Initial plan of attack.
Part 1: The known
I know the types of things that make me feel like I’m becoming smarter by doing them. Reading really high quality articles (see: Longreads), reading about the world (like Wikipedia and Google world news), reading well-written fiction (I have a list to plough through), regular conversations with people who I respect for various reasons (another list), mind-pushing media (lists of movies/shows to see, plans for music gigs, plans for places like art galleries). Taking work seriously. Attending events like UX Book Club where you want to feel eloquent (and therefore, you are personally challenged to do this) while you express your opinion. And struggling and re-writing and re-writing sincere ideas/opinions until you are happy with them, to friends or privately, is important, because it is only via articulation that you can really analyse and decide and evolve.
Part 2: The unknown
One last list: expand music, expand places, expand people, expand reading, expand writing. I like “expand” because it really sums up “different to what you know”. I’m also very aware of when I’m saying “no” to things, and why I’m saying “no”. I can’t say it just because I think I might not like it (like going to the circus), because this goes against the expansion goal. It has to be for a more valid reason (like because I am completely exhausted).
Part 3. Like begets like / Life begets life
By choosing to share an interest (like sharing good articles online) you invariably stumble onto people with a similar interest and their recommendations. By choosing to not be lazy, and to instead make the effort to share and write up opinions (as difficult as it sometimes is) – or whatever it is that you’re creating/producing as a part of your reaction to all this new input – you also encourage other people to, as well, and it becomes an encourage-loop.
Thanks to @bkpr for getting me to take this out of my head, and put it into words. I am not good with the Part 3.