Adventure is about creating new experiences. Adventure is about putting yourself in a situation where you are forced to be challenged, where you are forced to learn, and where you are forced to grow. And commiting to adventure requires the right mindset. An open mindset. A positive mindset. A growth mindset.
Adventure does not just mean reward and pleasure, cool views, or an epic photo. Sure, you can have a positive feeling and capture images from an adventure, but when you commit to “going on an adventure” or “trying a new adventure”, the main goal should be awareness. Taking in of the good, the bad, the easy, the hard, the ugly, the beautiful, all of it, and being able to separate the action from an expected result. Seeing what parts serve you and what parts you could do without.
And most of all, learning more about yourself with each new experience.
After all, that’s the real purpose of life, right?
Happiness is achieved through uncovering the incredible life lessons the world has to offer and adventure, if defined properly, will bring you that.
So how do you break free from the monotony, the chores, and the fear? How do you prioritze learning and let go of expectations and any attachment to failure?
Warning: This SHIT is not easy. If it were, we’d all live a life full of adventures and travel. The reality is that we are primal creatures and our conditioning, upbringing, and environment play a huge role in what our every day life looks and feels like.
But if you are like me, and I’m guessing you are since you are reading this, you WANT MORE OUT OF LIFE.
You want to feel, to experience, and to be something greater.
You want to know how much you are truly capable of and feel the sense of satisfaction that comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable, exposed, and then succeed.
Seriously, it’s such a RAD FEELING.
To wonder what it would be like and then to experience it and know the joys and failures, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, is PRICELESS.
I love this crazy life I’ve created, but it’s not easy and there were no rule books for this stuff.
You really have to want and believe in something bigger. You have to value yourself and remind yourself every day that you are worth it. That just because it doesn’t make sense to others, it makes sense to you and that’s enough.
Alright, so let’s get mastering (and this first step is soooo important)…
1 | Where do you see yourself one year from now?
I gotta tell you, there was a time I didn’t even think about this stuff. I was like, a year from now? Ummm…I’ll be doing the same thing I am doing today. Dishes, laundry, grocery store, whiny kids, cuddling kids, working out, blah blah blah. I was happy, but certainly not STOKED.
Something changed…well, ME.
It wasn’t enough and so I demanded more.
I couldn’t wonder anymore. I couldn’t let that feeling of “what if” ruminate in my head any longer. I knew I was capable of more and that I truly deserved to fight for more.
It doesn’t matter where you are today. If you commit to wanting more and are ready to demand more out of yourself, then you are ready to start adventuring bigger.
Dig deep and define where you’d like to see yourself one year from now.
What are all the adventures you’d like to do between now and then?
What things will you commit to NOT PUTTING OFF ANY LONGER?
How will you make your dreams a reality?
I know, it’s hard. Especially because when we actually take the time to write a goal for ourselves, it makes failure so much more of a reality. If we keep it locked up in a dream, we can pretend the feeling doesn’t exist and therefore, we’re good. Denial is waaayyyy easier. I know.
2 | Acknowledge Your Fears
I HATE falling on LEAD when I’m rock climbing! It scares me sooooo much.
I’ve read a lot of mindset books and I can manifest the shit out of things, but this one, I just can’t let go of.
I’m scared of people seeing me fail, I don’t like the possibility of hitting a rock below me and scraping myself up, and I really don’t like the nervous feeling I get when I’m about to fall. When it comes down to it, I’m scared of not succeeding.
But ya know what? I still keep falling.
I’ll admit, it’s gradual. Ideally for me to overcome this hang up, I need to be taking falls multiple times a week, but I just don’t have that much time to dedicate to that nor is it that important enough to me and so…I know I will probably never be a 5.12 lead climber (or even a 5.11).
I’ve read the book Rock Warriors Way to help me get over this fear, and while it’s helped, I’m still a big scaredy cat on lead. However, I’m not giving up. It might just take me a lot longer.
I might never be a 5.12 climber, but really I’m only a 5.9 leader and so hopefully, in a few years I’ll be a 5.10a climber, and maybe a few years after that I’ll be a 5.10c leader. Who knows, maybe I’ll prove myself wrong and be a 5.12 climber at 60 years old like the badass camp host I met at Maple Canyon.
I’ll tell ya what, though, anything is possible with the right mindset and denial won’t get you anywhere.
Purpose and persistence will take you far.
So once you acknowledge that fear, the next thing to do is face it. And for me, rationalizing fear comes down to thinking in terms of what’s the worst thing that can happen and what’s’ the best thing that can happen.
This motto has helped me so much!!!
And it doesn’t even have to pertain just to adventure and sports. I’ve used this exercise repeatedly in the past two years while trying to start this business and write books and blogs.
- Write down what your biggest fear is
- Answer these two questions
- If you stared that fear in the eyes and went head to head with it every day, What is the WORST thing that could happen?
- AND What is the BEST thing that could happen?
Bonus Exercise: Go try indoor rock climbing. Even if you don’t don’t think of yourself as a “climber”, I highly recommend trying out indoor climbing if you are trying to break through any barriers in your life (which you are or you wouldn’t be here reading this, right?!). It’s such a safe environment to work through gradual exposure therapy and help you face those fears.
3 | Be More Passionate + Apply Your Talents Creatively
Okay, so my secret recipe for life, adventure, etc is so easy . . . center it around passion.
I know, genius. No one has ever told you that before, right?
Well, maybe you already knew my secret, but do you do it? Do you chase it? Do you obsess over it? Does it define your existence? Does it dictate your days and give you direction? Is it your compass?
When I first started blogging on our Nomads With a Purpose website I’d write about things like, “Tips for hiking with kids” and “What’s in your fridge?” They were useful, factual, and maybe even share worthy, but they weren’t my passion. They were what I thought I was supposed to write about. Even more, they were tangible. They were an important learning step for me.
This right here is what I love writing about this. Mindset, challenge, risk, failure, and learning. That’s my passion. But I had to start small. I had to find my voice. I had to sift through my thoughts.
And that is exactly what you will do with your passions. You will experiment. You will test. You will study.
You might love nature and the outdoors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready to surf, or climb, or backpack, or whatever adventure is in your one year plan.
The important thing is to focus on what brings you joy and makes you excited to jump out of bed and then, be open minded to new experiences that come your way.
I didn’t always want to learn to surf. I honestly can’t remember the exact moment when that came on my radar
It sort of started when I knew I was passionate about water skiing. The only problem with that one was that I needed my own ten thousand dollar boat for that.
So to chase the passion of playing in the water, I chose surfing instead.
And then learning to surf opened my eyes to the possibility of trying other adventure sports. So I started climbing. Then added mountain biking. Now snowboarding.
I know that ten years from now I will be doing a sport that isn’t even in my mind right now. Although kite surfing has been on my mind for awhile now.
The most important thing is to take a passion and start pouring it into a lot of gas tanks. See what feels right. Try things out.
You really don’t know until you try and even then, it may take many attempts at one thing before you really nail it.
Passion feeds passion and before you know it, people will be rolling their eyes at you because you are just waaaayyy too stoked for the box they want to hold you in 🙂
Also, don’t forget about your talents. Maybe you’re so good at something that it isn’t exciting anymore or even easy to do. How can you take that talent and add soemthing to it to make it exciting. I think of Victor a lot with this one. He was great at wrestling in high school, but there really aren’t wrestling programs for adults that would fit easily into our lives. So naturally he took his wrestling talent and started jiu jitsu to find his adventure element.
- List all your passions and talents to help guide yourself towards your adventure goals. Make a list of everything you are passionate about. Then a list of everything you are good at.
- What do you love to do?
- Who do you love spending time with?
- What were the things that got you excited about starting a new day?
- What do you want more time and money to do?
- What new sports have you always wanted to try?
- What sports did you used to do and are scared to pick up again?
- What comes easy to you and boosts your confidence?
- How could you play on that talent and add a new element that is exciting to it?
Write it down. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Meditate on it. Drink it in. Believe in it. And most of all, start doing some of them.
This is your fuel for mastering your adventure mindset.
Step 4 in Mastering your adventure mindset: Know Yourself
Understanding who you are and what makes you tick will definitely help you when it comes to overcoming fear and pushing your boundaries. In the Myers Briggs framework (Not familiar with it? Take this 16 personalities test.) In the 16 personalities framework, everyone has 4 traits.
- Introvert or Extravert.
- Intuitive or Observant.
- Thinking or Feeling
- and Judging or Prospecting.
The first characteristic I want to bring to your attention is observant versus intuitive.
Observant individuals are highly practical, pragmatic and down-to-earth. They tend to have strong habits and focus on what is happening or has already happened.
Intuitive individuals are very imaginative, open-minded and curious. They prefer novelty over stability and focus on hidden meanings and future possibilities.
In my experience, being more intuitive helps when you want to adventure bigger. That’s not to say if you are observant that you can’t adventure, it’s just that you have a tendency to not dream as big or to go for the risk that might be involved in your next adventures step.
If that’s the case, you will want to be even more systematic in your approach to adventure. Setting yourself up for success through confidence boosting activites that allow yourself to adapt and understand before taking each new challenge.
Another characteristic to focus on is Judging versus Prospecting. If you are judging, you are probably highly organized, good at planning trips, or make an effort to set time aside for yourself. However, if you are prospecting, you may have no trouble taking the risk, it’s the inability to plan ahead or make time for yourself that might be getting in the way.
Go have fun with that 16 personality test and learn a little more about yourself. Try to be as honest about yourself as possible in the quiz (even if you don’t like it) because it’ll give you a more accurate result. Remember, there is no one perfect personality. Each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses and the goal of todays lesson is about just understanding yourself better.
Now that you’ve made a connection between your strengths and where adventure would serve you best, it’s time to look at how you can integrate that adventure into your life now (not ten years from now).
Step 5 in Mastering your adventure mindset: Make A Plan + Hold Yourself Accountable
Another personality matrix (from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book categorizes people by 4 types- Upholders, Obligers, Questioners, and Rebels. (You can take her quiz here.). Basically, two of these categories naturally tend to set goals and hold themselves accountable and two tend to prioritize the needs of others.
Again, neither is right or wrong, but it’s important to recognize which type you are because if you are an Obliger or Rebel, you might be struggling with staying organized or not letting guilt creep in and that could be keeping you from your adventure dreams.
Download this free Planning Your Next Year of Adventure PDF and have some goals for the next year. Now, how are you going to actually make these things happen?
Well, first you need enough motivation. Do you want it bad enough? It has to be a big enough desire in order for you to make the next two things happen.
Second, you need to be organized enough to make it happen. Adventure requires planning and a lot of people I meet tell me they just don’t have enough time to adventure. We are all busy, but we all have a choice in how we spend our time.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.J.R.R Tolkien
Try to set aside small chunks of time way in advance to plan and prepare for new adventures. I seriously have my next year of big adventures planned!
Look at the next adventure you have planned and make a list of three small steps you can do in the next week to make sure that happens.
Third, you need to break free from your handcuffs. For most people there’s one main thing that makes it hard to do the things they always talk about wanting to do but just don’t get around to. What usually gets in the way for you?
- Do you need time off?
- Do you need more money?
- Do you feel bad missing your kids games/competitions?
- Is it your fears holding you back?
For this one you may need to do some deeper reflection to get past why it’s hard to make these things happen for yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to abandon your career or family. You just need to get to the root of what your main obstacle is and identify ways to creatively hurdle over it or be honest with yourself that maybe your goal is too big right now and find a more realistic one.
Ask yourself if you truly want adventure bad enough (I hope you do).
Look at the next adventure you have planned and make a list of three small steps you can do in the next week to make sure that happens.
Think about the one thing that usually gets in your way.
Take the Gretchen Rubin quiz and think about how you are going to hold yourself accountable. It might be as easy as planning a trip with someone else who will hold you accountable.
And if all that still doesn’t work, email me and let’s set up some coaching calls cuz life is too short to not live the life of your dreams!
Step 6 in Mastering your adventure mindset: Failure, Gratitude, + Self Awareness
Did you do it? Did you take that adventure? Did you explore new areas of your mind and body that you didn’t know was possible? Did you succeed? Did you fail?
I love failing! That’s where the good stuff happens because that’s when you learn and grow. And failure is a big part of success, so don’t dismiss a new sport or activity just because it was hard. I f it was easy everyone would do it.
Using all your senses to take in an experience. Instead of judging it by good or bad, take notes about what you liked and didn’t like and list ways you could make it easier or do more of what you liked.
- How is this making you feel?
- What new sensations are you feeling?
- What new thoughts are popping into your mind?
- Are you only fixated on an outcome?
- Can you let go of some expectations and see more of what is in front of you?
Our adventure lifestyle has been completely built upon these three easy steps:
- Developing more self awareness about where your expectations lie,
- Being honest with yourself about the amount of effort and focus you really put into your goals,
- And maintaining motivation by restructuring your environment, your emotions, and your skill set.
When you combine the intuitive and observant aspects of an experience and draw new conclusions for yourself, this is awareness.
The Final Assignment:
- Try something new
- Notice what feels good and try to hold onto those memories in your mind so that you ingrain a deep memory that motivates you to recreate it.
- Make a list of what went wrong or what you didn’t like then make another list of all the ways you could prevent or prepare differently to make it go more smoothly or easier for you.
- Repeat. You’ll only get better if you try. Continual exposure to a new sport, overcoming a fear, or pushing boundaries is the best way to master your adventure mindset.
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