It’s not the meaning of life you’re seeking but merely the ability to create more memorable life experiences that make you feel alive! My family must be sick of hearing my crazed mumbo jumbo babble about the importance of life experiences. It’s true what they say, money isn’t everything, and it’s easy to see that money doesn’t create happiness or your best memories to look back upon. Unfortunately for my family they only have themselves to blame because its their willingness to not miss out on memories that makes me who I am today.
I have a great Dad, the best in fact, but I’m clearly biased. He’s an amazing man and continues to put his family first ensuring he never misses an important milestone or moment in time. I love that. One of his passions, aside from his two sons, is Whiskey. It’s great to listen and see his eyes light up as he discusses something he enjoys so much.
It’s not just the drinking however it’s the whole process from the location, the distillery, the techniques, the personality but most importantly the feeling you get from each bottle. Even if your face screws up at the thought of taking one sip I guarantee you that by the end of a conversation with my Dad he’ll have you excited to give it a second shot (no pun intended).
After you dip your feet back into the world of tasting Whiskey it’s easy to get lost in all the techno jargon or complexity of describing what you taste, like a true connoisseur. Just like life however we tend to over complicate our thoughts and instead need to simplify and simply ask ourselves “how does it make you feel?”. Understanding how it makes you feel, to my Dad, is simply more important and the same applies for anything you’re doing in life. It should be our goal to ensure that our actions make ourselves, our family and our friends feel good, great or even fantastic.
I’ll take you back to one sunny day, after a great day out with the family, Dad and I decided to head to the liquor store to enjoy a Whiskey with each other that evening. In our every day lives we are separated by water and the only way to see each other involves a flight, so it’s safe to say we like to make the most of the time we have together. Having a drink with “the old man” is a great father/son ritual that both my brother and I have come to enjoy over time.
As a son however it’s my duty to keep my Dad on his toes and to keep him young by encouraging him to try new things. The funny thing is that age doesn’t play a part in our ability to seek new experiences. We are all creatures of habit and at times find ourselves sticking with what we know more often that we’d like to admit.
On this particular day I told my Dad that today he could have any bottle of Whiskey, within reason of course, and I would buy it for him. Well, didn’t this make his day and you should have seen his eyes light up like a kid in a candy store. He skipped back and fourth trying to make a decision on what he might choose. He recited countless books and reviews he’d read and it was very clear that there was plenty he was keen to try.
My Dad was a big fan of one bottle in particular as it was not only good “value for money” but great taste. It was the the kind of Whiskey that simply puts a smile on your face. The fact was that he’d had a great experience in the past was enough for him to know that he couldn’t go wrong if he chose it again. I took this opportunity to play a game with him by questioning his thought process and at the same time encouraging him to try something new.
There was three ways this game could play out, he would either
a) select what he’d had prior and have a good experience but not necessarily a memorable one or
b) select something new with the chance he may not enjoy as much as option (a). or
c) select something new with the chance he finds a new favorite with the added of bonus of experiencing it with his son and hopefully making the memory stronger.
At the end of all of this he decided that option c was the best for him. He really had nothing to lose as it was my money that was at stake if we both decided we didn’t enjoy our new found “experience”. We proudly took our “chosen one” home while at the same time confirming between ourselves that we’d made the right choice by eliminating (again) the others that were up for selection.
This was it, the moment had come, it was time to take our first sip. We took our first taste together smiling at each other for what we were about to experience together. The sweet aroma of the whiskey hit our noses sending a shot of goosebumps through our taste buds. As the golden liquid emptied from our glass it took a second before our throats were warmed by its affection.
We sat in silence as we both savored in what we’d just experienced together. I eventually broke the silence and asked my Dad “So..what did you think Boss?“. At first he had some reservations as to whether what he’d just experienced was better than he had previously, almost out of loyalty to a close friend, and not willing to put his guard down just yet.
That night, and day in general, ended up being one of the best nights we’d shared together. Not only did we find a new favorite, it’s a life experience we’ll remember forever. We constantly find ourselves taking ourselves back to that moment and reliving the special time we had. However we’d be foolish to think that it was only the Whiskey that made the night so special. Instead it provided the opportunity to put the world to the side for an evening and converse in the age old ritual of conversation, at times laughing until we cried and remembering that our family comes first.
You can replace the word Whiskey in this article with any experience you might want to have. It could be as basic as traveling a new off road path, that one you’ve driven past countless times, or trying a different meal on the menu of your favorite restaurant. You simply need to encourage new life experiences because these are what create the greatest memories. When we look back in life we’re not going to marvel at the extra hours we put in at work, the money in our bank account or the fact that we chose the same meal every time we went out to dinner. Instead it will be the amazing memories and life experiences gained by doing and trying new “things” while hopefully sharing “those things” with our closest family and friends.
My point is that, in the end it cost me less than $100 dollars to have an evening that I won’t forget in a long time. An evening that I’ll continue to look back on in years to come with a smile on my face. As they say the best experiences in life are free and when you combine that with your willingness to live for the moment and to simplify living I believe that you’ll find a life far more rewarding just ready and waiting for you to embrace.
Finally I’d like to finish with 10 Methods you might use to create more memorable life experiences and memories. I’m not perfect and even I can work harder to improve on these.