Why I try new things

If I’ve never done it or experienced it or tried it, that’s reason enough to do it, experience it, or try it – all other things equal.

Take the dish Koreans call sannakji. Americans call it “live” octopus because it’s served raw and so fresh the tentacles squirm on the plate. Why would anyone go for it?

I can’t answer for everyone, but I know why I did. I tried it because I never had before. For me, that’s reason enough.

When friends ask why I try new things – foods, adventures, experiments, whatever – I tend to ignore this as a reason. Or maybe I want to sound more sophisticated than I actually am. I want to give a reasonable reason, I guess, one others can adopt for themselves.

  • So I mention the benefits of exploring uncertainty, the benefits of seeing from different angles, the benefits of understanding other perspectives.
  • Or I make a case for living an interesting life, a life that by definition includes trying a bunch of stuff.
  • Or I talk about how thrilling it feels to learn.
  • Or I make up other stuff on the spot.
  • Or I change the subject
  • Or I don’t answer at all.

The truth is, though, I try new things because I haven’t before.

Sure, other factors play into it, and other factors can overrule it. But in the moment of decision, the driving factor is simply that I’ve never before driven that path, or crunched that tentacle.

That’s sufficient for me. If never, then now.