Last week I wrote about how dangerous adventures have helped shaped my life. In today’s post, I share two milder forms of adventure that help me become all that I can be — a lifetime of learning and a persistent willingness to step into the unknown.
My commitment to lifelong learning provides a daily opportunity for adventure. Wondering what I might learn next creates a sense of excitement and vitality within me. There are four main ways I pursue lifelong learning: reading, traveling, hobbies, and trying new experiments for Happy Living.
Reading gives me a quiet and relaxing way to explore the world beyond my own experiences. I read for self-discovery – to learn from others so I can better understand myself. Reading helps me organize my thoughts and feelings into philosophies that guide my life.
Traveling provides the opportunity to explore the world directly. I have traveled all across American and to twenty other countries. Traveling makes me aware of the size and majesty of our world and my humble place within it. Each trip is an opportunity to discover new places, cultures, foods, and ideas.
Hobbies give me an opportunity to play with new toys, ideas, and experiences. When my wife and I moved to our lake house, I decided to dedicate my recreational time to playing on the water. Swimming, paddle boarding, and boating are hobbies that connect me with nature and adventure. I have also taken on cooking as a hobby, including learning how to master the grill.
“Happy Living Experiments” are the research and resources I explore so I can share what I learn with you. Whether it’s trying to slow the flow of chemicals in my household or figuring out how to align fitness with lifestyle goals, every experiment is an opportunity for better health and happiness.
It doesn’t matter how fast I go, it only matters that I remain willing to explore the people, places, ideas and things that flow into my life.
I’m committed to self-improvement as a way of life.
Improvement requires change. Change invites risk. Risk creates fear of failure, embarrassment, losing money or friends, or even worse. The risk involved in dangerous adventures can be life threatening.
Overcoming fear requires courage to venture into a land of unknown outcomes. Deciding to act in spite of uncertainty is how one’s life becomes a daring adventure.
Cultivating a persistent willingness to say YES to change has led me on incredible adventures that I never could have imagined. Walking into the land of unknown outcomes has led me on a wild ride — working ten different jobs, living in more than ten houses in seven states, owning four businesses, moving cross-country four times, raising two children, marrying, divorcing, marrying again, and raising two more children.
Although I never ended up exactly where I expected, each adventure enriched my life. Each step into the unknown helped me become more than I was before.
Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mount Everest, is an inspiration and a true adventurer. During a SuperSoul Original Short, he said:
“Sometimes that fear of reaching out into the unknown paralyzes people to the point they decide not to reach out at all. For me, all the great things that have ever come to me have come through reaching out into that unknown.”
In 18-words, Erik has captured the essence of my philosophy on adventure: All the great things that have ever come to me have come through reaching out into that unknown.
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