Learn to always challenge yourself and different ways. The best way to always stay on your toes and therefore to always stay sharp, is to challenge yourself in new and interesting fashions. New challenges keep our brains well exercised, and they inspire us to grow in new ways.
Challenging yourself does not mean over working yourself. This is indeed a challenge, but not a very creative challenge. To challenge yourself to pull on a rope is not creative, any farm horse can pull on a rope. A creative challenge would be to try and figure out how to avoid having to pull on that rope at all.
Get creative with your challenges. Learn to test yourself in different ways, challenge yourself to find better ways to do things that you have done before. Challenge yourself to become more efficient, challenge yourself to become better than before. To do this you must push yourself to think outside the box, to let go of conventions that you have lived by and to approach old problems in new ways.
Challenge yourself by breaking your old routines. Routines are the great binders that tie us to a course of action and never let us go. Do things that you have not done before, try those things that are unusual for you. Change your schedules and do things at times when you usually don’t do them. Try the unusual, and find freedom in the discovery of the new. There is no way to discover what will happen in a crisis situation if you never try the unexpected because the crisis always involves the least expected.
By challenging yourself in different ways you will discover many things about yourself. There is no better way to discover what you are capable of and what your weaknesses are than to always and constantly do something that tests you in a different way. Life is a constant challenge but our routines tend to make us think that life is boring and simple. We are also far more complex and far stronger than we imagine, through constant challenge we can discover our great strengths and find a kind of self confidence that would not be possible without our self imposed tests.
Life can become far more enjoyable if we are able to constantly challenged ourselves in new and interesting ways. When things are boring, what we’re really saying is that this certain situation holds no new surprises for us. This ‘surprise’ is what creates excitement and brings passion and fun into our lives. As Henry David Thoreau said, “most live lives of quiet desperation”. This is so because we are all trapped by the weight of our routines and the lack of attention that we give to our lives. Challenge breaks routine and therefore greatly increases the amount of attention that we are paying to things. To constantly challenge yourself is the key to becoming better in all things.