If you had told me 15 years ago that I would ever write something titled this, I would have said you were crazy. But nonetheless, here I am, and it is proof that people evolve and that many behaviors can be learned. What do I mean? I can hear some of you saying right now to yourselves, “this doesn’t apply to me because I am just not adventurous.” That is what I would have said 15 years ago, but not today. Not anywhere close.
I’m always talking about mindset, and I am going to break that down for you today. Do you have any of these feelings right now: life is dull, I do the same thing every day, I need some excitement, etc.? Then pay attention. Start small. Go to a new restaurant this week. Wear an article of clothing you would never wear. Do something different that you usually would never do. But start small. You want to make sure that the worst case scenario of doing this is meaningless. For example, you go to a new restaurant. It sucks. $25 wasted. Not the end of the world. Upside, however, is: You’ve never tried duck. It was awesome. You took a tiny risk. It worked out. That was exciting. You like this. You’ll do more.
That is literally how it started for me, and now I just can’t get enough of life. Running a marathon, traveling monthly, climbing mountains, and so on. This is life to me now. This is how I think. This is my mindset. But not always. I had to put the effort in. I had to be open-minded to new things. I had to be willing to “fail” (and I did plenty of times). I had to learn to be spontaneous. I had to experience the phrase “no risk, no reward”. And it all started with baby steps. It bled into my being. And here I am now.
Speaking of now. I am on the eve of my first major trip of 2018, and I want to tell you literally how it came about. I decided the end of January would be a good timeframe, so I penciled that in my head. I then googled “Map of USA” because I’m totally into domestic trips right now. I enlarged the map, closed my eyes, and pointed. I landed on the Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana area, so that was my starting point. I went to Nashville in 2017, so that was out. I had never been to Louisville or Indianapolis, so that was in. I then checked what concerts or games might be in the area during that timeframe, and I hit the jackpot. Kevin Hart on January 28 and my beloved Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers on January 29. Boom! So I booked relatively inexpensive hotels for 3 nights, snagged tickets for the 2 events, and decided the remaining details will be figured out on the fly. Spontaneous. Just have to make sure I pick up some patches for my crazy jacket.
When is the last time you had a real adventure? I’ve had 5 this week. Man, it is good for the soul. Hiked the Pinnacle Trail at Crowders Mountain. Snow-sledded during the Great Blizzard of 2018. Sat on the floor for Hornets vs. Wizards. Tried a new restaurant. Hiked the Backside Trail at Crowders Mountain. During the first hike, my pal Junior and I reached the top of the trail and saw a sign that read “Warning: Serious Injuries and Deaths have Occurred Beyond this Point”. I wouldn’t have always done this, but I gave him the look immediately that we would be continuing our climb. That immediate decision to continue is now ingrained in me, but it can be traced back to a baby step I started with some 10 years ago. Life is a bona fide adventure for me now. I have a zest for life that wasn’t present even 3 years ago. And if you enjoy reading this every week and want to experience it for yourself, start this week. Seriously. “You can change your life to anything you want” is a phrase that has become cliché. But listen, I am going to be sitting in Indianapolis next Monday night watching my Hornets play right in front of me. Random, I know. But that is what I wanted to do on that random Monday night, and it is going to be awesome. If you want your own adventure, start small, but think big. It’s your life. Own it.
Have a great week.-Benj
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