“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Last weekend I went on a volunteer trip to build a house for a family in need in Mexico. As we were getting ready to cross the border, my good friend and mentor Mike Sherbakov shared a quote that was really profound. He was relating it to the experience we were about to have but I believe it applies across the board in our lives.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” It’s a quote by a man named Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
As we chase new perspectives and expose ourselves to new things, it all leaves a permanent impression on us. While we may not feel like things are different or have changed at all, the impact is subtle but present. Everything we experience influences our worldview in one way or another. If it’s an experience that validates what we believe, it makes the shape tighter. If it’s something that challenges the way we see the world, it will create a rip that will be repaired but will never returns to its original form.
This happens on big and small scales, for positive and negative experiences. During a service trip where you spend 48 hours with people living in poverty, it causes your perspective to permanently change so that even when the stimulus is removed the change remains. Similarly for something unfortunate, difficult, or challenging that happens, we carry the remnants of that experience with us even when we’re no longer in that situation.
We are dynamic human beings. Our present moment is a product of what happened in the past. Fortunately by the same math, this means that our future self is an outcome of the things we do in the present. So the more we can be intentional about our growth (the skills we’re building and the ways we’re developing, pursuing new experiences that mold our minds) the better our tomorrow will be!
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” A great quote and inspiring challenge for us to take on!
If you want to give the gift of growth, forward this article with someone that you care about!