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Travelling is incredibly important not only for your happiness and your sense of accomplishment and purpose, but also to make you a more rounded and even a more decent human being.
Did you know that people are rated as more tolerant and understanding if they went to college? This has nothing to do with education or background – it is simply that people who have moved away from home have less narrow views and a better understanding of the wider world.
And this is even truer for those people who travel far and wide and mingle with other cultures and see other places for themselves. This broadens your mind and gives you a ‘bigger picture’ view. It can also help you to put things in perspective a little and to realize that many of your troubles and your concerns are actually somewhat petty in comparison to the hunger and poverty you encounter in other parts of the world.
People who have travelled and had adventures will be naturally more interesting to talk to because they’ll have such a breadth of experiences to share and because they’ll appear more worldly and more knowledgeable. But it’s simply rubbing shoulders with people from different cultures and experiencing unique locales that will truly develop you.
To get a little deeper in our understanding of how travelling can change and improve a person, it pays to consider the philosophies of Georg Hegel. Hegel believed that it was crucial that we challenge our ideas in order to develop them and to gain a more accurate world view. He described this as requiring a specific process. The ‘thesis’ is the original idea that you have. The antithesis is the opposite view. And the synthesis is the resultant idea that takes lessons from both views.
In order for us to be as knowledgeable and as effective as possible, it is crucial that we challenge our existing ideas and develop them by incorporating other ideas.
Refusal to do this otherwise will eventually result in our own demise, as we become more and more attached to defunct and irrelevant concepts.
Without these outside views and experiences to challenge us, we simply become more and more extreme in our own views. This happens through ‘confirmation bias’ as we seek out more knowledge to confirm what we already hold to be true. And it happens through ‘convergence’ and ‘divergence’, the likelihood of in-groups becoming more similar to each other and less similar to outgroups.
We can look to nature for a great analogy. In nature, the single most important thing for the survival of our DNA is diversity. We seek mates for procreation because they are different from us and because they introduce new genetic material into our makeup. If we continually in-bread, then the flaws and imperfections in our DNA become exaggerated to the point that we can even become deformed or unwell as a species!
Conversely, having offspring with people of different cultures and from different regions will create stronger DNA that is less prone to illness.
The same goes for our ideas. This is why it is so good for us as a species to overcome borders and differences and to interact with others that are diverse and varied as possible. By challenging and constantly reassessing your ideas and beliefs, you will come out with stronger, more accurate and more useful ideas and beliefs.
Travel is one of the greatest things you can do for the mind and the soul.
If there’s one new habit you should consider adopting, then it is meditation. Meditation is simply practiced focus and concentration. Here, you will put yourself in a quiet environment and then focus on clearing your mind of distracting and unwanted thoughts. You will be ruminating on stressful topics, and you will gradually become better at focussing and remaining calm.
This is an incredibly powerful skill because it gives you the ability to rise above stress and panic and to remain calm no matter what is going on around you. This can make you a happier individual, as you’ll be less bothered by hard days at work or large deadlines but it can also make you more effective as you gain greater control over your emotional response, more emotional stability and the ability to concentrate more effectively on given tasks.
And did you know that meditation physically changes the structure of the brain? It has been demonstrated to increase ‘cortical thickness’, which means that there is more grey matter and a greater density of neural connections. Studies also show that meditation can improve concentration, focus, emotional stability and even IQ. In other words, meditating makes you a more focussed and even more intelligent individual.
This can be a difficult habit to get into, especially if you are someone who is unfamiliar with how meditation works, or perhaps who has never considered it in the past.
The simplest form of mediation is mindfulness meditation. Here, you simply sit somewhere quietly and ‘watch’ your thoughts go by. The idea is to allow them to pass by like clouds without engaging in them or worrying about their content. Don’t punish yourself for letting your mind wander, just make a note of the thought and then dismiss it. Not only does this teach you to rise above your thoughts and be less concerned by them but it also helps you to gain a greater understanding of the contents of your own mind so that you can predict your own reactions to future scenarios.Other Details
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- Year Released/Circulated: 2020
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