Chance rarely means Russian Roulette randomness, and yet top advantages open to those who embrace the unexpected. I saw the wonders and woes of risk in action on Baffin Island, near Greenland. At high arctic flow edges, amazing opportunities opened to skilled Inuit friends, who triumphed over startling changes and risked the unknown. It’s a matter of choice.
Leap toward any new opportunity, and your brain’s hippocampus releases a shot of dopamine in response. Researcher Anthony Grace discovered a feedback loop that stokes chemical and electrical responses between dopamine chemicals released in the brain, and novel or unexpected ventures. Prepared to take advantage of your brain’s equipment for new heights?
Novelty requires rejuvenated skills, to act on the thrill of fresh experiences while avoiding risks that can come near life’s edges. Elders traditionally Inuit taught youth to navigate killer white-outs, and build temporary homes on rugged ice flows. To survive flow edge dangers, hunters watched for signs the lip of an iceberg was calving. They distinguished roars from ice-cracking or chunks falling off a glacier. They avoided tumbling into icy seas by hearing sounds and watching patterns of iceberg warnings. To not hear or see resulted in tiny crafts toppled over 15 foot ice edges tossed and billowing in frigid ocean graves, when dangerous blizzards struck.
Don’t expect stellar skills from conventional organizations, that latch onto yesteryear’s methods like greedy CEOs cling to greenbacks. Lessons for me, emerged from the midnight skies, as darkness is closed in on Igloolik, for instance. Month after month, the curtains of night closed off the sunlight and I awoke morning after morning to a midnight sky. It took new skills to avoid gloom and to delight in magically clear, dark skies that sparkled with crystalline stars and northern lights.
When novelty’s sun hides its warmth, new moons tend to narrow daylight’s gap, when you embrace spectacular shows out of the ordinary.
Discover genius from novelty’s vantage points. One frigid morning I sat in my living room sipping tea early, and watched amazing pink hues dance against the twilight sky. From my front row seat I saw skidoos move along the road pulling a long wooden sled. A woman and man dressed in sealskin clothes, moved against a sky blended in rose and palest lavender. To the right I spotted Venus, the last of the stars, twinkling like a dozen stars clustered into one, and dancing in spotlights of its own. What a reminder of lights’ glory in dark places.
Then summer sun circled our tiny arctic community – without setting – as darkness gave way to another continuous summer. Brilliant orange, purple red and yellow sprigs shot up as if to stir spring into the Arctic tundra and into my arctic adventure. I hummed the Beatles’ song, Here Comes the Sun, in appreciation for sunlight and warmth that propel life beyond everydayness.
Passion for novelty starts with a simple a choice. It advances though, when newly skills equip you to embrace adventures that roll out promise, purpose and passion.
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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset