My son Travis is a perfect example of what everyone thinks you should be. Last summer he completed the US Army’s Special Forces Underwater Operations School. He’s a qualified combat diver at age 20. Last March he marched 26 miles through the desert of New Mexico in the Bataan Death March in full uniform with a 55 pound ruck sack on his back. He’s going to spend this Christmas vacation backpacking through Europe with one of his friends. Yes, he’s doing amazing, exciting things and I couldn’t be prouder if he were the President. He’s grabbing life by the throat and saying Yes!!
But most of us don’t live that kind of life. We have houses that need painting. Jobs that demand showing up. Children who get chicken box. Responsibilities. Bills that annoyingly need paying. Laundry that won’t stop. And someday Travis will too.
So how do you love your life and create your own big adventure when you’re not training for a marathon, preparing to move to Bali or becoming a Navy Seal? Simple, you decide.
Whether it’s a bucket list or a goal chart or a big fat dream you’ve been pursuing, you make the decision to live BIG. You quit looking at other people’s successes and start creating some of your very own. You downsize the house and free up the cash. You quit the job that’s making you insane and start your own business. You talk to the stranger and make him your friend.
All in all, you take a risk without knowing the outcome.
Because that’s what a marathon, a move, or becoming a Navy Seal is about despite the romantic notions surrounding them. People taking risks. They may not make it to the finish line…Bali might become Baltimore and very few are equipped to put their life on the line for their country in underwater survival. The same training it takes to accomplish these goals is the same thing it takes to create an adventurous life.
The decision to take a big risk. Then the action to carry it through.
I’m a middle-aged white woman from Missouri. I haven’t hiked the Grand Canyon (I sat at the top sipping sweet tea while my hubby and kids hiked to the bottom) and the only waterfall I’ve ever been in was at Dunns River Falls in Jamaica. But I’ve written 6 books, raised 3 beautiful children and sustained a 30+ year marriage to my soul mate. I’ve made it out of over $2.3 million dollars worth of debt without declaring bankruptcy, rehabbed 30 houses before recyling was cool and created a product line called EncouragementToGo designed to give women courage and confidence. I love people and it shows.
I’m living my own big adventure and yes, it’s had some whopping peaks and valleys. That’s the part that makes it exciting and thrilling and oh so worth it.
There’s one thing in particular I’d recommend you do if you want to live life as one great big adventure. I’d suggest you read. (What? Read?)
I spend alot of time reading. In fact, I spend most of my spare time reading (when I’m not watching American Idol). And if you’re needing a sense of adventure, I’d suggest you start doing some extracurricular reading too. I read blogs like Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth and Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity. Then there’s Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend and Mastin Kipp’s The Daily Love.
I’m not telling you to live vicariously through these people. Quite the contrary. I’m simply telling you to soak up some of their verve and use it to mulch your own adventure. Watch how they approach life…more in the “bring it on” kind of way than the “will I be safe and comfortable” way.
Because the answer is no, you won’t be safe. Life is risky. Unpredictable and quirky. You can set goals all day long and end up short. And that’s exactly why you don’t need to run the marathon, move to Bali or become a Navy Seal…because your own brand of adventure is inside you.
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