About enjoying life out of your domain of expertise

It’s 11pm in San Francisco, close to 25 Celsius degrees, I’m wearing a t-shirt, coming back from dinner with a great friend. If you were still doubting how happy a Frenchman in California can be, I can guarantee that you’ll be convinced by the end of this post.

I came to San Francisco to work. I came because to me it’s the best city and area (silicon valley) to live in and evolve in. Not just because I aspire to work in the tech/digital/new media industry, but also because it’s a beautiful city in itself. As I said to another friend, you can take the silicon valley out of San Francisco, but you won’t ever be able to take the beauty of the city and the atmosphere that it has for itself.

But tonight I had the opportunity to meet with a very good friend that I hadn’t seen for over 4 years. We hadn’t lost touch, thanks to social media, but the last time I had seen Andrew was in the middle of August 2007, and it’s been too long.
So tonight, I jumped straight to this invitation to meet for dinner, and incredible things that I didn’t even suspect could have happened, ended up …well, Happening.

This dinner allowed me to take a step back from the tech industry and Un-Focus from work.

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While walking under those streetlights, our conversation didn’t revolve around tech for more than 10 minutes. And it was one of the greatest thongs I have done. Engaging with Andrew, and discussing a variety of topics from Floods to Being too cool to meet Katy Perry and Lil Wayne opened my mind even more, and allowed me to learn about topics and areas I was not familiar with.

This is the type of thing that helps you change your perspective on things and even your approach to the World.

This night out was never about learning, or networking, or getting business tips, it was about enjoying life through important things, discussing about our lives and families.

Simply put, it was honest. A moment when you can truly open yourself to the other person, knowing that whatever the differences in your point of views, and no matter your attitude, this person is listening, understanding, and accepting what you have to say. No one is judging anyone, because we have this relationship.

We even ended up discussing the future of both our professional lives, and as you would do with any friend, sharing interesting things, points of views, and useful information that as an individual, you are happy to share with your friends.

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It’s kind of a confused post, but on this very moment, I’m feeling happy, motivated, and inspired. This would not have happened if I had had the same dinner with a friend who happened to work in tech. I can guarantee we would have talked about all those exciting products and services, but I wouldn’t have gone out of my area of expertise, and this would have been a big miss of opportunity.

Once again, I’m very grateful to be in San Francisco, but even more am I grateful to know these interesting people who help me increase my knowledge of the World we all live in.

If I had one advice to give out to virtually anyone, it would be the following: no matter what time it is today, plan something tonight that is different, and not linked to your domain of expertise. Find out something you’re interested in but don’t know enough of. It can be anything (from Solar Power, to canvas painting, to entrepreneurship, to boxing) and I’m sure you can find it for free (or at least cheap enough.) If you don’t have access to something interesting enough, use Wikipedia and choose a random article, or go on iTunes, and download one of the free podcasts available on iTunes U.

Go out and learn something new. You’ll thank the universe later!

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