Can you remember your first day at work? What you did, who you met, what you saw? Okay how about day two or day three? Chances are you don’t remember quite as much about those days. Why not? One of the basic rules of the psyche is that when we do something for the first time our awareness gets stronger. Basically, we pay more attention. When we pay more attention we are usually more alive in the present moment. Because we are more alive in the present moment we tend to remember more of what was happening.
I bet you can think back to many instances where you did something for the first time. All sorts of memories are likely to pop up about the first time we did something. I would also bet that some of those will make you smile when you remember.
So if we are more aware the first time we do something, and this puts us more in the present tense, how can we use this to our advantage?
Do something for the first time and be aware of your consciousness as you are doing this. It might be going to a new restaurant that offers a type of food you have never had. It might be taking a ride in the car to an unfamiliar area and on roads you have never used before. It might be trying a sport you have never tried or experimenting with an unfamiliar musical instrument. Whatever you do, see what impact the first time might have on your awareness and your feeling good!
Tom Golden is the author or three books, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, The Way Men Heal, and Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: UnderStanding the Unique World of Boys. Tom was the creator of the youtube channel Men Are Good and served as the vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. He has been a therapist in private practice for over 30 years.