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Experience junkies

Many want more to their lives, and so attend workshops and seminars to gain more knowledge. However, they can then get caught up in the experience and high of a workshop, and so spend a lot of time jumping from one to another.

Workshops can be a good way to get information compared to books, because we are supposedly getting it from people who are enthusiastic about the material. We get see how it works for them by how they come across to us. It can appear real because we are seeing it being experienced, as opposed to it just being up to what we imagine it to be. However, if we are not the type of person who can generate our own enthusiasm, through running with things of our own volition, we will probably feel very lifted up by the presenter's and participants' enthusiasm, and so take on some of that as our own.

Presenters know that that sense of enthusiasm is needed to help participants be present and involved in the workshop, but it also helps the participants be more inclined to try out the information and skills in practice. It fosters a willingness to suspend disbelief, just like for books and movies, so it overcomes our inclination to be skeptical long enough to see if it works for us. But that does not work if, instead of spending time experimenting, we think that we would rather just have more of the high of the experience, and so go to another workshop or seminar soon after the last.

If that is what we repeatedly end up doing, we have become addicted to the experience of the high, and not the content. We may then feel we have a lot to give, but because we are not actually living like the knowledge is really part of us, to others we will come across as empty and as if we are fooling ourselves.

Knowledge isn't grounded until its allowed to find its context in our lives. That is, we have found a way to express it in what we do and how we do it. Until then, it is just an interesting idea. That means that to get the benefits of knowledge, we have to see where we can apply the knowledge in our daily lives. But that doesn't really have a chance to happen if we are off to another workshop pretty soon after the last.

Serially going through workshops without adequate time to absorb the content means that we are more likely to keep being attracted to workshops with a similar focus, and so keep getting the same information. While repetition is supposedly one way of remembering information, it doesn't work if it doesn't end up meaning anything deep to us. We may be able to recite some of the content soon afterwards, but time sends it to oblivion.

Experience hunting doesn't just apply to workshops and seminars, but can extend to websites, where we get off on the busyness of them, rather than the depth of their content, which can appear boring in comparison (like this one!), or we are attracted to people who dazzle us with their personalities, rather than help us improve ours.

The end result of experience hunting is that we pass a lot of time, but we don't get much wisdom, because we haven't really changed ourselves. Worthwhile experiences will transform us in some way, so that we get a new view on our lives, and what we can do better now and in our future. However, if we are jumping around experimenting, it may be because we are not finding what really jells with us, and we are not wanting to commit until we do. Commitment is a big deal, and means devoting our time and resources to something that may not be what we really want.

Perhaps it is better to invert that thinking, by taking a leap of faith and seeing what it will bring. Commitment does not mean doing it forever, but enough to give ourselves a chance to understand it and whether it will be good for us. It may only be something we need to do for a short amount of time in order to be ready for the next stage in our lives.

We may be expecting some sort of sign will flash when we get to the right course, but many times we have to commit to a course of action to open up our understanding of ourselves and see some other opportunities that we would have been blind to otherwise. Life is an experiment, and we cannot progress unless we make choices and commit to them enough to see where they may lead, and thus see what is better for us to do, rather than spend our time fretting over taking any action to begin with.

Also, choices in life are often about what path we want for our lives. They will not be simple choices such as whether to buy chocolate or vanilla ice-cream, but about whether we want a luxurious life or one where we are making a difference, or a job with higher pay or one with a better working environment. We are all presented with many opportunities to choose, mainly between indulging our personalities or helping ourselves become better people. The two outcomes are very rarely occurring on the same path.

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