Have you ever had a true adventure? A real adventure that kept you excited, your heart pumping, your body flooded with adrenaline, sweaty palms, and jittery nerves, had you feeling fully alive and present in the moment? Did your adventure leave you craving more or disappointed that it was over? Living through an adventure often leaves one wanting more because of the feeling that they get while they are experiencing it. Then, when it is over, they often wonder when they will be able to feel that excitement again. When will their next adventure come? The thing is, for some, it never comes again when a person is used to living a life of “security” and when being “safe” comes before living a life that may be perceived as being a little “risky”.
The truth that most people ignore, living in ignorant bliss, is that in the reality that we live in, the risk is everywhere and there is no such thing as security. We live in a world where we drive cars, take part in sports, fly in planes, ride on bikes and in buses, use knives, some people use, and some abuse firearms, we live near streets, use electricity, and subject ourselves to many, many, many different other things that can cause injury or death at any moment. We also live relying on money to pay for many of the things in life that we need and want in our lives. Most of us earn this money by either working for ourselves or by having a job. It has happened over and over in the past where financial markets crash, people lose their jobs, their savings, their investments, their homes, cars, you name it… Security? What security? In this world, we have wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, droughts, monsoons, tsunamis, and dozens of other natural disasters that plague us no matter where we live. Along with robberies, muggings, murder, and some generally bad people living everywhere. To be sure, this world we live in is not by any means safe. Now before I scare you to death (no pun intended), I say all this to make a point. While we try to live our lives oblivious to the things that can happen at any time to us, it is impossible to protect ourselves from everything, in every way, every day.
Despite all this, there are many people who try to protect themselves by not doing anything that presents a perceived risk to their life, limb, possessions, or money. Some will not fly in a plane, but they will get in a car every day to drive to a variety of locations at an even greater risk because they do not look at it the same. Some people will not invest in stocks, bonds, or funds because they perceive it as too risky. Yet, they will go to the casino and lay down that same cash at a table, pump it into the slot machines or spend it on that newest, latest, greatest gadget that breaks after a month or two, leaving them with nothing. It can be interesting to take a step back and look at what people define as risky and why.
But there are others, the trendsetters, the movers, the shakers, the rich, the powerful, the adrenalin junkies, the athletes, the heroes, the fearless, the ones who get it done, THE ADVENTURERS. It is the people who live their lives as an adventure that other people look up to and admire (even if secretly). Who do you think is getting the most out of life? The person blazing a trail of their own or the person that is following the trail that is already cleared for them?
Helen Keller once said that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. Truer words have never been spoken. Think about how life has evolved on Earth. Animals in the wild never know what the next day will bring for them. They live their lives at risk every day. They raise their young to be strong and survive the rigors and dangers of the environment they live in. They know nothing of security or safety. They live in the here and now. Their senses tuned in to what is around them, alert to adapt and respond to changes quickly, or else. It is the instinct of survival. We as humans also have an instinct for survival. The problem with our instinct is that we often confuse it with fear. Then we relate that fear to things that pose no real threat to our existence and pay little heed to it in the face of real and present threats. This is why some get a thrill from driving at high speeds, racing or otherwise, (no matter the danger) while others fear standing in front of a crowd and speaking where there is no real threat at all.
When looking at life without the rose-colored glasses on, you soon realize that we are exposed to real and perceived threats every day. Whether we choose to expose ourselves to living adventurously or not. We were not brought into this world to be sheep; we have actual sheep that do that job just fine without us adding to their population. Think about some of the great “adventurers” from our past that changed the world we live in and the way we live. What would our world be without things we take for granted? Electricity, modern transportation, housing, freedom, and all the millions of other things that make life in the modern world easy in comparison to a hundred or so years ago. It is that spirit of adventure that creates innovation and invention. A sense of adventure in one’s life inspires and motivates a person to reach farther, do more, and pursue a life of abundance and achievement.
What you need to take away from this article is not fear of what can happen to you or a sense of foreboding over the negative things that occur in the course of your life. Instead, create a realization that things can happen whether you live a “safe and secure” life or a life filled with adventure and a desire to live your life to the full.
Yes, you should plan for your future by creating what financial and relational security you can as well as being a responsible, accountable, and ethical person. BUT you can also live your life in such a way that you are able to experience all that this life has to offer, while you are able to enjoy all the astonishing and terrifying things that make up the journey of life that you are on. You can do this all, knowing that the risk is the same whether you choose to really live your life, or just survive it.
“When looking at life without the rose-colored glasses on, you soon realize that we are exposed to real and perceived threats every day. Whether we choose to expose ourselves to living adventurously or not. We were not brought into this world to be sheep; we have actual sheep that do that job just fine without us adding to their population.”
By: T. Michael Fairchild, MCC