In Defense of Transformative Experiences (That you don’t know you will have yet)

Sometimes life flies by like the speed the light and we don’t take time to think about past experiences and particular transformative experiences that largely impacted who we are today. Yes, every little experience and decision we make impacts what we do… but some decisions have larger impacts than others. Those are generally decisions that give us the most fear, the most anxiety, and the most uncertainty.

Take a minute and ponder the following: What is an experience, or a stage of life, or a decision you made that have impacted your values, beliefs, and behaviors? 

Now take another minute and ask: Did you know ahead of time that particular experience will have such a large impact on you? 

More than likely, the answer is no. Perhaps you knew it would impact you, but you didn’t know how exactly. That’s the beauty of experiences. There is no way for us to know how each adventure or decision we make will play out until we are in it.

In the past (almost) 10 years since high school, I’ve moved to multiple cities I never thought I’d live in, entered relationships that didn’t end the way I had originally thought it would, and landed a career in an industry I also never thought I’d be in. There are so many transformative experiences that have changed the course of my life.

What absolutely blows my mind is the fact that if you take out any of those relationships or experiences, I would not be where I am (in my career nor physical location) today… and despite the occasional bad days or wishes, I’m incredibly thankful and happy to be exactly where I am.

Was I bummed that I didn’t get the work visa to stay in the one place I was finally happy to stay and settle down for a few years? Yes. 

Was I disappointed that the relationship I had poured my love and energy into ended? Yes. 

You may or may not have experienced the same situation before, but if you have… high five! If you haven’t, I’m sure you have experienced disappointment and the necessity to rebuild your life in one capacity or another. In order to bounce back from disappointment, it requires the courage to challenge ourselves to say yes to the unknown in order to reap the benefits of a transformative experience. 

Saying yes can be a terrifying decision- because it means you’re opening yourself up to possible disappointment and failure once again. Saying no is much easier, and much safer. However, I refuse to be safe and comfortable. I refuse to settle for mediocracy and convenience. I refuse to hold back my love and care, simply to shield myself of heartbreak.

I will always choose adventure, curiosity, transformative experiences and continuous growth and learning. To all those around me, friends, family, strangers, teammates, lovers & my fellow readers: I hope to encourage and inspire the same.


I’m living in a city I have never lived in…
(with plenty of opportunities to explore)

Working as a digital nomad…
(with the opportunity to work and travel at the same time – while building my career)

Spending time with family I’ve never grown up around…
(with the opportunity to be a mentor to the little ones)

And have inspiring friendships all around the world.

What more can I ask for? 


Post inspired by: “The Vampire Problem: A Brilliant Thought Experiment Illustrating the Paradox of Transformative Experience”

“Many of [life’s] big decisions involve choices to have experiences that teach us things we cannot know about from any other source but the experience itself.”

Published by Joanne Lam

📍 Toronto | STRONG w Joanne 💪 MovNat ACE & Agatsu Kettlebell Certified 🎯 Commit Confidence Consistency

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