by Kimberly Gleason
“When you imagine the adventurous, fun life you want, act as if you are brave and can’t fail. You’ll find that pretending sometimes leads to being the person you want to be.”
Mary woke up one day to the harsh reality that life was passing her by. Sure, she had a successful career, a loving husband and two bright, happy kids. But something was missing. She was missing the adventurous spirit she exhibited as a child.
As we grow up, lose our inner child to the cares of the world. There are bills to pay, a job to do, a family to feed. Who has time for fun and adventure? It’s easier, let alone more comfortable, to settle into our routines as mother, wife and employee. We’re taught to play it safe, to just get the job done. Then mediocrity and complacency begin to creep in.
Are you ready for extraordinary living? I’m not talking about bungee jumping, necessarily. You can add adventure in small doses to your everyday life. Doing so may add meaning and purpose, excitement and fun, a sense of accomplishment, deeper relationships and greater fulfillment in life.
Not sure where to start? Try the following strategies:
Pursue your passions. Sandy Ralya is passionate about marriage. So much so that she’s written a book and started a nonprofit organization, both which have added adventure to her life. She was even invited to speak to women in Uganda. She didn’t expect the bone-jarring highways, “squatty pottys,” lack of running water, and chickens roaming in her host’s home. Nor did she expect the perspective shift from this quest.
What about you? Are you passionate about cooking? Try adding new spices to your favorite dish. Does the homeless dilemma spark your anger? Don’t just give spare change. Get involved. Pursuing your passions lends itself beautifully to a life well lived.
Ask “What if?” To live more adventurously, ask “What if?” Giving herself permission to explore, one of my coaching clients discovered that her dream was to be a motivational speaker and writer. Now she enjoys the biggest adventures yet in her career. Below are some “What if” questions you can answer to help unlock your heart’s deepest desires:
- What if you could have any career you wanted?
- What if you could try a new hobby or activity?
- What if you could make an impact on the world?
- What if you could travel anywhere?
- What if you could say what you’ve been meaning to say?
- What if you could develop a new idea?
- What if you could chase after your dreams?
Act “As if.” Remember the “What if” questions?
Now comes the scary part: Act as if you can achieve your goals. Jennifer’s goal was to land a new job.
She was reluctant to network, yet knew the importance. So I coached her to act “as if” she were successful, charming and as if she were somebody everybody wanted to meet.
When you imagine the adventurous, fun life you want, act as if you are brave and can’t fail. You’ll find that pretending sometimes leads to being the person you want to be.
Identify your fears. We all have fears that limit us – fear of failure, success, being disliked or being different. Fear is the greatest obstacle to the bold life; it keeps us stuck, not moving forward toward a life of purpose and fulfillment.
The answer? Tackle your fear like it’s your worst enemy. Just do it afraid. Consider the giants of history – Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Gandhi – and the challenges they embraced to make an impact on the world. You, too, can confront fear to discover the courage you need to live an adventurous, rewarding life.
Schedule and experiment. You schedule your doctor appointments, so why not schedule adventure into your life? Tight-rope walking on Tuesday? Fishing on Friday? Skydiving on Saturday? Why not throw in an activity that’s out of character for you? Those who schedule fun and time for themselves enjoy more fulfilling lives. What are you waiting for? Develop your ideas, whip out your calendar, and write down your commitments to yourself. Experiment with this new way of living and being. You won’t want to return to the ordinary and mundane once you’ve experienced the benefits of adventurous living.
Wake up. It’s a brand new day. Your life is calling you to discover, explore and play.
About the Author:
Kimberly Gleason is a life coach, speaker, and trainer who helps people overcome their challenges and achieve their dreams. You can download her free e-book “Squash the Do It All, Be It All Syndrome” and newsletter at www.thrivecoachingalliance.com.