Friday, May 6, 2011

Experiments outside the norm I - Growing a full beard

Dual monitor to single monitor
In my previous post, I wrote about switching from a dual monitor setup to a single monitor setup. I tried again to discard the second monitor, but failed again. Why? The second monitor is too important when I'm buying and selling stocks. It gives me an edge.
That's no to say that I'll buy another one if one of them breaks. But it's too much of a convenience to get rid of.

Experimenting
I do this a lot. Testing if I can live without something, trying out something new, trying out weird things, etc. If someone explains that something is better and he or she gives some good arguments, no matter how weird or outside the norm it may be, I'll try it out! If it sounds good to me, I'll give it a shot.
Experimenting lets you experience new things, find out more about yourself and/or your environment and it can let you grow as an individual.

Growing a full beard
I've always had a beard of some kind, usually something small. After a lot of experimenting, I settled with the circle beard. This style suited me best. There's a part of my beard that grows thicker and has darker hairs. For that reason, I can never look clean shaven... I consider it to be natures way of telling me: "You sir, need to grow a beard!". And I did.

But was it enough?
The hardrocker in me always wanted to have a longer beard of some kind. And several weeks ago, that desire led me to another experiment...
The idea was to grow a longer beard.  The first thing I did, was look up different styles, to see what was possible. All information about beards, can be found on this excellent website: http://www.beards.org/.
Reading up on that website, I read several stories about people growing a full beard.
Now for me, it all came down to 2 options:
1) grow a longer circle beard (stay closer to my comfort zone)
2) grow a full beard (try something different)

The title of this post already says it: I chose option 2! How did I make that choice? I drew beards on an older beardless picture of mine. The long circle beard looked kinda stupid on me, the full beard looked good.

Personal growth
Growing a beard like that is something not many people do. It gets a lot of reactions, positive, neutral and negative ones.
The negative ones are the classical comparison with terrorists. That's actually where the interesting part of the experimentation lies. By doing something that provokes reactions, you can learn to disregard negative comments, even minimize the influence of positive comments and just focus on what you think of it. That in turn, will give you more self-confidence and it opens up the gates to new changes in behaviour, thinking and character.
After all, it's you who lives your life and not society.

End of the experiment
I'm still growing my beard and it's already of a respectable size.
When will the experiment end? If the beard gets so long that it starts to bother me or even when it stops looking good. Or perhaps I'll find another style or experiment to try out. But at the moment, it looks like
the beard's not going away any time soon...