I run into people I know all the time. At restaurants, bars, the gym, etc. I run into friends. I meet people who know my friends. Or know friends of friends. And I find myself uttering the words, ‘It’s a small world,’ pretty often. And since I hear that phrase from others at least as much, I think most people are in agreement.
On Facebook there are a bunch of people who ‘like’ the Urban Samurai page now. I only know about 40 members personally. And those 40 people are a lot like me. They went to my same high school. Or similar colleges. They work in companies that I used to work for, or ones I am familiar with. They now go to the same restaurants, bars, and work functions that I do.
As for the 13,000+ other members who I don’t know, I click into your Facebook profiles from time to time. I see where you are from. Where you go to high school. Or College. Or where you work. I get to see pictures of you. I get to read what you want other people to know about you.
Every color. Every creed. You speak a hundred different languages. There are so many businesses that you work for that I’ve never heard of. So many colleges you attend that I’ve never heard of. So many towns you are from, in states I thought I knew well, that I never even heard of.
My eyes have been opened.
This world is not small. It’s really, really big. It’s big geographically, and it’s big in terms of the number of people in it. It’s only that my personal world is small.
I’ve heard single men and women lament that they always meet the same kind of guys or girls. It’s occurred to me why that is. You are doing the same things you have always been doing. And the same kinds of people are doing those things too. You are going to the same places you have always been going. And the same kinds of people are going there too. If you are staying in your small world, how could you possibly think that you going to meet anyone different?
You need to expand your world. Don’t just continue to do the things that you normally do, or your world will stay as small as it ever was.
Out in that big world, there are so many great things to see. So many great people to meet. So many great places to go. So many great experiences to be had. And they’re all waiting for you, right past the edge of your comfort zone. Step out here with me. It’s nice.
Small worlds are great. There is comfort in your small world. There is love. And ease. And life without much angst. It’s not wrong to love your small world.
But that small world can also be stagnant. And stale. And really, really small. It shouldn’t be able hold you. You need to spread the wings and fly a bit.
There is a great balance to be struck between being comfortable in your small world and experiencing the large world out there. Emotionally you still need your small world. But for every other reason, you need to go bigger.
The large world is vital to personal and professional growth. That large world challenges you. It pushes you. It stretches you in ways you didn’t know you could be stretched.
And yes it’s uncomfortable. Yes you can get lost. Yes people don’t know who you are. Yes they make not like who you are. Yes it is a big, scary place at times.
But the best part is, it becomes more comfortable and less scary every time you step into it. And the result is that you now feel all that comfort, and love, and ease, a whole lot more. The more you exprience the large world the more it will shrink for you.