Enjoy the world's best
Neal O’Grady – @NealOGrady

Enjoy the world's best

embracing excellence and variation

There are millions of things that will go unfinished at the time of your death. All those things, big and small, you always intended to do, read, see, taste, say, and feel—gone.

Whether it’s taking a trip to Southern Italy to get in touch with your roots, learning a language or instrument, becoming a halfway decent chef, or just telling someone how you feel about them. There will be countless things that you will never get around to doing.

This may appear like I’m just trying to depress you. Instead, I’m trying to inspire you. Inspire you to strive for excellence and variation.

Simply the best

What do I mean by excellence? I don’t mean trying to become the next president (or PM),  rockstar, professional athlete, or hotshot entrepreneur of a big tech company. I’m just trying to convince you to avoid mediocrity in your everyday life, and keeping it fresh and varied.

To be more specific, strive for more interesting and excellent situations and content. For example, if you enjoy watching TV, then turn off the reality TV shows, soap operas, talk shows, season 12 of a cop or medical show, and re-runs of Friends. Nah, instead find the best shows the world has to offer. Ones that  challenge how you think, and keep you truly engage you.

For books and movies, I highly recommend searching for lists like „Top 100 books of all time,“ or „Best books by Japanese authors,“ or „Most influential science fiction novels.“ These might just be someone’s opinion, but it’s a good start.

Tip: If you find an author, director, or musician who "speaks "to you, start devouring the rest of their work.

Ultimately you should be on the look out for the best content the world has on offer, not the shovelware garbage that’s designed to keep you semi-engaged.

This is your life, and it’s ending one second at a time. - Fight Club

Also, stop hanging around mediocre people—or at least people that you only sorta get along with. Find and identify those people who you really connect with, and who truly inspire you, and start spending more of your time with them. It’s better for both of you.

Be a little daring and adventurous!

You’ll only discover what you like best if you’re willing to break the mould and do something different.

Look past your own borders. For consumable content like books, movies, music, and TV, how about looking up the near infinite expanse of foreign content? North America in particular is terrible at importing foreign content, which is an absolute shame. Amazing movies, music, and books were created in faraway lands without your knowledge. You just need to go out and look for it.

Don’t be afraid of looking the fool. Try some different classes and activities. Never done yoga? Find a drop-in class. Same goes for dance, meditation, squash, spanish, rowing, hand gliding, archery, muay thai, or even cooking.

Keep in mind that even professionals were at one time beginners, and it’s never too late. The late Alan Rickman (Professor Snape) didn’t start acting until he was 48. He probably felt foolish, but damn did he become an excellent actor.

Good eats

Eating the same foods day in and day out? Eating bland, boring foods? Go on a culinary journey around the world! Start choosing other country’s cuisines and start sampling them. Find some local ethnic restaurants and try them out (I don't mean the "Chinese" food at the food court), or find recipes online and try your hand at them. Don’t be afraid of ingredients you’ve never heard of either (they're normally delicious), and you can find them easily at ethnic markets, or in "international food" sections in supermarkets.

Oh and don’t shy away from less „normal“ options. On that note, why did we arbitrarily choose the pig, chicken, and cow as our approved animals. And why just their muscles? Try some liver, kidneys, and heart on for size! And hell, maybe have some donkey, ostrich, crocodile, kangaroo, horse, rabbit, and more. I swear they’re fantastic if you give them a shot.

And if you’re normally a meat and potatoes kind of person, I challenge you to try out a few vegetarian meals—you might actually like them. Go to a veggie restaurant, or simply eat some Indian food. India, in all of its Hindu-glory, is an excellent source of amazing vegetarian food.

Go for it

One of the greatest decisions I’ve made in the last few months is to start focusing on the world’s best. I’m watching the world’s top films, reading its top books and authors, and trying out the world’s endless expanse of amazing cuisines. It’s been truly amazing. I’ve learned a lot, expanded my horizons, and enjoyed delicious food.

The key to moving away from mediocrity is to break your current habits. If you find yourself turning on the TV (or opening Netflix) and watching whatever crap flick on, then cancel your subscription and only stream or download specific shows and movies.

And start doing down invitations from your „sorta friends“ and call up those „kickass friends.“ Don’t have enough of them? Then get out and do some crazy things to find more of those people. Interesting people do interesting things. Couchsurfing events, meetups, random classes, craigslist events, or traveling will help you find them.

Lastly, I recommend making lists of things you want to see, read, eat, or do and make it a habit to check as many of those off per day or week. My Reminders app on my iPhone/Macbook are filled with food, movies, and books. It’s my mission to continuously expand the lists and check items off before they get too unwieldy.

And that’s all I’ve got for now. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of the world.

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