My dear friend Lotte is my ultimate buddy when it comes to personal growth. “Have you seen this Ted-talk?” she’ll message me, or: “Have you checked out this course/challenge?”, “Have you tried this app?”, “Have you seen this movie?” and “Have you been to…?”

(I’m no better. Her latest shares resolve around self-love, mine include the Ted-talk on spoken word and CBD-oil)

I wish everyone had their own personal Lotte because new experiences are kind of necessary if we want to stretch our muscles and GROW. Which, in turn, is necessary if we want to change the world (if you don’t believe me, think of your favorite heroic story: virtually every hero initially isn’t able to overcome an obstacle, but then over time hero meets new people, discovers new truths, learns new skills and eventually nails the task in front of him).

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have our own personal Lotte and get stuck in familiar patterns where we simply reapply things we already know and can over and over and over again. That’s why I’ve created a list of 15 prompts to get you experience new stuff. Personally, I like to complete at least 5 different ones a month. What about you, which ones appeal most to you and more importantly: what are you going to do about them?

The prompts

  1. Read a new book
  2. Watch a new movie or series
  3. Discover a new artist (poet, musician, visual artist etc)
  4. Visit a new exhibition or museum
  5. Meet a new person (and have a conversation with some level of depth)
  6. Eat new food (bonus prompt: try a new recipe)
  7. Learn a new skill / take a new course
  8. Visit a new venue in your city
  9. Visit a new city (bonus prompt: visit a new country)
  10. Take part in an activity from a different (sub)culture
  11. Try a new activity 
  12. Learn about a new topic (whether it’s quantum physics, neo-structuralism or Japanese tea ceremonies)
  13. Create a new artwork (poem, drawing, song)
  14. Create a new piece of work (blog, vlog, podcast) where you share your knowledge
  15. Actively contribute to a new cause

My suggestions for January

  1. Byron Katie – Loving What Is
  2. Dear White People
  3. Genetic Choir (music)
  4. What crazy museum does your town have? Mine has a computer games one!
  5. Someone close to you in line at the supermarket
  6. A pumpkin risotto (find any recipe you enjoy online or ask me for my glorious “Pumpkin risotto with grilled bellpepper and pecans”)
  7. Taking visual notes (so useful and honestly even I could do it)
  8. A guerilla kitchen
  9. What city are you curious about? (Bonus country: Turkey)
  10. A tea ceremony from a culture different than yours
  11. Thai massage
  12. The way language shapes our way of thinking
  13. Create art with the theme “the way I felt the last time it rained”
  14. Create a blog/vlog/podcast on the topic of a hobby you had as a teen
  15. Offer someone free career advice (these days you can do it through LinkedIN)