1. Volunteer to help someone in need.
Sometimes the best way to make a discovery is not to change your environment but to see your environment with new eyes. A ministry gave this homeless veteran a makeover, and seeing himself in a new light inspired him to enter a recovery program.
2. Take a new route home from work every day.
Even if it takes you longer to get home, even if you just drive one street out of your way, it’s refreshing to explore your surroundings. You never know what you’ll find.
3. Sign up for daily or weekly email updates to your city.
4. Join a book club.
Not only will you be encouraged to read outside your comfort zone, you will also encounter different perspectives from your fellow club members.
And when you need a book, go to the library.
You’re almost guaranteed to discover something unexpected while hunting down the book you came for.
5. Attend a lecture about a topic that interests you.
At many universities, anyone can attend an evening lecture by a visiting scholar or a professor’s presentation of new research. Check out the nearest school’s event calendar or your local bookstore.
6. Use a music app that recommends music based on your mood.
You’ll get a constant rotation of new bands and songs that you probably wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Songza is one great service for this.
7. Discover new movies by following the recommendations of the guy who saw ‘em all.
In 2006, Roger Ebert created a list of “103 Movies You Must See Before You Die.” Once you get through that, the American Film Institute has their own list. Or, look up your favorite actor’s favorites and watch those.
8. Try new foods.
Try not to eat at the same restaurant twice. If you must, order something different every time you visit. You never know when you’ll find a new favorite. Or, try Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and discover unexpected seasonal ingredients. Find out what’s available near you.
9. Revisit something from your past.
Did you love to draw once? Did you lose sight of your childhood dream? Maybe you never found the time for that passion project. Sometimes the best discoveries are rediscoveries.