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Fuel

For me, novelty is fuel.

I stoke my inner-fire by introducing my senses to new things. I do this all day long. “Check out these new flavors,” I tell my taste buds. “Or how about this new texture, that’s pretty nice,” I say to my fingertips, running them over a particularly appealing fabric while murmuring to my eyes, “That’s pretty interesting, right? Those colors? The pattern?”

Most days, particularly when I want to make something — to do creative work — I’ll change my work location every twenty minutes or so. It’s not really a conscious, regimented thing; it’s more that I’ve learned to recognize when my brain is getting bored, when my environment is fading into the background, and I relocate to reenergize my awareness. I may be writing or designing something, but there’s still part of my mind that comes alive when I move from the chair to the couch, from the couch to the rug in front of the fireplace, from the rug to the bed, from the bed to the coffee shop down the street.

This craving for novelty is reflected in my lifestyle choices. I travel frequently because I’ve realized that by doing so I maintain a level of peak awareness and mental stimulation much of the time. Learning this about myself has resulted in the happiest years of my life, the ability to churn out a large portfolio of work I’m proud of, and a heightened enjoyment of my environment, wherever I happen to find myself.

Of course, not everyone find their joy in novelty the way I do. For others, a meticulously curated home might be the optimal fuel. For still others, perhaps a collection of well-crafted lifestyle restrictions are what the doctor ordered, stimulating creativity by first limiting it.

There’s no right or wrong, better or worse fuel. But it does pay to know what your fuel is, so that you might bring more of it into your life. It’s okay to not push yourself to achieve crazy heights all the time, but even the most mundane of days can be far more pleasant when you have a surge of energy and appreciation with which to enjoy it.