This Adventurous Life
Why do we crave epic tales of love and hardship in the movies?
Why do we love books that pull us from our own world into a magical other?
Why are the most popular video games those that put us in life or death situations?
Ultimately, we long for adventure in our own lives. But we’re too paralyzed by the thought of actually doing it that we just sit on our couch and live out other people’s adventures, whether real or fictional.
I love the Chronicles of Narnia movies. I used to think, every single time I watched them, how much I would love to live in the world of Narnia. Why, though? What makes it so much more compelling than the world I live in now? The only real difference is that their day-to-day actions involve risk, and those actions are generally for something greater than themselves.
It may seem daunting or unrealistic, but our lives can be just as adventurous as the ones we see in our favorite movies and books.
The key is to start small and just do something. Anything.
I’ve very recently taken up running (let’s get real here, it’s jogging). Not very far, mind you. I’ve stayed between 2-3 miles for my first few weeks here.
Yesterday, Denver was in a blizzard watch all day. It was windy, snowy, and about 18 degrees outside. All of a sudden, at around 3pm, I felt this urge to be out in it. I can’t explain it, other than my body was craving something beyond the comfort of my toasty, 70-degree home office. So I put on a sweatshirt, sweatpants, got the violin music that I listen to queued up…and I headed out into the white. It was only two miles. And with the wind and snow it took about a half hour. But it was fantastic. There was nobody else out there on the trail but me.
Life is not about safety. It’s about adventure. Running in the snow was but a small step in the right direction, but it was a step no less.
Now, I’m going to share a few ideas with you. The reality, however, is that you probably could figure it out if you spent some time thinking about it. When making choices, don’t just think about safety and comfort, but think about adventure and risk as well. Not necessarily first and foremost, but at least consider it. For many of us, that would be progress.
- Replace your nightly TV-watching with a walk or other physical exercise. It’s scientifically proven that physical exertion gives us not only bodily stamina, but mental stamina as well.
- On that same note, our bodies can handle much more than we think. Push yourself a little harder than you normally would.
- Don’t worry so much about being home at a decent hour.
- Feel freedom to divert from your agenda.
- Screw “practical,” sometimes it’s okay to be irrational about things.
- Do something you normally wouldn’t. Go to the opera, make reservations at a fancy restaurant, take a spur-of-the-moment long weekend away.
- Say “yes” to more things that seem a little crazy.
- Don’t think so much about “being ready” for things: moving, quitting your job, getting married, having kids, etc.
- Mainly, when being “safe” comes to the forefront of your mind, at least give adventure a chance.