If you’re eager to learn new things every day, you’re a curious person, just like me. And I can tell you, there’s no better time to be alive. I’ll show you how to satisfy that curiosity and how you can broaden your horizons by showing you how I broaden my horizons.
Ways To Broaden Your Horizons
I take great pride in having general knowledge about many things and I’m sure you do too. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a Jeopardy! material, but it is a great feeling to be able to hold your own in a conversation with a work colleague, strangers at a party or a run-of-the-mill smartass.
There are a few ways you can broaden your horizons even more. All of them are fun and some of them, if not all, you are doing already especially if you are a naturally curious person.
Start a Blog/YouTube Channel
This is a great if not the best way to broaden your horizons. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve started Stepupgoals.com. The amount of knowledge you’ll get on a topic or a series of topics is tremendous.
Because I wanted to broaden my horizons, I had to set a range of goals to get there. These were ranging from short-term goals like read at least a book a week, to longer-term goals like, show my son Arlo and my fabulous wife Ivana at least three new countries every year.
A blog is a great way to combine several long-term or even life goals together. Not only can you become an expert in topics you are interested in, but you also get location independent and have an income that is nothing to sneeze at.
Not having a boss or a schedule also gives me more time to spend with my family and my two cats. I can also visit my parents that live in a different country more often. Is that not fabulous?
A blog can be and stay a hobby or a means to vent your thoughts and frustrations and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You can choose to monetize or not to monetize it. It can be sort of a journal that you can make into a memoir one day.
Tl;dr. Broaden your horizons and get a boost in your income by starting a blog or a YouTube channel. Become an expert in a topic you’re interested in and fulfill your life goals or bucket lists.
Start Your Own Business
Where do I even start with this one? Starting your own business will make you feel more alive than ever!
You will eat, sleep and breath your business. It really isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. But, once you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, you’ll have it for life. There’s no cure.
The amount of new things you will have to learn on a daily basis is incomprehensible. It really is a wet dream for every naturally curious person. It’s like a neverending quiz and you’re in the spotlight of EVERY. SINGLE. SHOW.
Sure enough, you’ll have to hustle in the beginning and you’ll be stepping out of your comfort zone more often than not, but in my opinion, you’ll be a more rounded person and a more fulfilled one as well.
This one’s kinda obvious and it’s an epitome of broadening your horizons.
Research shows there are many benefits of traveling. Here are some of the benefits that nbcnews.com gathered:
- Travel makes you healthier,
- It relieves stress,
- Enhances your creativity,
- Boosts happiness and satisfaction and,
- It lowers the risk of depression.
I’ve already said that one of my goals was to travel more with my family. Meeting people from different cultures is great, but you know what’s even better? Meeting them in their home countries. Learning their culture first hand.
You know, eating Italian food in New York, Dublin or Munich is not the same as eating it in Italy. You’ve probably seen the Roman Colosseum on TV, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see it for yourself and learn its history from the local guide?
Take your family to other countries even if it’s neighboring ones. Often the closest countries to us are the ones that are left unexplored. Dig deeper and you’ll find that there are certainly places worth exploring.
Are you on a budget? You can visit LOADS of places in your home state or country. Interesting places. Beautiful and historic.
Take a Class or Course
This is a great way to broaden your horizons. There are soooo many courses these days and, they are inexpensive. I mean, you could take an online course from Harvard University if you wanted, but usually checking out Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning (and the list goes on) is enough. All of these are great resources and you can find them as mobile apps as well which is really convenient.
There is an even better alternative to online courses though, and that is – real-life courses.
I’ll be the first one to take an online course over an offline one, believe me. But the offline courses I did take were amazing. They are a magnificent chance for learning new skills, meeting new and diverse people and of course networking. You never know how you’re going to meet there.
Make sure you take your business card with you if you have one. Don’t push it though. Try to make meaningful connections with your peers. Remember, your first reason for being there is to broaden your horizons and soak up new knowledge. Anything on top of that is an added bonus!
The thing I like the most, and what online courses are lacking are group exercises. Brainstorming in small groups of two to three other people can be fulfilling in itself.
Then again, if that is not your thing, just stick to online resources and you’ll do great!
Let’s have a closer look at two of my favorite online learning platforms – Skillshare and Masterclass.
I remember my high school days in the nineties when we didn’t have the internet or even computers, and you’d have to go to the library for every assignment and take out a book. Some of the more rare books you weren’t even allowed to take home.
Today, you have all the resources online which makes it so much easier. If you’re on YouTube, you’ve seen plenty of YouTubers endorse Skillshare. A few months ago it’s gotten to the point where almost every video I was watching was sponsored by them.
I’ll give a little recap for folks who are not aware of what Skillshare is. Here’s what they say about themselves;
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes in design, business, tech, and more. Anyone can join the millions of members in our community to learn cutting-edge skills, network with peers and discover new opportunities.
Read more about Skillshare in my review.
Masterclass – Learn from the world’s best
Here’s what their website says:
MasterClass is an immersive online experience that offers access to genius by allowing anyone to take online classes with the world’s best. Our instructors include Christina Aguilera, Serena Williams, James Patterson, and more. These video courses are 100% exclusive – MasterClass produces the courses directly with the instructors to capture exactly what the masters want to teach.
You can learn photography from Annie Leibovitz, basketball from Steph Curry, cooking from Gordon Ramsey, writing from Malcolm Gladwell any many, many other valuable resources from the world’s top experts.
A good alternative to Skillshare is to simply use YouTube to learn new skills and open up your mind to new ideas. It is not only cat videos and conspiracy theories out there. Plenty of good, nay, great authors are leaving their mark on YouTube and teaching other people what they know.
Hard skills or soft, you can learn anything from cooking to writing a book or managing staff. Again, if you see a gap, you can be the one who can fill the void and make a good living making videos.
You don’t have to learn new skills to broaden your horizons. Put on a great documentary, kick back and relax, and let your mind soak up new and interesting thoughts and insights from around the globe.
Read Books Or Use Blinkist
This is an amazing app that I am using on a daily basis. I already said my goal is to read at least a book per week. With this awesome app, I’m actually reading dozens of books per week.
You can get the key ideas from over 3,000 of the bestselling nonfiction titles distilled by experts into bitesize text and audio.
There’s a big chance that many of the books on your reading list are on Blinkist. If you don’t have time to read, well then you can listen! There really are no excuses.
When I find a book I’d want to delve into a bit more, I simply grab a physical or full Kindle copy and explore more insight from the book.
Blinkist doesn’t replace reading books but it will broaden your horizons significantly as you’ll be exposed to soooo many new ideas and powerful insights from world’s best artists.
Read my whole review here.
Hobbies come and go through my life. I get hot and heavy with a new hobby, read hundreds of pages online or in books, buy stuff for it and then after a few months or years of doing it, the once-great chemistry would die off.
I’d find a younger, more hip and trendy one and move on. You might call it a shiny object syndrome and you’d probably be right.
Each new hobby is about having fun and learning new skills. Resist buying all the fancy and oftentimes expensive equipment until you’re relatively sure you’re really into it. Often, you just want to shop for new stuff to fill a void and all the accumulated stuff will just be cramping your apartment.
Try to get the most out of it. Learn some new skills, meet new people that are into the same hobby. You might end up with some really good friends in the end.
Hobbies are also a great opportunity to combine all of the items on my list to broaden your horizons. I’ll give you an example.
Let’s say you are getting into snowboarding. It’s a sport and an activity that was really popular more than 10 years ago. Now that the popular kids have moved on, you’re getting into it. There’s no shame. I’m always behind the trends myself. I can’t stand the hype-machine. But I digress.
You are googling how to get started with snowboarding and find out that the nearest slopes actually have snowboarding courses for beginners and they’re renting equipment so you don’t have to buy any in the beginning because you’re not sure if you’ll like it that much yet.
You decide to buy a book or two about snowboarding and (one of) your streaming services has a recap of the best X Games snowboarding tournaments. Your search on YouTube brings back plenty of results and you dive into it. Maybe you watch a documentary on the history of snowboarding.
Finally, it’s Wintertime and today is the day! You’re traveling to the mountains to try it for the first time.
As you can see, we have combined almost all the items on my list of how I broaden my horizons. Your new hobby is engrossing you in reading books, watching documentaries, traveling and taking a class. The only things left are blogging and starting your business. And there might be an option for that as well.
Your extensive research found some gaps on the internet. Few of the searches, that most of the aspiring snowboarders would make, didn’t yield satisfying results.
Maybe things like:
- How heavy is a snowboard?
- How long is it?
- Is it better to rent or buy the equipment in the long term?
- Best beginner-friendly ski slopes in your country etc.
You get the drift. If there is a gap in the blogosphere or none of the YouTube channels are covering your chosen topic the way you think they should, YOU could fill that gap. With hard work and patience, organic search traffic could flow your way!
And here’s a news flash for you, being a YouTuber or a blogger is a viable and more than achievable, business option. It won’t come overnight. Just don’t give up in the “cricket phase” when there are no eyes on you for months, and you are feeling like there’s no one interest. Build it and they will come.
For some people, broadening their horizons comes naturally. But, if you’re not one of them, broadening your horizons doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated.
Start off with a simple plan that can look something like this:
- Read a book in 14 days or read 14 books in 14 days with Blinkist,
- Watch two documentaries every weekend,
- Take 5 short classes or 1 longer one every week on Skillshare or Masterclass,
- Visit a neighboring state or country next month,
- Find a new hobby and
- Start a journal or a blog or even a YouTube channel (pick just 1 at first) and create content about your new hobby,
- Explore the possibilities of making money online the same way I’m doing (creating content and helping people find answers to their questions and problems inspired by these wonderful guys)