The Ripple Effect Of Experience

Inky black skies barely peeking out between the billions of twinkling lights, the Big Dipper enormous and crystal clear sitting low on the horizon.

I dropped the pots that were in my hands as my eyes went skyward. “Look!” I said, as I dropped onto my back in the grass, pulling my friend down with me.

A dark canvas had been tented up high over our heads during the time that we had been enjoying the campfire dinner.

Under the darkest skies in North America, we were gazing upon the Perseid meteor shower.

Meteors streaked across the sky for longer than either of us had ever seen – with tails that seemed to increase in brightness as you tracked them for several seconds across the massive sky.

The Milky Way marched brightly through the darkness above, countless stars twinkled and blinked, and your mouth hung open in awe as you craned your neck from side to side to be able to take in everything above you.

You couldn’t help but let out a little sound of delight as you spotted a meteor dropping into our atmosphere.

Experiences are the most valuable thing in life, next to people.

Experiences with people you care about? Exponentially better.

(Reminder: You are a person you care about…an experience with Yourself is as valuable as an experience with another human.)


Whether you accumulate experiences deep in nature, at the finest restaurants in the world, or at the concerts of your favorite musician as you purchase your tickets year in and year out to see them perform – the point I want you to grasp is this:

Experiences. Moments. Freeze frames of time you can burn into your mind until the last day that you’re here. Gather those.

Experiences are how you understand your place in the world. They’re how you learn more about yourself.

They’re how you figure out that if you try something different, you get a different result.

They’re how you learn that slowing down makes all the difference.

They’re how you develop your sense of wonder and awe that anything truly is possible.


How Do You Know What You Love?

I didn’t know that I loved camping and nature and exploring as much as I do. I knew that I played outside a lot as a kid.  I knew I liked being in the mountains when we’d go on family vacation.

But then I got older and between ages twelve and twenty-five, I got caught in the trap.

The trap that said “I’d rather be comfortable, and ‘comfortable’ happens indoors, in cars, in front of a tv in the evening.” The trap that said “I’d rather be well-rested, and ‘well-rested’ means keep the living inside rather than taking the living outside for a few days.”

I wasn’t clear on my truths for my life. I was trying out the truths I saw around me, trying to figure out what was best for me.

Being unclear on your truth is a giant trap that keeps you from living your full, rich, life.

By taking a look at what lies out by my boundaries, exploring the opposite side of what I believed to be true, and taking a chance that things would work out, I discovered that many of the words in my vocabulary needed re-defining in order to be true for me.

Turns out, I’m ‘comfortable’ when I’m getting regular doses of being in nature, getting dirty, packing up food and cooking it over a flame outside, and being uncomfortable as hell to get somewhere, but getting there and knowing we’re way off the beaten path.

And I’m actually more ‘well-rested’ when I’m going full tilt on outdoor adventure and falling into bed exhausted from the action and the early morning starts.

Explore this:

What’s near your current edges of your boundaries and how would you feel about walking closer to those boundaries?

What if the opposite of what you believe to be true was true, too?

Can you be open to the possibility of what’s being proposed?

Will you be ok if you try it and you’re right in that you don’t like it?

It’s in the exploring of You that you learn what You love, and as what You love becomes clear, you bring more of that into your world.

And as you bring more of what You love into your world, you find more experiences, nuances, and details that You love. And you bring more of that into Your world. And on it goes.


Experiences Are How The World Moves Forward

If no one ever experienced anything, we’d probably still be looking at agave plants, unaware that they taste delicious when you turn them into a distilled liquid and mix it with club soda and a lime. But someone was the first person to take the first step toward distilling that plant into a tasty beverage called ‘tequila’.

The world progresses because someone experienced something and thought, “that was terrible, we need to change that”, or “that was great and I bet I can make it even better!”.

Photo by Dylan Freedom on Unsplash

There are always ripples on the water from where the stone of ‘experience’ drops in.

You experience something and it changes you… In miniscule and major ways. The changed You interacts with the world differently.

You change others by experiencing something. When you tell someone about your experience, they’re affected by the telling of the experience. They may consider something they‘d never considered before. They might start to think just a tiny bit differently.

But don’t go gathering experiences because you owe it to someone else.

Gather them because You need them. The ripple effect will take care of itself.


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