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How to constantly expand your horizons & find (or grow) your passion

My attention span tends to plateau very easily. The minute I feel like I'm falling into a routine, my zest for life totally flat-lines and I become all Moaning-Myrtle-y and stuff.

Thankfully, I've found that there are three things that can snap me out of my melodramatic reverie: (1) Traveling, (2) Meeting new people, and (3) Doing nothing.


TRAVEL

If you've been a reader of my old blog/s from way way back, you'd know that I like traveling alone, and immersing myself in that new place and culture for at least more than a week.

It's a great way to pick up new ideas (and new clothes/accessories) -- Seoul and San Francisco, most especially, are my favorite destinations for creative recharging.

The downside: I always come home feeling agitated, like I want to launch a thousand different projects all at once. But I mean -- what an AMAZING problem to have!

What if you're on a student's budget? Or your parents won't let you travel too far? Or you're not yet qualified for an extended leave at work?

Local travel is just as fulfilling. A deluxe bus to Baguio costs less than PHP 1000.00. Go Pinatubo hiking with your friends. Explore your city. Take a historical tour, if you haven't yet. Check out new cafes and stores. Attend concerts/parties/events. Revisit your local museum, or attend a talk.

But if you're extra nifty -- be on the lookout for seat sales: my last roundtrip airfare to Korea on Cebu Pacific cost me less than PHP 4,000 (that's less than $90).

I promise, travel is an incredible investment, and definitely worth saving up for.


MEET NEW PEOPLE

Believe me, this is the ULTIMATE way to generate new ideas: PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE.

Attend events or sign up for lessons that pique your interest. More importantly, gather up the guts to introduce yourself to new people. Now that's the part I dread the most.

But after a year of working in a coworking space in Manila, where the most interesting of people come and go all the time, I've learned that this is a crucial, crucial skill.

And you know what, in this day and age, it's actually not as freaky anymore: "Hi, I read your blog/I follow you on Twitter. I'm ____," is fast becoming a perfectly normal, not-so-stalkerish opening line to introduce yourself to somebody.

Also, try e-mailing somebody who inspires you, somebody you think would be interesting to talk to or brainstorm with. You'd be surprised that people actually reply to heartfelt, random e-mails.

Pick their brains, ask for advice, and eventually, maybe set up a meeting over coffee.


DO NOTHING

Some of my best, breakthrough ideas come whenever 1) I'm in the shower, or 2) I'm lying down on my bed, staring at the ceiling, absentmindedly scratching my tummy like an old man.

This is why I always keep a notebook with me, whether I'm traveling, meeting new people, or scratching my tummy. Capture the idea and write it down, no matter how vague or unformed it still might be.

Conversely, it can be as detailed and complicated as you want, complete with diagrams and tables and stick figures or whatever.

Another good tip is to start it off with an "I will..." Don't whitewash it with I hope's or maybe's.

Write it down as: "I will have a solo art exhibit," or "I will record a marriage proposal video to Ryan Gosling and send it to Ellen de Generes and she will fly me out to be a surprise guest on her show when Ryan comes to promote his next movie." YOU. NEVER. KNOW.