Keeping Your Mind Alive and Well

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A New Experience Near The Place You Are Living Now

One of the primary foundations of any success we have in life is a curious, active, and always expanding mind. You don’t retire from being a creative thinker.

Chances are there are opportunities for a major booster shot to your imagination all around you. So here is the exercise I propose:  Imagine that you will be leaving the geographic area where you now live permanently in the near future. Now look around and think about what resource or adventure or fascinating sight or site is nearby that you have never yet explored. And simply go there, perhaps spend a day soaking it in. Living, as I do, in the San Francisco Bay area, for me that might be a visit to the campus at Stanford University, or taking a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, or spending a day in Santa Cruz, which I hear is lovely, but have never visited. Suppose, for some reason, I decide to relocate in Central America and never come back this way again. What would I regret never having done or seen?  There are neighborhoods in San Francisco itself I have never walked around, which is a shame in what many consider the best walking-around city in the world.

Just the other day, I had dinner with a new friend who lives in a neighborhood I had never known existed before. It’s known as Cow Hollow, for the dairy farms that used to be plentiful in the good old days. Her home was originally owned by her great-grandparents and has a magnificent view of the bay. I’m sure there are other parts of the city equally interesting and perhaps downright breathtaking. When is the last time your breath was taken away by some new place you visited or came upon? This is what keeps us young and alive, and what stimulates that part of our brains that helps us manifest prosperity.  After all, if you believe (as I do) that prosperity is a state of mind, the nourishment of your mind is an activity you want to keep replenishing with new stimuli.

Things change–which is the one constant we can always depend on in our lives. There was a restaurant called Spork that I experienced a few months ago in San Francisco. There was one dish I was looking forward to trying on one of my future visits. But suddenly Spork was out of business, and that specialized meal is something I may never ever get to taste. If I do leave this area, a real possibility in the next year or so, there are many things I will have missed out on. One I didn’t even know about until last year was The Marsh, home of the theatrical solo performance, where I took a class with Charlie Varon, their artist-in-residence, and performed a brief workshop version of my one man show in their theatre. Another opportunity unique to this area is the San Francisco Comedy College, where I am now enrolled in a class and exploring a completely new career in stand-up. Whether or not I am successful at this, the impact on my brain will be hugely beneficial. In a few days, I debut a five minute stand-up bit at the famed Purple Onion club. I am already finding myself bursting with new ideas funny and serious.

Even though I will never get to explore all the possibilities in this part of the world, I can honestly now say I am soaking up some powerful local stimuli. Wherever I may or may not settle in coming years, I can feel that I have “done” San Francisco in some creative and most satisfying ways.  And if you can’t even think of something interesting and stimulating to do in your area, then you’ve probably overstayed your welcome and your time to move on is long overdue.

Jerry

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