We have received many comments about our world trip over the course of the past weeks and months. Some of them encouraged us to keep doing what we are doing, others tried to persuade us that our trip would involve more dangers than joys.
How should we deal with all those voices, regardless of whether they confirm or warn us? Why should we decide to go on a world trip at all, if there are just as many reasons for as there are against it?
We all have an inner voice that tells us about the quality of everything we perceive. Even better, it finds reasons in no time for why something is good or bad. Why would it be better to order pizza today than to cook at home? Why would it be better to fall asleep in front of the TV than to read a good book or to write a diary entry? You get the idea…
“The mind is like any other muscle in your body. Use it or lose it.”
(Robin S. Sharma (1996): The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari)
The brain works like a muscle. The more you play computer games, the better you will become at it. Give your brain any task and it will improve your skill as you practice. This has dramatic consequences for your decision making: The more you find reasons for why something is not good for you, the better you become at finding them.
We tend to reject everything that is new to us because our life might potentially be at risk, if we don’t – one of our many evolutionary programs. However, since most of us do not live in the jungle anymore and since we do not have to watch each of our steps, this program is outdated. It is one of the great merits of civilization that we do not have to face wild living predators in our everyday lives. Therefore, we find it more important than ever to practice finding reasons for why we benefit from every new and unknown experience.
Considering the slowness of evolution, it is very natural that you spend more energy looking for reasons against preparing your own meal than you spend thinking about why you love cooking at home (possibly with someone else?). About all the things that you want to do you don’t need to think any further because you don’t have to try to dislike them. Hence, developing a mindset against the new consumes far more energy than a mindset in support of the new.
We have learned our lesson from this. And it still happens to us sometimes that we oppose a new experience from which we may profit. Nevertheless, deciding to go on a world trip is part of our practice of believing that opening up to a foreign world will positively transform our lives. We warmly welcome those voices which have urged us to consider the risks because they allow us to learn from other people’s live experiences. They complement all the encouraging comments we received in that they will help us determine when it is best to say “No”, for we view them as an integral part of our world trip, being entirely built upon a big, fat “YES”.
As Erich Kästner wrote:
“There is nothing good unless you do it.”
(from Kurz und bündig. Epigramme (1950))
All the best changes,
Jan & Gratsi