Nature is a wondrous thing and getting out in it is what we were hard-wired for many eons ago. Experiencing the colors, textures and scents elicit feelings and emotions in us that are in-explainable, unless we realize that they have a meaning that goes beyond just beauty. For our distant ancestors living on the Savanna, the color green meant life, as well as the color of flowers, and even more so, the sound of running water.
There was a time when living the adventure life was just known as living, but it was a way of life that we learned to exploit and master. And while we may have evolved beyond the point of relying on nature for our mere subsistence, and although we have exerted a great deal of control over it, nature still has the power to affect us in profound ways. All we have to do is let it.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Becoming Stronger and Fitter
Living the adventure life demands that we become stronger and fitter, for it allows us to climb higher mountains, swim across wider (and colder) lakes, squeeze through tighter caves, endure conditions that are less than ideal, or almost anything else you can think of. By living the adventure life, we elevate yourselves above the average and beyond the comfortable. Way beyond! And by going a little higher, or farther, when its a little hotter, or colder, or wetter, chances are that we will have the place all to ourselves. Hopefully.
And while we may be doing this to live a more adventurous life, our everyday lives will benefit immeasurably as well.
Cliche Alert - "The goal is to put more life in our years, not just more years in our lives." More adventurous years! The cool thing is that by living a more adventurous life, we are already adding more and better years, and with just a few tweaks we can add even more than that.
Happiness is a goal that every human being strives for. Ultimately, it is the driving force behind every decision we make in life. But happiness is not a place, it is not something we can own or hold onto, it is an experience, a feeling. And no matter how hard we try to maintain that feeling, it is only temporary and will soon fade into a memory. And it's the strength of that memory that will determine its long-term effect on us.
Will we grow from that experience, or will its effect disappear forever? If that "happy" experience provides a moment of personal growth, then its effect will be cumulative, and will help shape us into the person we are to become. Our future selves.
If we build up enough of these "happy" experiences and gain the confidence that more and more of them are in our future, then we start to feel like we are living a life of contentedness. And that is the real goal in life.
Becoming a Better Person
When we take a long look in the mirror, most of us have to admit that we are not exactly the person we would have chosen to become (I failed to become the fireman-cop-astronaut-president that I was supposed to be), but the person we were programmed to be.
Now I know that reality dictates that we all can't be firemen-cop-astronaut-presidents, and our dreams as children are surely closer to fantasy than reality on the real-life spectrum. But when "reality" becomes our reasoning for why we are stuck in a cubicle at Initech, we have to realize that we are living at that other end of that same real-life spectrum. When did this life become, not only acceptable, but desirable? We can do better! Unless Initech has improved their 401k match.
By seeking to improve ourselves everyday we tell ourselves that we will not be complacent and accept the status quo, we will not follow blindly the path that has been designated for us. But we will embrace change, accept the unknown, endure discomfort, and take a new path, an adventurous one, of our own design. And if we fail miserably? Well, the cubicle will always be there.
What Doesn't Kill Ya
The adventure life isn't easy. It's not supposed to be. We're going to get banged up, we're going to pull muscles, and we might even break something, but those are the exact moments when we need to tell ourselves that this is the feeling of being alive. When I fail to convince myself that "this is where I want to be right now", my Shoulder Angel (or Shoulder Devil - I'm not always sure which one it is) will remind me that I can always give this up and go back to lounging on the couch. I usually get a little smile on my face and sometimes even a feeling of gratitude for being in this mess. And when I do get home and collapse on the couch I know that I have earned it. Let's earn our couch time!
For how challenging and difficult the adventure may be at the time, we need to remind ourselves that we are making ourselves stronger and it will get easier next time (Unless you go and die). Oh yeah, and those cuts and bruises, they're called trophies.
“Adversity doesn’t build character; it reveals it.” - Tim Ferris
So, this is the adventure I have been on for the last seven years and will be on for the rest of my life. My goal is to share with you what I have discovered and experienced as well as what is coming next, and hopefully it will be enough to get you started on your own life of adventure, wherever that may take you.
Parting thought - remember that when you get lost, or you think you're lost - embrace it, because that's when the adventure begins.
See you out there!
A little more reading:
A little more reading: