“Are you adventurous?”
Many of us get asked this question. But what does it really mean to be adventurous? Is it a type of life full of excitement, danger, and exploration?
Growing up, I was shy, stuck to a small group of friends, and insecure. Confidence was something I could only dream of. I would wonder why other people seemed to be lucky enough to travel to other countries. Or why it was that the boy in my 8th-grade class could enjoy the roller coaster while I could only sit on the bench, defeated by fear. If that is also you right now, I have news for you. You can have a more exciting and fulfilling life-- you can have the girl that makes your heart drop every time she looks at you. It is not luck that makes those you envy more adventurous, it is their perspective.
Adventure: What Does It Mean
Have you ever been on a date that filled you with emotions like you are riding on roller coasters? A date that filled you with energy no matter how many things you two did, your energy level seemed endless? That is basically what adventure is; Emotional roller coasters.
It’s an average day and you’re off for the weekend but in a matter of minutes, you’re calling your friends, inviting them on a road trip to another country.
Adventure and what it will do for you...
Adventures involve risky events such as jumping off a 60-foot cliff with only water to catch you or riding a skateboard down a busy intersection to hi-five everyone. Every adventure provides somebody with an opportunity for growth. Growth that will enhance your confidence. You will get to the point that you thought would be your limit but you’ll end up asking yourself, “What is the worst that could happen?” And when you weigh the risk and overcome the fear, you will have earned more faith in yourself. It’s difficult to be adventurous when you try to plan out everything and then expect everything to fall into place as planned. Most plans don’t turn out exactly as they were mapped out. The ability to adapt and go with “the flow” will turn the unknown into something exciting. Accept the unexpected journey rather than resist it.
If you grow up in a small town and that is all you know except for things you have seen on TV then your knowledge of other cultures and countries are at minimal. Adventure means widen of perspective, to experience different cultures, new places, new food. Wider perspective means more risk, less judgment, more opportunity because you will know how to seek one out when it arises.
How To Be More Adventurous
In order to be more adventurous, you must make a commitment to yourself. You must be able to identify your fear and overcome it when it arises. You must break out of your comfort zone. The acronym I’ve devised in order to destroy my fear and break out of my comfort zone-- to do things on the spot before thoughts of hesitation and discomfort take over is S.P.O.T.
S: Spontaneous: if you are the type of person who dreams of a better, more eventful life, but instead logs onto their Xbox to argue with little Johnny down the street, I strongly encourage you to stop right now. Invite your friends to go hiking, take a trip to another country across the world, visit a place with nothing but an end goal in mind. Do the things that you dream of doing but have never done before. Say yes.
P: Perspective: You should ask yourself, “What have I done this year?” If the answer is work and sleep then the next question you should ask yourself is “What can I do to broaden my perspective?” My advice would be to take a trip with your friends or by yourself(I highly encourage this). If you have never taken a trip by yourself to a place where you do not know the language this will be a great way to gain a broader perspective.
Just like the time I was sitting at a restaurant in Tokyo, the waiter asked what would I like to eat I replied: "I'll take a....." I was cut off by the waiter "No take out" with the tone frustration in his voice.
O: Opportunity: Learn to look for opportunities when they arise. The more you do it, the better you will get at finding opportunities. Better yet, creating opportunities.
T: Take action Without taking action this model will not work. Let the discomfort sink in, acknowledge it and accept it. It is that simple. Everything in your body will tell you not to jump out of that plane or book that flight to Thailand although you have always wanted to visit. Hear that voice in your head but do it anyway, take that step, your future self will thank you for it.
P.S. I challenge you to travel somewhere new this year. I challenge you to be adventurous