Sometimes you don’t know what you are missing

A few years ago, I was in Philadelphia for a convention and ended up taking a bus tour of the city. At one point the guide pointed out where the first ice cream was made in the US. He asked people to guess what the flavor was and people guessed vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. He then explained that the first flavor of ice cream was TOMATO!

As soon as he said tomato you could see people changing their expression to indicate that tomato ice cream didn’t sound particularly appealing. He laughed and explained it was just like a persons first real kiss. They didn’t know how good, or how bad, the kiss was until their SECOND kiss and they realized how much better it could be. A person doesn’t know tomato ice cream isn’t good until they have experienced chocolate ice cream (or whatever flavor you might prefer).

Think about how many things you haven’t experienced because you aren’t willing to experiment. People think their way is the best way simply because they haven’t ventured out and seen other ways. Many successful family businesses will require their family members to work somewhere else for a few years before they can join the family business. By doing this, it forces these family members to be exposed to new ideas, new procedures etc. If they didn’t do this, they would simply do the same thing that has always been done and miss out on some great opportunities.

People who live in a small town are most definitely at risk of this. They might live a very comfortable life and feel they are doing everything they can and should. The reason they feel this way is there might be very limited competition locally so it’s working so why try to fix it. It’s only when they go elsewhere and see how others are doing things that they will really grow (this doesn’t mean one has to do things the exact same way as everyone else, but rather, if you are exposed to new ideas, you can pick and choose those that will work best and incorporate them into your current strengths and continue to grow).

I love living in Charleston West Virginia and I will always remember a friend telling me, before I decided to stay here, that Charleston is a great place to live PROVIDED you can go elsewhere. It’s a safe, comfortable environment but if you never leave the area, you don’t get to see the way things are being done elsewhere. When I travel, I get exposed to new ideas, new concepts and usually come back completely re-energized. I always look forward to returning home, but am glad I was able to leave as well.

Get exposed to as many new things as possible. Open your mind, experience new things as grow as a person.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

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