The more we grow up, the more we lose our sense of wonder.
Or when did you get your mind blown last?
Leaving home and moving to the U.S. at the age of 19, I first heard the term 'life-long learner' and I instantly knew: "That's going to be me!"
The second thing I vowed was:
I will never ask for life to be easy if I can ask for life to be intense.
(Definitely be careful what you ask for. But I was 19 and feeling invincible.)
I forgot about that in recent years.
But through working on my podcast I remembered. That phrase popped up again in my mind in the midst of heavy imposter syndrome. The Gremlins were nagging on my self-esteem.
Upon returning back to Germany in 2002, the amount of growth I had lived through was striking. I had 'changed' sooo much.
Home (and everyone in it) hadn't.
I felt more alien being 'a native' than I had felt being 'a foreigner' - over there.
That realization was mind-blowing too. I know you know what I am talking about if you have ever been an expat yourself.
Growing, learning and getting your mind blown can get quite addictive and so I continued:
6 countries, 5 languages, 3 continents in 18 years.
That's my count so far.
But here is the thing: the more you learn, the more prepared you are. The more prepared you are the less surprised you get.
Mind-blows happen when you get mot only intellectually, but also emotionally surprised.
Mind-blows touch touch your head AND your heart.
So here is my contradictory (#backwards) advice for you: The more you learn and get mind-blown, the harder and more difficult the next mind-blow. And as with every addiction, my dear, fellow growth-junky: you gotta work harder for your next fix in order to achieve that high. Stay humble, open and practice a beginner mindset - know that you still know nothing. And do everything it takes to be able to see the next nugget of wisdom when it's right in front of you. And for expats, that means: it will most likely come to you in the form of 'audio information'.
You need to listen AND be able to understand.
And how freakishly convenient that I am promoting here a podcast, hu?!
I have an audio clip for you about one of my favorite mind-blows right here: