I always adore everything related to mindset

By Leo Babauta

What a freaking year it’s been. I don’t need to tell you. It’s been chaos and grief and frustration and anxiety and much more.

It’s also been a year of growth for me, and for my mission. In fact, in that area, it’s been one of the best years ever.

In this post, I’ll share some of my best posts of the year, but also some huge highlights of the year for me and Zen Habits. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this blog for 14 years now!

In the next week, I’ll also be sharing opportunities to create something huge for yourself with some of my offerings. More on that soon!

A Year of Growth

This year my team & I launched Fearless Mastery, my mastermind program aimed at helping people train in the uncertainty of their meaningful missions. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever launched, and one of the most rewarding. We worked with some incredible leaders in the mastermind — they were truly incredible.

Here are some highlights from my past year:

  • Launched Fearless Mastery twice (May and November), connected with some amazing people committed to doing good in the world.
  • Held our Fearless Intensive distributed retreat in October — it was incredibly powerful.
  • Had wonderful years with my Sea Change habit program and Fearless Training (helping people train with the uncertainty of their meaningful work).
  • Dove deeper into 1-on-1 coaching — training as a coach, hiring my own coach. I elevated myself to new levels as a coach, and working with my clients was very very rewarding.
  • Moved from San Diego to the L.A. area in May, to be closer to family.
  • Continued studying the Zen precepts with my teacher and a group of Zen students.
  • Dove deep with my incredible team (shout out to Coyote & Phil!) — we worked with consciousness and intention.
  • Held a Fearless Purpose workshop at SF Zen Center in March with my Zen teacher, Susan O’Connell
  • We launched a new redesign of Zen Habits in February (don’t worry, still very minimalist!)
  • Appeared on some incredible podcasts: Tim Ferriss: Leo Babauta on Zen Habits, Antifragility, Contentment, and Unschooling | The Minimalists: Zen Living | Waking Up app with Sam Harris: The Wisdom of Uncertainty

I traveled the least I’ve traveled in the last 15 years, because of this pandemic. It was actually pretty great staying at home — I did a lot of walking, some running and strength training, a bunch of meditation, and lots of coaching and creating.

More incredible things coming in 2021!

Essential Zen Habits Posts of 2020

To wrap up this year, here are my favorite Zen Habits posts from 2020:

  1. A Key to Healing Our Divide
  2. The Practice of Meticulous Attention
  3. The Honest Guide to Mindfulness
  4. Time Management for Top Performers
  5. Work Less
  6. Reminder: 8 Practices to Get Still & Calm
  7. Find Freedom of the Mountain in Everything You Do
  8. When Your Task List is Overwhelmingly Long
  9. The Importance of Meditation in Crazy Times
  10. The New Normal

And more

For more best of Zen Habits:

The post Essential Zen Habits of 2020 appeared first on zen habits.

Valuable Post !

At the end of every year, I like to reflect on everything that’s happened over the past twelve months. Though 2020 was memorable for unfortunate reasons, I’ve already forgotten some of the smaller things that happened over the course of the year.

Remember when Tiger King and whipped coffee were all we talked about for a while? That feels like a lifetime ago. Sometimes changes in our lives are so subtle that we barely notice they’re happening. You might not have recognized the wins you had or the ways you’ve grown because there were other things fighting for your attention.

30 end of year journal prompts to close out this chapter and move into the new year with a fresh mindset

If you’re like me, the goals you set in January may no longer feel relevant. You might have put them on the back-burner because other things took priority. And that’s okay. Give yourself some credit for dealing with something that none of us have ever experienced before.

Sidenote on my goals: I did pay off half of my credit card debt and built up my emergency fund.

Whether you achieved your goals or not, it’s helpful to take a moment to process your experience of the past year. That way, you can let go of anything that’s weighing you down.

To help you reflect on the year, I’ve put together a list of 30 end of year journal prompts to close out this chapter and move into the new year with a fresh mindset.

I recommend setting aside 30 minutes or so to let yourself journal and be in the moment. Create a comfy environment by making a cup of your favorite beverage, putting on a calming playlist, and lighting a candle. Savor this mindful ritual with yourself!

30 End of Year Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection


30 end of year journal prompts to close out this chapter and move into the new year with a fresh mindset

Click here to download the printable version

Challenges & Wins

  1. What were your biggest challenges from the year? What did you learn from them?
  2. What were your biggest wins from the year? What did you accomplish? What are you proud of yourself for?

Resources

  1. What helped you to get through this year? (e.g. routines, boundaries, relationships, resources)
  2. What were your favorite books, movies, shows, and songs from the past year?

Inner Self

  1. How would you describe the version of yourself from the past year? How have you changed since last year? In what ways have you grown this year?
  2. What kind of person do you want to become next year? How do you want to grow? How can you treat yourself with love, respect, and patience?

Wellness

  1. How well did you take care of yourself this year? Did you prioritize exercise, sleep, and nutrition?
  2. How will you commit to taking even better care of yourself next year?

Boundaries

  1. What kind of boundaries did you set for yourself and others this year? How did you uphold those boundaries? Where did you let them slide? 
  2. What do you want your boundaries to look like for next year? How will you prioritize them?

Routine

  1. What did your typical daily routine look like this year? How did you start and end your days? 
  2. What do you want your routine to look like for next year? What would be your ideal morning and evening routines?

Priorities

  1. What were your top three priorities this past year? (e.g. work, family, finances, self-care, mental health, etc)
  2. What are your top three priorities for next year? Why are they important to you?

Work

  1. How satisfied were you with your work this year? What did you enjoy and not enjoy?
  2. What changes could you make next year will help you feel fulfilled with your work?

Environment

  1. What role did your environment play in your life this year? (Think of your living space, community, workspace, nature, etc)
  2. Do you want to make any changes to your environment next year? What would your ideal environment look and feel like?

Emotions

  1. What emotions did you experience this past year? Did you allow yourself to feel or talk about them freely?
  2. What feelings do you want to embrace for next year? What intentions do you want to set?

Thoughts

  1. What was your mindset like this year? Did you overthink or overanalyze anything in particular?
  2. How can you improve your mindset in the next year? How will you commit to keeping a healthy mindset?

Connections

  1. Who did you connect with this year? Who made you feel the most supported?
  2. Who do you want to connect with next year? What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with?

Fun & Hobbies

  1. How did you relax and unwind this year? What were your favorite memories? Did you start any new hobbies or nurture old ones?
  2. What do you want to explore more of next year? What does fun look like to you?

Gratitude 

  1. Who are you most grateful for? What are you most grateful for? Write down why you are grateful for these people and things.
  2.  How can you express your gratitude more next year?

Goals & Growth

  1. What goals did you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Did you achieve them? (Note: Remember to give yourself grace if you didn’t achieve your goals)
  2. What are your goals for next year? What do you want to learn or get better at? Think of work, health, finances, relationships, and home. What tools or resources will help you stay on track with your goals?

See you next year!

I hope these end of year journal prompts help you reflect on the past year and move into the new year with ease and intention. Feel free to leave a comment with some of your reflections from this list!

In the mood for some goal setting? Check out this post about how to create a vision plan for the future.

The post 30 Journal Prompts for End of the Year Reflection appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

Thanks big self-improvement fan here

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Pandemic life has taught many of us to appreciate moments in life that might otherwise pass us by. I’ve been trying to pause and take note of how I feel at the end of the day, often as I walk in the park or one of my nearby neighborhoods.

With that in mind, here’s a tip inspired by The Art of Stopping Time, a book by Pedram Shojai: whenever you visit a place that’s new to you, consider the sense that you might never be there again.

Just imagine: this might be it! Your one and only opportunity in a lifetime to visit this particular place. How might this realization make you feel?

What, you say you aren’t traveling much now? That’s okay.

This “new place” could be anywhere: a part of the woods you’ve never seen on your next nature hike, for example, or even a street in your neighborhood you’ve never driven down before. The point is to create awareness and appreciation.

I wish I’d had this concept in mind many years ago when I was traveling to several new countries every month. Looking back now, I can remember dozens of highlights that might fit the category of “never returning.”

In Somaliland, I rode several hours in a crowded minibus, listening to people chatter away. We stopped for food (goat stew! I’m a vegetarian, but it was interesting to observe) and drank from a shared bottle of Coca-Cola. Those were the days…

In Bosnia, a totally different part of the world, I traveled overland (this time on a full-sized bus) from Sarajevo to Herceg Novi. The city itself was magical. It felt like one of those “Land Before Time” moments.

ivan-aleksic-ldSYiEs7--4-unsplash

As interesting as those experiences were, I don’t know if I’ll ever repeat them. In fact, almost certainly I won’t. Even when I return to traveling more often, Montenegro and Somaliland aren’t that easy to jet off to.

Not only that, even though I can remember dozens of highlights from my adventures, I’m sure there are hundreds—thousands even—that I’ve forgotten or simply don’t come to mind when I think about this concept.

That’s why it’s good to consider the concept while you’re in a new place. It might help you remember it later, but even if not, you’ll have the moment of appreciation while you’re there.

Oh, and I like thinking about this idea for travel, but technically I suppose you could apply it to anything, even not something related to being in a particular place.

Whatever you’re doing or experiencing today, you might never do or experience it again. Let it sink in and consider how it feels.

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Image: Ender

I always love anything about mindset

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health journey

Sometimes when you think about improving your health, you may think about it in terms of aesthetics. You might want to lose weight or become more muscular because it looks good. However, health is more about feeling good and healthy than looking a certain way. Here are five aspects of starting a health journey.

1. A Holistic Approach

Much of health has to do with your physical body, but you should also focus on your mental and spiritual health, too. Diet and exercise can help you lose weight, tone muscle and improve blood pressure, but they also help stabilize your mood and improve sleep quality. Similarly, taking care of your mental health can improve your physical health. Speaking to a therapist or practicing meditation and deep breathing exercises can help you control symptoms of anxiety and depression. Unify Health Labs is an example of a program that advocates this type of approach, treating health as an all-encompassing, life-improvement experience rather than just a means to an end.

2. Consistency

Consistency is key in health improvement journeys. Short, extreme diets and fitness routines may be marketed for quick changes, but they’re also less likely to last in the long-term. You want to find a routine that works for you over a long period of time and that you can modify as needed. Instead of making yourself diet and go to the gym for an hour or more every day to prepare for a special occasion and then abandoning those changes, look at your long-term goals and make small adjustments to your lifestyle that you can consistently implement every day.

3. Gradual Improvement

Improving your health isn’t a situation where you can see instant results safely. Products like weight loss teas might make you look or feel thinner quickly, but they aren’t good for you in the long-term. Instead, you should keep in mind that all aspects of fitness will show gradual improvement. You can start working on building muscle by lifting three-pound weights and slowly work your way up to heavier weights as you gain strength. If you’re new to meditation, start with a short guided meditation and slowly introduce longer and more self-regulated routines. If you’re new to working out or eating healthy, slowly incorporate activity and new foods into your routine over time instead of shocking your system with a sudden change. Gradual improvement will help you transition safely and be more likely to stick with these changes long-term.

4. Enjoyment

Healthy living doesn’t mean you need to spend the rest of your life only eating kale and egg whites. Think about the foods you like and research ways to make them healthier. If you like milkshakes, try making yourself homemade smoothies. Remember that fats and carbs aren’t inherently bad. It’s the processed foods and trans fats that are bad for you. If you modify recipes to incorporate more healthy and whole foods, your diet will improve without necessarily needing to restrict yourself. Exercise is similar.  Don’t do exercises that you don’t find enjoyable or that make you feel uncomfortable. If you don’t like running, there are other ways to get your cardio in, for example, like biking or kickboxing. Finding foods and exercises you enjoy increases your chances of sticking to new health routines.

5. Balance

It’s important not to over-do things when you begin a health journey. Over-exercising and under-nourishing your body can be just as damaged as the opposite. You should work to create balance in your fitness routine by incorporating a combination of cardio with toning all your muscle groups, doing moderate and vigorous activity and including stretches and rest days. Listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. You should also work to create a balanced diet that works for you.

It can be beneficial to discuss your health goals and possible strategies with a healthcare professional, especially if you have a chronic condition such as celiac disease that has certain dietary restrictions, so you do what’s best for your body and mental health.

%%focuskw%% | 5 Aspects of Starting a Health Journey

Who else? <3self-improvement

Stop Asking Couples When They Are Having Kids

“So, when are you having kids?” my aunt asked me soon after I got married. At that point, I had just been married for a few months. I didn’t even know *if* I wanted kids, much less *when* I was having them.

Caught off guard, I replied matter-of-factly, “I have not decided if I want to have kids.” Little did I realize that I would spend the next hour listening to stories of women who put off having children until it was too late, as well as women who had difficulty conceiving for various reasons, with the implicit message being that I was going to regret it if I didn’t hurry and work on producing babies.

This would be my life for the next few years, where I would receive constant questions around “When are you having kids?” from relatives and random people, followed by a routine, almost ritualistic pressurization to have kids.

Lest you think that it ends after having a child, it doesn’t. The people who previously tried to tell you to have “just one kid” when you were indifferent to the idea, will now tell you to have a second one, along with reasons why you should do so. It seems like this questioning process never ends.

The problem with asking people “When are you having kids?”

I understand why people like to ask this question. Find a partner, settle down, get married, and have kids. This is the life path that we’ve been taught to follow since young. This is the life script that we’ve been told is *the* way of life, that would bring us ultimate joy and happiness.

This is especially so in the Chinese culture, where having kids is seen as the ultimate goal in life. There are even sayings built around this notion, such as 生儿育女 (shēng ér yù nǚ), which means to birth sons and raise daughters, and 子孙满堂 (zǐ sūn mǎn táng), which means to be in a room filled with children and grandchildren, used to signify the epitome of happiness.

Multi-Generation Chinese Family at the Park

A multi-generation family, often used to depict a vision of happiness in the Chinese culture

So after you get married, people automatically assume that you should have kids. “When are you having kids?” they ask, somehow expecting you to give them a straight answer to what is really a personal question.

The problem with this question is that it’s rude. It’s presumptuous. It’s also insensitive.

1) There are many different paths to happiness

Firstly, everyone has their own path in life. Some people want kids, while some don’t. Some think that having kids is the greatest joy in life, while some see them as a burden. At the end of the day, having kids isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are significant ups and downs that come with having a kid, and for some people, the ups do not justify the downs. For these people, it may simply be better to remain childless, rather than having kids just to fit in or to fit societal expectations, and then set their lives up for unhappiness. To assume that everyone should have kids, just because you think that having kids is great and important, is rude and disregards that person’s own preferences in life.

For example, Oprah Winfrey is an inspiring woman and humanitarian who chose not to have kids, but has instead dedicated herself to her personal life purpose of serving the world. Oprah hosted her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years, founded a leadership academy for girls and became a mother figure to the girls in attendance, and started her own television network. These are things that most do not get to do in their lifetime. Through the years, she has inspired millions and become a champion for people worldwide. As she says,

“When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children. Love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age two, 10, or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.” — Oprah[1]

Is she not being a responsible or purposeful person or woman by choosing not to have kids? Definitely not. In fact, I dare say that she lives a much more purposeful life than many in the world, including some people who choose to have kids.

There are many famous celebrities who have chosen not to have kids as well.

  • Chelsea Handler is a talk show host who chose not to have kids. She has said honestly in interviews that she doesn’t have the time to raise a child, and she doesn’t want her kids to be raised by a nanny.[2][3]
  • Betty White is an actress and comedian who chose not to have kids because she’s passionate about her career and she prefers to focus on it.[4]
  • Ashley Judd is an actress and politican activist who chose not to have kids because she feels that there are already so many orphaned kids in this world. To her, her resources can be better used to help those who are already here, and I respect her for such a noble choice.[5]

And then there are others, such as Cameron Diaz, Chow Yun Fat, Marisa Tomei (the actress for Peter Parker’s aunt in Tom Holland’s Spider Man film series), Renée Zellweger, and Rachael Ray. These people choose not to have kids for different reasons, such as because they’re already pursuing paths deeply meaningful to them, because they do not wish to be tied down with a child, or because they just don’t feel a deep desire to have kids.

Not having kids has not prevented these people from being happy in life, and there’s no reason to assume why people must have kids in order to be happy. People need to stop painting this narrative that one must have children in order to be happy. There are plenty of people with kids who are unhappy, and plenty of people without kids who have found inner fulfillment in life through other ways. There is no one path to happiness, and people need to realize that.

2) You may well cause hurt and pain

Secondly, you never know what others are going through.

Some people may want kids, but maybe they are facing fertility struggles. For example,

  • Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan went through three miscarriages before having their firstborn.[6]
  • The Obamas had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF.[7]
  • Friends star Courteney Cox had a total of seven miscarriages before having her daughter, as she has a MTHFR gene mutation which raises the risk of miscarriage-causing blood clots.[8]

About 10% of women have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant,[9] while 13.5% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages, with the figure rising as the maternal age rises.[10]

For some people, the journey to conceive is fraught with deep pain, struggle, and losses as they experience miscarriages, undergo round after round of invasive fertility treatments, and wait in hope of the double blue lines on their pregnancy kit each month.

And then there are people who cannot have their own biological children due to issues with their reproductive system, which could have been there since birth.

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and family

Barack and Michelle Obama had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF

While you may be think that you’re being helpful or funny by asking people when they’re having kids, your question may well trigger hurt and pain. As Zuckerberg said,

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience.”[6]

3) Not everyone is in a place to have kids

Thirdly, having kids is simply not a reality for some people due to their circumstances in life.

Some people may lack the financial resources to have kids, a reality in a place like Singapore.

Some people may be facing problems with their marriage, in which case their priority should be to work on their marriage, not to have kids.

Some people may be so burdened with caring for their dependents that they are unable to consider kids, at least not at the moment.

And then there are people facing chronic health issues, issues that you don’t know and can’t see, which make pregnancy difficult due to the toll it would take on their body.

4) Some couples could still be thinking

And then there are people who are neutral to the idea of having kids, like myself when I just got married. These people need time to think it through, because having kids is a permanent, lifelong decision with serious consequences. There’s no reason to assume that having a kid should be an automatic decision, because you’re bringing a whole new life into this world. This is a decision that will change your life forever, as well as the life of the child you’re bringing into the world.

For those yet to have kids, they need the space to figure out what they want, not have people breathe down their neck day in and out about having kids.

My experience

For the initial years after I got married, I just wasn’t thinking about kids. Firstly, having a child is a lifelong decision, and I wanted to enjoy married life with my husband before diving into a decision as serious as that. Secondly, both my husband and I were genuinely happy spending the rest of our lives with just each other — we didn’t feel the need to have kids at all, not in the way my culture obsesses about it. Thirdly, my husband was dealing with some personal problems, and I was fully focused on supporting him through these. These were issues that we needed to sort through before considering kids, if we were to want kids.

Yet I kept getting nudges to have kids, even though I never said anything about wanting them.

“So, when are you having kids?”

“This person’s baby is so cute, isn’t it? Why don’t you hurry up and birth a baby?”

It was as if I was some vehicle, some production machine to have kids, where my own views in the matter didn’t matter. The most frustrating thing was that I kept getting this question, while my husband would never get it (as a man), not even when we were in the same room together.

It was as if my sole reason for existence as a woman was to have kids, and until I had them, I was regarded as unworthy or incomplete.

The decision to have kids

Yet the decision to have children is a personal one. It is also a complex one. It is a decision that will permanently change the lives of the couple in question.

It is not a decision that one should be pressurized into making because their mom wants to carry grandchildren or their aunt wants to play with kids. It’s a decision that a couple should make because they genuinely want to nurture another life.

Because when a child is born, the people bugging others to have kids aren’t the ones who will be caring for the baby 24/7, whose lives will be set back by years (even decades) as they care for a new life, or who will be responsible for every decision concerning the child for the next 18-21 years.

It will be the couple.

And the people who aren’t ready, who were pressured into having kids because they were told that it was the best thing to do, may have to deal with regret as they are stuck with a decision they cannot undo. Because there are people who regret having kids, and we need to be honest about that. These people regret, not because of the child’s fault, but because they were simply not ready to have kids, be it financially, emotionally, or mentally. Unfortunately, the children are the ones who eventually suffer, from living in dysfunctional households to dealing with issues of violenceabuse, and anger.

We need to recognize these realities, and not make parenthood seem like it’s some magical band-aid that solves a lack of purpose or life’s pressures. Things don’t magically get better because people have kids; existing problems usually worsen as having a child puts a big strain on a couple’s lives. Digging into people’s plans to have kids, and pressurizing them into one of the biggest life decisions they can ever make, will only stress them out and perhaps push some into depression. As this redditor shared,

“I have a friend who went through 6 years of miscarriages and fertility treatments before the doctors figured out the problem and she had her son. The nosy ladies at her work and her in-laws questioned her constantly. The depression from that made it harder for her to conceive.”

Stop asking couples when they’re having kids

So, if you tend to ask others when they’re having kids, it’s time to stop that. It’s rude, insensitive, and it disregards people’s privacy. It’s also none of your business.

The reality is that if people want kids, they will work on having kids. They don’t need you to prod them about it.

If they don’t have kids, it’s either because

  1. they really don’t want kids,
  2. they are not in a position to consider kids right now, or
  3. they want kids but they are facing some struggles.

For people in group (c), they aren’t going to share such deeply personal experience over some afternoon coffee chat, and certainly not by you asking, “When are you having kids?”

The best thing you can do is to give people their personal space. Understand that having kids is a personal decision, and people don’t have to share or explain anything. Respect that others have their right to privacy. Respect that people are individuals on their own path, and this path may not involve having kids. And this doesn’t make them incomplete or lesser in any way.

Instead of asking women or couples, “When are you having kids?”, talk to them like how you would a normal person. There’s no reason why conversations should suddenly revolve around childbearing after marriage; it’s not like a person’s identity changes to revolve around having kids. A person still has their own passion, goals, and dreams. Talk to them about what they’ve been doing. Understand their interests. Know them as a real person, not some random being here to fulfill society’s checklist.

If you’re really interested in someone’s plan to have children, you can simply ask, “Are you and your partner planning to have kids?” If they wish to share more, they will do so. If they give a generic answer, then take the hint and move on.

Ultimately, having kids or not doesn’t change a person’s self-worth. A woman is complete with or without kids. A marriage doesn’t need kids to be deemed complete. Having kids should be a conscious choice, not a result of external pressure. Don’t judge people by whether they have kids or not. Some people will have kids, and some people will not have kids. Some will have kids early, while some will have them later in life. All of these are different paths and there’s nothing wrong with them.

For Me

For my husband and I, we eventually had a few discussions and decided to have a baby, and had our baby girl this year (2020). 😊 Yet other people’s comments and nudges to have children didn’t make me want to have children; it only annoyed me and made me want to avoid these people, because having a child is a personal decision between me and my husband, that has nothing to do with them. It was after we had the space to settle down and enjoy married life without kids, and took some time to actively pursue our goals and interests, that we finally felt ready to try for a kid last year.

In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well. There are other things that I’m working on, other things that are happening that I look forward to sharing in time to come. Sending lots of love to you, and remember that whatever life challenge you’re facing, you have it in you to overcome it. I’ll talk to you guys soon! 🙂

I think anything about mindset are fab

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Pandemic life has taught many of us to appreciate moments in life that might otherwise pass us by. I’ve been trying to pause and take note of how I feel at the end of the day, often as I walk in the park or one of my nearby neighborhoods.

With that in mind, here’s a tip inspired by The Art of Stopping Time, a book by Pedram Shojai: whenever you visit a place that’s new to you, consider the sense that you might never be there again.

Just imagine: this might be it! Your one and only opportunity in a lifetime to visit this particular place. How might this realization make you feel?

What, you say you aren’t traveling much now? That’s okay.

This “new place” could be anywhere: a part of the woods you’ve never seen on your next nature hike, for example, or even a street in your neighborhood you’ve never driven down before. The point is to create awareness and appreciation.

I wish I’d had this concept in mind many years ago when I was traveling to several new countries every month. Looking back now, I can remember dozens of highlights that might fit the category of “never returning.”

In Somaliland, I rode several hours in a crowded minibus, listening to people chatter away. We stopped for food (goat stew! I’m a vegetarian, but it was interesting to observe) and drank from a shared bottle of Coca-Cola. Those were the days…

In Bosnia, a totally different part of the world, I traveled overland (this time on a full-sized bus) from Sarajevo to Herceg Novi. The city itself was magical. It felt like one of those “Land Before Time” moments.

ivan-aleksic-ldSYiEs7--4-unsplash

As interesting as those experiences were, I don’t know if I’ll ever repeat them. In fact, almost certainly I won’t. Even when I return to traveling more often, Montenegro and Somaliland aren’t that easy to jet off to.

Not only that, even though I can remember dozens of highlights from my adventures, I’m sure there are hundreds—thousands even—that I’ve forgotten or simply don’t come to mind when I think about this concept.

That’s why it’s good to consider the concept while you’re in a new place. It might help you remember it later, but even if not, you’ll have the moment of appreciation while you’re there.

Oh, and I like thinking about this idea for travel, but technically I suppose you could apply it to anything, even not something related to being in a particular place.

Whatever you’re doing or experiencing today, you might never do or experience it again. Let it sink in and consider how it feels.

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Image: Ender