The older we get the more set in our ways we become. The more unlikely we are to try something outside the box, so to speak. This can prove to be a very limiting factor. How many times have you thought - “Geeze, I wish I'd thought of that”. Chances are, you probably could of if only you'd been able to think outside the square.
How can you avoid getting into a rut? Well, unfortunately you have to do things that aren't comfortable and most likely you also don't really like doing. For example, if you like reading spy novels then maybe reading something like a western. You probably feel that you wouldn't like it but how do you know until you try? My grandfather used to to tell me that unless I tried some of the things that were put on my plate at dinner time I'd never know whether I liked them. Now, probably most of the things I didn't like but I will admit that were things that I did like. Limiting yourself to what “you think” is good can become very constraining and resticts you ability to grow.
Working outside your comfort zone and trying something new can also greatly increase your flexability as well as you knowledge. The hard thing is making this fun and challenging ourselves to do it on a regular basis. It is far to difficult to fall back into our usual comfortable habits when we are not paying attention. I heard someone once say that the different between someone who is good at something and someone who is great at something is that someone who is great at something practices what they are bad at. Anybody can practice what they are good.
The real challenge is to have the discipline to push ourselves outside our comfort zone and try something new. Too many times fear of failure or other people's opinions hold us back. As anyone can tell you, you don't know what you can achieve until you put your mind to it.