Americans are funny. We tend to look at world history as something that happened before we came along and conquered the globe. Anyone who’s ever traveled the world knows it’s a great way to expand your horizons to new cultures and discover yourself.
Unfortunately not everyone can afford world travel or fit it into their busy schedule. Rather than try to convince you otherwise, here are alternative ways to discover yourself from the comfort of home.
1. Isolate Yourself
If you’ve never left your hometown, there’s a good chance you still have the same friends you grew up with. While it’s nice to have long-term friendships, you can’t truly discover yourself while staying around the same people. It becomes a crutch that keeps you from learning how to truly socialize. You never leave your comfort zone.
Take time to yourself and learn what truly makes you happy. Many of the things you do and buy may just be because your social circle is, not because it’s what you want. Giving yourself space gives you the opportunity to grow to your full potential.
2. Create a Vision Board and Bucket List
Thanks to The Secret and The Bucket List, vision boards and bucket lists have become buzz words. There’s a reason they’re so popular – the best way to visualize your future is to create something tangible. Make a list of what you want to accomplish before you die, and construct a collage to supplement it.
Just the act of producing these items gives you insight into what’s really important to you. The hard part is following the path you laid out, but that’s what makes life fun.
3. Volunteer Your Time
Arianna Huffington has been making the rounds lately promoting her new book Thrive. In it, she explains the third metric to success (the first two are money and power). One of the easiest ways to discover this third metric is by giving to others.
Volunteering your time at a soup kitchen, shelter, clinic, church, or other charitable organization opens your eyes to reality. Your problems may seem insurmountable, but someone always has it worse. Giving to others reminds you of how much you truly have and inspires gratitude.
4. Reconnect with Nature
I was lucky enough to have grown up in the military. My dad was stationed in Europe, and I spent my childhood travelling the continent. We were poor, but my parents made travelling possible by camping out in nature. There’s no better way to refresh your body, mind, and spirit than getting away from society and immersing yourself in nature.
5. Talk to the Elderly
It’s far too common to see people shove their parents into a retirement home where they don’t have to deal with the ravages of age. We’re conditioned to leave the elderly alone, but they have valuable lessons to teach.
Think of how many people you’ve met and lessons you’ve learned in life – the elderly have experienced that much more. They can give you an honest critique of who you are.
6. Immerse Yourself in Different Cultures
Every city has neighborhoods where people of similar cultures live together. You don’t have to drive very far to find a Chinatown, Little Italy, etc. Visit these places to get a sample of the real deal. Talking to residents of these communities is a great way to learn the differences between your culture and thiers, and it may inspire you to explore.
Meditation is the definition of selfishness. In order to discover yourself, you need to look inward. Lie down on the floor, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. If you do this for at least 15 minutes every day, all the unimportant noise in your life fades away. Once you’ve stripped it all away, you’ll discover your true self.
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