You are the way you are because of what you've experienced.
Your country, family, town, random circumstances, and friends shaped the way you think. If you grew up on the other side of the world, you would have a different set of values and thought patterns.
But if you keep experiencing the same things, your mind keeps its same patterns. Same input, same response. Your brain, which was once curious and growing, gets fixed into deep habits. Your values and opinions harden and resist change. If you don't flex, you lose your flexibility.
You only really learn when you're surprised. Unless you're surprised, everything is fitting into your existing thought patterns. So to get smarter, you need to get surprised, think in new ways, and deeply understand different perspectives.
With effort, you could do this from the comforts of home. But the most effective way to shake things up is to move across the world. Pick a place that's most unlike what you know, and go.
- Derek Sivers
I wish I had the guts.