If you have ever seen Jim Carrey in "Yes Man", then you can probably guess where this is going. About a month ago, I decided to make an intentional shift in the way I view opportunities. I decided to say "yes" to whatever new opportunities presented themselves, but more than that to actively seek out any desire in my heart, no matter how big or small. ANY desire. I will note that there's a difference between what I want in my heart versus what the world tells me I should want. The world tells me I want women, money, sex, friends, yummy food, booze, etc, but in reality, I actually want what's behind those things.
There are two ways to look at the word "try." The first is to "try" and impose your will on a situation. The other definition is to "try" an opportunity that comes your way. About a month ago, I shifted my belief to follow the "try new things" definition. The impact has been INSANE, especially because I live in Japan where literally everything is new to me.
I have eaten the strangest things that I can't even name. I have driven for hours to find correct lighting equipment only to realize that I could have ordered it from Amazon. And yes, I have made the mistake of driving on the wrong side of the road here. I tried this weird thing called Hashing. Look it up, its insane! It's a running club that anonymously posts a location and time online. When you show up at the location, nobody is there! Instead, there are chalk arrows on the pavement that you follow for 5 miles. Arrow by arrow you run around like a headless chicken until you catch the "rabbit." It's a treasure hunt run and then at the end, everyone meets up and drinks alcohol together. It's pretty fun even though I don't drink.
I have gone mushroom hunting, bathed in a public bath with dozens of 80 year old men, and next week I am going to my first photo shoot with a model in Tokyo! So random. My highlights include: joining an all Japanese choir whose performance will happen when my mom is visiting, joining the village firemen once a week for upper body weight training, and being interviewed by Japan's national broadcasting television station about what it's like to live as a foreigner in a rural village. Lastly, my boss noticed that I do videography in my free time, so she volun-told me to cover the village's events and produce content for the monthly 3-hour long television broadcast. It's hilarious, I can now say that I have been the executive content producer for a television studio! Unpaid of course.
Today I decided I want to play basketball. I asked every other teacher at the school (in Japanese of course) if they wanted to join me in playing tomorrow night. I was so nervous not only to ask random people to play basketball with me, but in a language that I can barely speak. We will see how it goes, but tomorrow night I expect to be playing basketball with five of the other teachers. It's funny, but I think the fact that I am a foreigner lets me break some social boundaries. Not knowing the social rules is powerful!
There's a story in the Bible about how Jesus healed ten lepers and only one of them returned to give him thanks. If you look closely, it says that 9 of the lepers were Jewish and the 10th was a Samaritan. The Samaritans were not Jewish, they did not know about all the rules established in Leviticus. Specifically, Leviticus 14 consists of instructions for healing leprosy. The other 9 healed lepers were probably too busy trying to follow the rules that they forgot to thank Jesus. Rules are undeniably important, but it makes me question if I sometimes get too caught up in trying to follow a social rule or law that I forget to rejoice and recognize the good already present!
I'd say that my "Yes Man" experiment has been a great success. It has led me to try many new activities that I never want to do again. Even the activities which I did enjoy I probably won't do again. But now I know ;D. But there are a couple things which I have discovered that I do enjoy. I expect to be lifting with firemen and bathing with grandfathers again next week. Sorry no pictures, let your imagination handle that!