Steve Jobs was not known as a sentimental softie, yet his passing is still a tender memory for people all over the world. Clearly, his death has gotten a lot of us to think about how we spend our lives and what we do with our time.
Humans are creatures of habit. We are more likely to do things we’ve done before than to try something new. We drive the same route to work every day, park in the same spot when we get there, and eat the same types of lunches from week to week.
This “routine-groove-rut” is exactly the kind of patterned behavior that prevents us from making new memories. Here are 5 Cool Ideas on how to create new memories.
5 Cool Ideas for Creating Memories
1. Living in the past doesn’t create memories.
People who dwell on the past often develop a victim mentality about life. Victims perceive life to be a series of negative occurrences because of things that have happened to them.
Their attitude seems to be “People have always taken advantage of me, so I’m not interested in meeting new people.” Old scripts can be keeping you from enjoying new material.
2. Invite new memories by rewriting your slate.
Imprinting is a series of repetitive life lessons that help us determine our view of the world, including our self-concept. Most of us are indelibly imprinted early in life. Philosopher, John Locke wrote that, as youngsters, our minds are “tabula rasa” or a blank slate. Early on, people write on our slates, helping us create memories.
Some of us have trouble writing over those old memories. When you can rewrite your slate, you can easily add new memories. Computer experts might describe rewriting your slate as overwriting your disk.
3. Accept that new invitation.
A female friend of mine was jogging when she encountered a group of strange men. The men identified themselves as secret service agents traveling with then President George Herbert Walker Bush. My friend told me that the agents invited her to run with the President and his entourage the next morning.
She passed on the offer. I asked her why she declined such a unique opportunity and my friend said, “I guess I didn’t feel like it.” Doing new things avails us to new memories, so make it a habit to step out of your routine.
Memories are generated by a process behavioral psychologists refer to as “experiential learning.” New experiences, of course, are a form of imprinting, which helps us to create memories. Routines do not promote newness.
4. The present is sometimes too predictable.
People who only think about the present condition are so caught up in routines that they cannot seem to try new things. In their determined effort to maintain status quo, they resist new opportunities, thus stifling the creation of new memories.
5. Live as if you don’t have much time left.
Impresario, Steve Jobs, urged us to not live other people’s lives. Do what you want to do. Do it now. Sociologists have discovered that people near death have an overwhelmingly common regret about their life. They usually regret not trying more new things like traveling to foreign countries and meeting more people.
What have you always wanted to do? What would you do this year if you knew it would be your last year? Use the answers to these questions as incentive to generate new memories.
More from Michael on his great blog.