-up, doing my hair, and picking out my outfit for the day, I am listening to some of the most wonderfully informational conversations you can imagine. When I was listening to a particular podcast not too long ago, the question was asked, When was the last time you did something for the first time?  I have to admit, that question stopped me in my tracks.  I literally put my make-up brush down, hit pause on the podcast, and found myself really contemplating that question.  I even rewound the episode to hear the question again.

On one hand I was a little surprised that such a simple little question could bring me to a screeching halt – I mean really, what’s the big deal about someone asking when the last time was that you did something for the first time? But on the other hand, merely hearing the question sent my mind in search of an answer. And the powerful part of it all was that I found myself struggling to think of a recent time that I had done something for the first time.  That realization hit me hard.  It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my life and it wasn’t that I don’t do fun things.  But when was it that I had done something new…something I had never done before?  And, perhaps even more importantly, why had it been so long since I had done something for the first time?

It certainly wasn’t because I have done all there is to do – the contrary couldn’t be any more true. So what is preventing me from doing something new? Why has it been so long?  It didn’t take me long to answer that question.  It was the same answer to many questions about why life gets to be the way it does for many of us.  I realized I had allowed life to become so routine that I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I wasn’t introducing myself to new experiences.  I have a lot of goals for myself and my life and what I discovered was that I had become so focused on those things, along with all the necessary daily activities of my work and personal life, that I hadn’t left space or time for new things.  I was going through the motions of my daily routines, working toward my goals…albeit enjoying life, which is important, but not adding to my life experiences with new opportunities.

So why is that something to consider changing you may ask? Do you recall the last time you tried something for the first time? Whether it was a food, an activity, going to a new place, whatever…do you remember the thrill, the excitement, the anticipation of that first time?  There’s something to be said for the feelings, the emotions, that doing something for the first time evokes.  They remind us that we are alive.  They remind us of the range of emotions that exist for us to experience as humans.

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Life is about living. Life is about enjoyment and fulfillment. Life is about curiosity and stepping outside of your normal routine to expand your mind and experience all that there is to experience in this existence.  So, with my focus now widened, I am excited about the prospect of doing something new…of doing yet another thing for the first time in my life.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

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