Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Countless times have we all encountered a situation that appears unusual to us. Whether it be a person that is unlike the individuals we usually talk to, a place that is unlike the places we usually visit, a food, unlike the foods we usually eat, and more, such opportunities are frequently perceived as bizarre. Although we may not always discern it, we as humans tend to gravitate often towards what feels like the more familiar option. Take, for instance, being at a new restaurant and looking over the menu. Chances are, you'd rather get a meal you've tried before as opposed to one whose name you don't even recognize.
The same is with being in a large room full of people, such as at a party, meeting, or conference. If you know anyone there, what is the likelihood you'll walk up to them rather than someone in the room who you've never talked to before? And if you don't know anyone there, what are the chances you'll inch back into the shell of familiarity and only converse with people who are similar to your existing contacts?
Such fear, or apprehension, serves as one of the largest hindrances to what could possibly be an incredible opportunity. That one experience you may have chosen to pass out on, due to dread, could have potentially been a life-changing event. That one food you glimpsed over on a menu at a new restaurant, due to the uncertainty of having never tried it before, could have opened your eyes to entirely new cuisine and culture. That one person you chose not to converse with at a party or conference, due to them being unlike who you usually talk to, could have held a piece of advice, a lesson, or a new idea that would've modified your perspective on the world had you chosen to dialogue with them.
If you're reading this, chances are your interests lie somewhere creative. All of ours do, in fact, in one way or another. Whether it is an instrument or sport we play or painting or drawing we are intrigued in, creativity can be promulgated in multitudes of different ways. The most eminent trait of creative people is open-mindedness and the discretion to allow their mind to be malleable, constantly modifying it based on new experiences, friends, foods, and really anything.
Today, and every day after this, I'd like for you to try something new: don't shrug away from the chance to talk to someone new, encounter something new, or even just eat a new food. Welcome it with an open mind, heart, and the perennial decision to view creativity and open-mindedness as not two separate journeys, but one fused path.
Kristina Naydonova is a teen bestselling thriller author, writer for Arianna Huffington's platform "Thrive Global", regular public speaker, podcaster, and high school student. Her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, visiting museums, particularly art galleries, playing the piano, and playing basketball for her school's team. Kristina's long-term and short-term visions of success both include inspiring other writers, especially young writers like herself, and creating work with a lasting impact.