Sure, accumulating material things can be fun, especially when you get a good deal on them. However, at some point, you will probably realize you might not need as many of the items you have acquired. I had this epiphany when I took my first trip, and it happened to be a business trip.
After I returned from my trip to Manhattan, I started thinking about how much fun I had taking a look at the photos of where I had been, and the people I ventured to do business with. I also realized that I did not purchase any items while I was away to bring back with me as part of my trip. This was probably because my focus was on business not adventure. Although upon thinking about the experience I had, my trip was far more adventurous than I originally gave it credit.
One of the topics I enjoy talking to people about is the experiences they have. This makes perfect sense, as when was the last conversation you had with someone about all the “stuff” they have acquired? I can tell you it’s been awhile since I had this type of conversation, and I’m relieved by this.
Right now, I’m on a trip, and part of the excitement about my trip is the fact I do not have an agenda. Although typically my days are heavily scheduled and planned well in advance, sometimes it is refreshing not to have an agenda, and to simply go with the flow and see where your day takes you.
Yesterday I was walking around on the island I am visiting for my birthday weekend, and I happened to meet a scallop fisherman. He was the captain of a hundred-foot vessel, and was at the dock due to the fact the sea had twenty foot waves. I have never spoken to someone who has this specific profession, although I have talked to people who are professional fishing and lobster people. All of these people have fascinating stories about their profession, and are eager to share them with you. You just have to ask them to do so.
The scallop fisherman was very willing to answer the questions I had for him about why he was docked, when he would be heading back out to sea again, how the mechanics of the boat work to catch scallops, and about the rules and regulations he and his crew have to adhere to in their profession. One of the things he told me is that his annual season is about to end, and that his next season will begin in April. What this means is that his annual scallop fishing quota will be reset, and he can go back to fishing in areas he has not been able to fish in during the last six months.
During my conversation with the scallop boat captain, I realized how much fun I was having talking to him about something I knew very little about. Talking to him was similar to a watching a documentary on the trials and tribulations related to the industry he was in, but far more interesting. Why? Because I was able to steer the narrative and learn from him based on the questions I asked him.
The experience I had speaking to the captain was incredibly invigorating for me. One of the coolest things about this conversation was that I was having an unplanned and highly energetic conversation with someone who was so passionate about their profession. This is a perfect example of what it means to think about having more experiences versus acquiring stuff.
Your memories and the amount of experiences you have are going to make your life and work far more satisfying than purchasing the next shiny gadget you have in mind to acquire.
Giving people experiences versus buying them stuff is also a concept worth giving more thought about. We remember and can place a higher value on our life when we have the opportunity to enjoy and participate in experiences versus reminiscing about the things we have. So, when you have a chance to give someone or yourself an experience versus buying a thing, think twice about which one you will gain the greatest investment from. This should be an easy decision. Perhaps not, if you have not taken the time before to consider the importance of experiences versus stuff. Now go out and start enriching your life via new experiences.