1. Life Should Be A Great Adventure
Each one of us has a desire to do something challenging, inspiring and adventurous with our lives. An innate part of us wants our lives to count, to be someone who makes a difference, to experience something special I have met many people who live amazing lives, and I have come to realize that most of them started out as fairly ordinary people. For most it was the desire for something more that saw them change their lives from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
The Oxford Dictionary defines adventure as: participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises. Each one of us deserves to have an exciting undertaking, something that makes us a little unsure or takes us beyond our comfort zone.
As a child, your first jump from a swinging rope into a river, riding a bike fast down a hill for the first time or your first kiss all got your heart racing. The first road trip with friends or heading out on your own for that first overseas trip, these are the things we remember and were excited about. The outcome was often uncertain, but the memories of adventure stay with you forever.
2. Don’t Miss Your Moment
I finished school, started a family then worked in the same business for 25 years before my real adventures began. It’s not that I didn’t have any adventures, I was into rally driving, got to travel for work, and decided mountain biking across the Canadian Rockies would be fun, it’s just I didn’t have the same freedom to pack up and go whenever I wanted. I know better than most that often we have to wait for adventure. For others, like Oskar Schindler (Schindler’s list) adventure came during his younger years when he saved thousands of Polish Jews from certain death in World War Two. After that nothing adventurous or significant is recorded of Schindler’s life. Nelson Mandela languished in prison for the better part of his youth before transforming a nation and placing a mark on this generation across the globe.
If you are currently in a place you would rather not be, then think of it as a training ground. That’s where you develop character, integrity and perseverance, all qualities you will need, and use, when your time comes.
Adventure may come later in life, or in your youth, but there is no guarantee it will be a lasting journey. When your opportunity for adventure comes, embrace it, as there may not be another.
3. We Can’t Make It On Our Own
We all need a coach in our life. This is someone who believes in you and wants to see you reach your potential. They are the person telling you to go for it when life presents you with an adventure. They will challenge you, question you and, at times frustrate you, but they always have your best interests at heart. We need this person in our lives when the big opportunities come along. At this point we can feel vulnerable; insecure, afraid, full of self-doubt and anxiety. This is totally normal as you are being presented with an opportunity that doesn’t have a guaranteed outcome, where risk is involved and face possible failure. When the moment arrives for you to take the plunge into a great adventure, having someone you trust who has been a part of your journey, someone who in that moment of doubt can tell you to go for it, can be the difference between stepping into your life’s adventure and missing the moment.
4. You Will Never Regret It
There are a number of adventures that I have said yes to, that as I was getting on the plane I’ve often thought, maybe this is bad idea. Even in the midst of some of them, I’ve wondered if I should just go home. However, when I reflect on them afterwards, I have not regretted a single one. It is a bit like exercising. Often, leading up to a long ride or run I wish I wasn’t going. Even in the midst of it, the pain and heat I experience make me wish I wasn’t doing it, but once I finish and reflect, I’ve I regretted exercising.
Some adventures will take you so far out of your comfort zone that you will wish you were back home tucked up in a comfortable bed or back doing the mundane tasks of life. Let me assure you, when you look back the challenges are the things what bring colour to the stories when you’re sitting around at home sharing your tales with friends. It’s what you will fondly remember and, strangely, long for again. A recent survey of elderly people nearing the end of their lives asked what was their greatest regret. A frequent answer was not taking more risks.
5. Adventures Don’t Have To Cost A Lot, But Not Having One Is Expensive
It could be as simple as a new job, or as complex as trekking across Antarctica, each one of our journeys and adventures will be different. What is adventurous to you may seem tame to others, or beyond what most can achieve. Each person is different. What we each perceive as a great adventure is what matters. It is your own journey, so who cares what anyone else thinks? If you don’t have a lot of money it could make for an even greater adventure. Travel cheap, backpack and stay in a backpacker hostel. My best adventures don’t come in five star hotels, they come when you do things like meet the locals, catch the local bus, eat in a market and listen to a cool busker in the back streets of Ecuador.
Money, or a lack of it, is no excuse. I have met lots of people on my travels who are down to their last few dollars, and yet they are having the time of their life. The cost of not going, not stepping out could add up to a lifetime of regret. The last thing I want to do is sit back in later life and wonder, what if? I would rather reflect on a life filled with adventure.