Risk a little, gain a lot

Jon Benson

Over the last year, I’ve been actively trying to say “yes” to more things such as accepting invitations, taking risks, and being open to what’s unfamiliar. I’ve found myself in plenty of better places for it, too. Last month I did something very out of character: I took a two-week trip to Europe.

As my first time out of the country, it was stressful, exciting, eye-opening, and sobering. It pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that when I got back home, I was riding a wave of stress-fueled productivity for a week or two. You know how you’re supposed to rearrange your furniture every so often or take a different route home just to break out of the routine and familiarity of things? Well, this trip flipped my mental house upside down. I rode a bike around Belgrade and rollerbladed around Novi Sad, Serbia ﹘ two activities I hadn’t done in years. It was so invigorating that as soon as I returned home, I bought a bike off Craigslist (something I had often thought about doing but never did) and now ride it daily.

Listen to that voice telling you to do the things that interest you, however scary the unknown is. Learn that instrument you’ve always thought about taking up. Go to that city you’ve been admiring from afar. It’s so easy to get stuck and comfortable in a routine, but in order to really live (at least if you’re an anxious person like myself), you kinda have to always be a little uncomfortable. Push yourself to see what’s around the next bend and you may discover something you never knew was in store.