Inspiration can be anywhere and everywhere, but I feel like until someone else has tried something people are oftentimes afraid to venture into unknown territory on their own. Especially today people seem to love the idea of a “safe bet”, people seem to be afraid of trying things on their own even trivial things. To me this is extremely apparent in “crazes” especially the ones in the last 5 or so years since the rise of social media. This has given people a medium to share their likes, dislikes, trials and errors and I find it very interesting that instead of creating an ever experimenting public we actually have seen almost a regression. Where it seems to me people almost rely on the input and suggestions of other people more than ever in doing everyday things.
For instance, it takes one or just a couple creative people finding a new use for a common household item and sharing their idea before thousands of people who never thought of that are now doing it as well. It takes only a small following of people who read a lot and saw a book that caught their eye to start a massive movement where all of America (many of which don’t read regularly) congregate to their local bookstores to buy the book, tweet about it, tell the world how in love they are with it, and then to buy movie tickets when it is quickly turned into the newest blockbuster.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think their is anything wrong with hearing about something good and trying it out for yourself, I just sometimes think that too much of this “hear first, then try” mentality can make us a bit stagnant. I think sometimes people depend on this type of “feedback, then reaction” so much that they literally stop trying anything new until first they have 100 verified sources telling them its “worth it”.
There are obviously many times in life when it is a lot better to do you research, and when knowing someone else’s experience first is a very smart way to go about choosing your own course of action.. such as possibly assessing car safety ratings and customer feedback before buying a new car, or studying up on the stock market and talking to investors before investing your own money, ect.. large decisions. But I really feel it is SO important to our own personal growth and the growth of our society as a whole to not be afraid to be the first to try something trivial. New cafe down the street? Why not be the first to try it without reading 23 reviews? Instead of visiting one of the 25 most traveled to cities, what about venturing out and searching for something more obscure? Instead of turning on the hit radio station every day for your drive to-and-from work why not check out Tuesday’s new music on iTunes and preview and download songs from a band or artist you have never heard of? What about instead of going and picking up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey you go to the bookstore find a genre you’re interested in and grab a book at random that catches your eye or sounds intriguing?
Who knows, instead of following the trends constantly perhaps you will have the pleasure of discovering something all on your own and then getting to share that with other people the way people have shared with you? This doesn’t mean you have to vow to never do anything trendy, but how about making it a point to do something new, different, or unheard of once a month, maybe even once a week. I guarantee your life will become more fulfilled and exciting even if it means you read of few boring books, or discover that painting really isn’t your thing. After all don’t you think this small call to independent action is the real meaning behind the always popular Robert Frost quote: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” ? I sincerely hope that you start, or continue, to live your life in such a way that not only are you unafraid of “the road less traveled” but that you venture down it often enough and with such enthusiasm that you inspire others to embark on their own less traveled roads as well.