Yesterday I was talking to a friend with whom I’ve recently reconnected after many years. In the course of conversation, this friend told me that I am a “refreshing change to hang out with.” When I asked why, he listed a few reasons that represented a departure from his usual crowd. Funny, but all those reasons sounded a lot like MY crowd, but my crowd doesn’t seem that refreshing to ME.

My friend’s comments opened my eyes to the tendency we have to embrace the familiar. It’s easy and comfortable to surround ourselves with people who share our backgrounds, lifestyles, values, and so on. That’s not a bad thing, but if you find yourself refreshed when something different comes along, why wait for it? Why not daily sprinkle your life with the seasoning of “different?” Invite a coworker to lunch to get acquainted. Try a new food. Read a book of a different genre. Shop at a grocery store on the other side of town.

I read a quip once that has stuck with me ever since, and I think this is the perfect application for it: If the grass is greener on the other side, water your grass! Don’t wait for it to rain, be a rainmaker. Sprinkle your comfort zone with new and different and watch yourself grow.

Thanks for putting me on track, Jeff!

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