Life’s adventures start with the first step

I’m sitting at my desk at 12:27am kicking myself that I didn’t pack up the car tonight to head up to the mountains early in the morning to take the kids skiing.  Tomorrow is Tuesday.  There’ll be almost no one on the slopes.  With the recent rain, there’s finally a little snow.  Why let a little work, kid’s school, or the forecast of showers get in my way?  It could have been an adventure!

I get a lot a random ideas like this – some of them I act on (like driving to Disneyland “for the day” from San Francisco on a whim), some slip by the wayside.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  It seems our imagination is limitless on what we can dream up and push ourselves to do for the sake of adventure.

Like the people who do those 100 mile runs.  Or the families who visit every baseball stadium in one season.  Or the 4 year old who decides to make money for Disneyland by setting up a face painting booth.  This is excitement.  These are adventures.

There are three things that go into making a great adventure:

  • Imagination
  • A goal (don’t roll your eyes, keep reading)
  • Uncertainty

You’ll notice that first ingredient involves no physical action – but sometimes requires a bit of inspiration.  Want to dance like Dancing with the Stars?  Alright! Wonder what Indian food taste like in India?  Find out!  Want to start a breakfast place that only serves cold leftover pizza and coffee?  I’m game.  The key is to stop being realistic – that’s an adventure killer.

Now dude, before you roll your eyes at the idea of setting a “goal” – which can be an overused term – it’s only required here because you need to have some distance between point A and point B.  It’s like you’re a pirate, and X marks the spot.  The adventure is the path you take in search of treasure.

It’s the uncertainty, the act of exploring unknown territory that turns life into an adventure.

We all have a choice.  We can keep doing the same realistic things we’re used to, or we can fire up the imagination, set a goal, and take that first step towards adventure just outside our comfort zone.