Imagine you are a fish and your daily life is the fish tank you reside within.
Your house, commute, job, family, friends — they all make up the ingredients of your aquarium.
Every day you swim within the confines of the life you’ve built for yourself and you’ve grown accustomed to your favorite spots — even when and where you’ll receive food.
But from within the tank, you can’t comprehend what it is you are swimming in. You can’t measure the dimensions. You can’t understand the source of the water keeping you alive.
If you wanted to do that, you’d have to be outside of the tank.
Then you could accurately measure the dimensions, trace the source of the water, and gain a true understanding of what your fish tank really looks like and how it functions.
Drop the analogy and contemplate your day-to-day life. One of the most difficult challenges we face is the ability to objectively (or, at least from a bird’s eye view) perceive our lives.
We are so caught-up within our tanks we not only forget there’s a whole other world out there but fail to grasp the authentic reality of our lives.
If you truly want to understand the mechanics of you, you must step outside of your daily life, peer back from an outside perspective, and then evaluate the mechanisms.
Leave the country, culture, and community you were raised in and inject yourself into an entirely new one.
Not only will this provide you with ‘perspective’ about life in general, but also allow you to disrupt your daily routine.
You’ll be able to reflect back on your life ‘at home’ and evaluate it from an outside perspective. Literally.
It’s an evolutionary survival mechanism.
Evolution figured out it isn’t all that healthy to always be living within the confines of your fish tank.
Think about it: if you were always operating under the same brain patterns as you move throughout your life, as soon as something deviated from your expectations, you wouldn't have the flexibility to deal with the situation. Being too rigid in your way of thinking can be dangerous to survival.
That’s why you have physiological urges to step outside of it and do consume drugs that alter your mind and body. It's no surprise, then, to see how wildly popular caffeine and alcohol are.
You don't have to consume drugs to change your mind, that's just a shortcut evolution has figured out.
Music, exercise, meditation, and the state of flow do it too – essentially anything that has the power to disrupt your regularly scheduled program.
When you stop reacting to life and begin understanding the patterns which influence it from a different perspective, you’re able to approach life from a different angle.
Then, you can understand why you do the things you do, figure out what you truly want, and design your life.