Be Adventurous

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tired of doing the same old thing? Want to spice things up? There's more to being adventurous than traveling and climbing mountains. The formula for adventure is really quite simple: Novelty + courage = adventure.So,what are you waiting for?

Put a new twist on the same old thing. Come into your house through your window instead of your front door. Take the long road home. Study the kama sutra. Cook an exotic meal. Wear something totally out of character. Go to a movie in your high school prom dress. Learn a new language and whisper sweet nothings into the ear of your loved one, or the hottie at the bar. Whatever it is that you're doing, ask yourself: "How can I do this differently?" Even something as mundane as brushing your teeth can take on a whole new level of fun when you practice a tap dancing routine or belly dance at the same time!
Conquer your fears. You know what they are, and once you overcome them, that'll open the door to a whole new set of adventures. Whether it's heights, public speaking, karaoke, your mother-in-law...face it. Remember that fear is a biological response to worrying about death. If the situation that scares you isn't life-threatening, there isn't any reason to be scared!
Talk to strangers. The best way to find new adventures is through new people. Everybody has different experiences and a different background; every person can teach you something new. Maybe that guy sitting across from you at the coffee shop can show you how to climb a mountain. Maybe the old lady in the library can teach you how to preserve fifty pounds of tomatoes. Maybe the quiet girl at the bar can offer you a place to stay with her cousin in Buenos Aires, or Budapest, or Bolivia. Get over your approach anxiety and start talking to people! Who cares if they brush you off? What's the big deal? It isn't going to kill you, right? (Well....see the Warnings below.)
Try new things. Always be on the lookout for new things to do. Read the local papers, and ask people (now that you're chatting up a storm with strangers) what they're doing in their spare time. Go to a local farm and ask if you can milk a cow. Film a documentary. Take a ballet or salsa dance class. Meditate with Buddhist monks. Whatever it is, approach it with an open mind and a good attitude, and thank people for giving you the opportunity for trying something new.
Get lost! Explore new territory. Once in a while, spend a day off just driving around randomly and seeing what you come across. (If you have a map and aren't too isolated, you should be able to find your way home.) If you have the means to do so, visit another country. Even if you can't travel, you can climb the tree in your backyard--that's new territory, and you'll probably enjoy the view!
Make a bucket list. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket". Surely, you don't want to die having followed the same old routine, day in, day out, do you? So write up that list - complete with goals big and small, like skydiving in Peru, and whistling with a blade of grass - and get to it!
Live in the moment. Adventurers are experts in focusing on the journey rather than the destination. Yes, they usually have a goal in mind, but when you're trying new things, plans always change and your route will, too! You'll need to be resourceful and, more importantly, be a good sport. When things go wrong (which they will, or else you're not pushing far enough outside your comfort zone) don't get moody and distraught; outline your options, pick one, and charge forward with your life. And have fun!

Get fit. Many adventures require physical exertion, so while you don't have to look like a supermodel, you should be able to climb a few flights of stairs without losing your breath.


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