I have an aquarium at home. For those of you who don’t, let me tell you…it’s pretty interesting, and I’ll tell you why here shortly. Mine is 75 gallons and currently contains about 25 fish, two shrimp, and a bunch of live plants. It’s an underwater garden surrounded by fish and decor. Essentially, I have a big tank of LIFE in my living room that is continually thought provoking and entertaining. So much more so than the typical picture on the wall. I used to have a rock formation that different fish fish would lay eggs in. Baby fish are SO COOL to watch (until they get eaten). I could go on about how much fun it was to design the tank and now maintain it, but what I want to focus on is just one little guy that swims usually by himself – my Redtail Shark. Now, I know you don’t come to a health & fitness blog to read about sharks, so let me tell you what my shark has to do with YOUR well-being…
A shark will adapt itself to the size of its environment. My little guy is currently about two inches long and he might grow to approximately 5 inches if I treat him right. Not maintaining the tank properly will create a toxic environment that leads to disease and eventual death, much like a toxic environment will affect us. But toxicity is not my rant today. What I want to acknowledge is that WE TOO grow in proportion to the environment we live in. I’m not speaking in terms of acreage or physical size per se. No, I’m referring to our exposure to anything and everything.
Spreading your wings…branching out…experiencing things in life for the first time on a continuous basis is one way that we can define our growth. Experiencing new cultures, new lands, new hobbies, new relationships, new studies, and new ways of thinking, are just a few of the many ways in which we can open our minds to expand beyond what we currently know and believe. Some may call this freedom. Just as the roots of trees continue to grow and explore new soil, our minds can open and explore aspects of life that we never knew existed. How cool is that?!!
Now, I’m not saying there isn’t a place for living the simple life. A life where you do what you do, and in that find your peace and happiness. That’s great, provided that YOU believe it’s great. Realize you have a choice, however. It’s not hard to have a new experience. Take a new route to work. Order a different kind of coffee. Strike up a conversation with someone new. New experiences don’t have to come in the form of life-changing trips half way across the world. And growth doesn’t mean you have to take the shark from the aquarium to the ocean. My shark will continue to grow for awhile in its current environment and you will too. But if you find your life is a little stagnant, or you’re feeling it’s time to seek a new path in life, make the choice to pursue new experiences. If you’re having troubles, a trip to the ocean might be just what you need. Just watch out for sharks!