It was a simple, but pivotal moment. I was seated in a restaurant thousands of miles away from home and faced with a very important decision: do I order the tame lamb dumplings, or go all out and try the octopus? Friends and classmates can attest that I agonized over the decision, going so far as to text my family and ask what I should do. It was dramatic! It was intense!
It was anticlimactic. I ordered the dumplings. I enjoyed the dumplings. I regretted the dumplings.
I launched a new campaign in my life. I called it: "eat the octopus". To me, it's a reminder to try something new, something outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself to what you think is your limit and be pleasantly surprised when you can go more. Search for an adventure in the mundane. Find something that terrifies and thrills you, and keep doing it.
Of course, part of this philosophy does have an addendum: remember that not everyone likes octopus. And not everyone will agree with you eating your octopus. And maybe eating octopus isn't always the greatest idea. Your adventures should help, not hurt. If your octopus eating gets in the way of someone else's, you're doing it wrong. Eat your octopus respectfully.
As I write this, I am in a hotel room having travelled cross country by myself. I am looking towards eating my own octopus in the near to distant future via a conference that I am missing school for. I'll be exploring the town I'm in, meeting new people, and marketing myself. Most of all, I'll be eating octopus -- hopefully literally this time.
Take the advice from me two months ago: you'll regret the things you don't do more than the things you do. Go out. Have your adventure. Eat the octopus.