These unconventional ideas were featured in Vol. 5, Open Your Mind of The Unconventional Monthly, a once-a-month newsletter of fresh ways to to do extraordinary things on a new topic every issue.
“We all agreed that your idea is crazy. What divides us is whether it is crazy enough.”Niels Bohr
Not all of the 20+ unconventional ideas below will interest you. You’ll think some are pointless, unoriginal, or too difficult. That’s fine.
All it takes is one.
Hopefully just one of these unconventional ideas sparks your curiosity and inspires you towards extraordinary things. And hopefully it’ll be crazy enough to break you out of your boring little comfort zone for good.
1. Get along with each other better:
Use personal user manuals.
Instead of expecting people to decipher your quirks, preferences, pet peeves, and motivations through trial and error, put together a personal user manual and send it to them.
2. Put an end to the toilet seat debate for good:
Pee sitting down if you’re a man.
It’s cleaner, more relaxing, and any female you share your home will be grateful for it. But only do it at home, never in nature or if a urinal is available.
Read More: Why Men Should Pee Sitting Down (At Home)
3. Stop feeling so self-conscious:
Do stuff alone.
Befriend yourself. Go to movies alone. Eat dinner at a nice restaurant alone. Travel to a new country alone. Go bowling alone. And don’t bring your phone with you as company either.
4. Meditate for your body:
Try the Alexander Technique.
Like mindfulness does for your mind, the Alexander Technique reduces stress, clears up pain, and improves effectiveness for your body. It’s body-fulness!
5. Stay plugged in when traveling:
Pack an extension cord.
Extension cords always end up coming in handy by helping you reach inconveniently-located outlets, turning one plug into three, and even serving as a rope or clothes hanger when push comes to shove.
6. Get a naturally fit body and mind:
Ditch the gym and work out outside.
Do sprints, jumps, handstands, pull-ups, and partner exercises. Go even when the weather’s shitty. Your mind and body will feel freer than ever.
7. Keep track of your weight-loss or gains:
Ditch your scale and get a DEXA scan.
Scales cannot distinguish between muscle and fat. DEXA scans can. They’re non-invasive x-rays that accurately measure your body fat, lean mass, and bone density. What’s extra cool is that it gives you those measurements by body part!
8. Prevent your body from decaying:
Brush your body with a daily mobility routine.
Just as you protect your teeth from decaying by brushing them daily, protect your body with a daily mobility routine. Moving your body across all its possible ranges of motion for just a few minutes a day will keep you spry and pain-free for decades to come.
As they say, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
9. Realign your spine:
Sleep on the floor.
Sleeping on a marginally-padded floor (no pillow needed either) will help your spine realign to its natural position and can help eliminate back pain.
Plus it saves you tons of floor space and money on mattresses!
10. Find the perfect engagement ring:
Turn the conventional process upside down.
Save the part about how much money to spend for the very end, ignore the marketing hype and start by figuring out with your partner what the point of the ring is and what unconventional alternatives will be best for your relationship.
11. Fight less with your partner or spouse:
Do a daily grateful.
Every day, tell your partner or spouse something different about them that you are grateful for.
As the years progress, it gets harder and harder to come up with new gratefuls, but you’ll also notice your fights get fewer and farther between.
12. Defeat hunger:
Don’t consume anything but water for days at a time. You’ll realize you don’t need to eat all the time and at certain times of day, give your digestive system a long-overdue and well-deserved chance to rest and recover, and potentially get closer to kicking your hunger habit.
13. Regain control of your time and memories:
Log everything you do
Put that phone that never leaves your side to good use by logging your activities day in and day out. Every time you finish an activity or task, note the time and, briefly, what you did.
You’ll become conscious of how you’re spending your time, which will cause you to use it more wisely. And you’ll be able to look back at your logs years later to rekindle fond memories.
14. Experience extraordinary travels:
Try some unconventional travel tips
Put a hole in your bucket lists, learn photography even if you don’t care to, embrace the planning process, always ask for the price first, learn certain phrases rather than general ones in foreign languages… and many more.
15. Change your perspective on life:
Move to a new city
Move to a new city, ideally one in a different country for at least a few months.
Rather than be a tourist there, integrate yourself. Introduce new friends to your culture and allow them to introduce you to theirs. Open your mind, try new things, and when (if!) you return home, your perspective won’t be the same.
16. Make a new intimate friend in one sitting:
Go through these 36 questions with them
According to The Power of Moments, strangers who’ve gone through these scientifically-devised and increasingly-intense questions rate their level of intimacy as high as that of best friends or family members.
17. Make new friends as adults:
Throw dinner parties.
Rather than go to some restaurant where others cook for you while you absentmindedly talk about the same topics as always as you check out other tables from the corner of your eye, invite a few new people to the intimacy of your home, cook something yourself (it really doesn’t matter what), and organize a game or activity (blind taste tests are great) to spice things up.
18. Stop wasting money on overpriced food and drink:
Do blind taste tests.
Whatever you blind taste test—wine, beer, croissants, California roll sushi, pizza, gelato, Colombian cheese, rum, coffee—you’ll likely make surprising discoveries about your taste preferences that will change what you buy at the supermarket or order at restaurants.
Plus they’re fun.
19. Accelerate your development:
Hire a coach.
And we don’t mean a life coach.
Just as you would hire a coach to accelerate your learning of a specific sport, identify a specific skill you want to improve (like public speaking, negotiating, writing, or typing), find people who are the best at it, and ask them to refer you to someone who might be able to coach you one-on-one.
20. Learn any language faster:
Learn Esperanto first
Esperanto was invented to be learned in as little as 150 hours. Studies find that students who studied Esperanto before taking on another “real” language learned that “real” language 25-to-50% faster than their counterparts who studied the “real” language from the start.
21. Stay fit an healthy longer:
Train for the Centenarian Olympics
Imagine there was an Olympic Games for 100-year-olds and start training for it now.
Training with this mindset, even when you’re many decades away, may be for you greater good. It disincentivizes training that could cost you later on in life (running and jumping on cement, steroids, imbalanced training) and refocuses your regime on what matters (mobility, strength, coordination). Maybe it’ll hold you back a little now when you’re young, but it may also help you feel like a gold medalist when you’re 100.
22. Spend less time on emails and text messages:
Emailing and text messaging seem easier at first, but then they morph into time-swallowing discussions that could’ve been handled more quickly and clearly with a call.
And as for the quick questions, if it’s not worth calling somebody about, it’s almost certainly not worth emailing or texting about either.
23. Find a career worth living for:
Pre-retire, a.k.a. “pretire,” well in advance of retirement age. Travel and destress to factory reset your brain then pursue your interests without monetary concerns.
Odds are before you run out of pretirement funds you’ll have found a new profession that doesn’t feel like working.
More Unconventional Ideas
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