Adventures in Living

I once knew a drummer who played with a Blues band. He told me the story of working with a singer well into her 80s who was so infirm they would roll her onto the stage in a wheelchair and place the microphone in her lap. The band played the opening strains of the song she was to sing over and over and simply waited. When she was moved to do so, she would pick up the mike and start to sing. It was always worth the wait.

One day they were commiserating backstage. He was in his early 20s and just starting in the business. He asked her, “You’ve been around so long. What advice do you have for me? She looked him straight in the eye as she replied, “Honey, whoever dies with the most adventures wins!”

What a great approach to life!

What is an adventure, anyway? Isn’t it whatever you say it is?

We all know people who define an adventure much differently than we would. My friend Betty rates vacation spots 5-star only if there is no running water or electricity. She wants to be out in the open, under the stars enjoying nature at its naked best.

It’s not my cup of tea but it sure makes her happy!

Other adventurers do things like jump out of planes or off bridges tied to bungee cords. My heart beats rapidly at the mere idea.

But every day can also be an adventure! It’s all a matter of focus. The Law of Attraction says that you get more of what you focus on. What might your life be like if you looked at it through the lens of adventure?

A great role model for this is the cartoon dog Snoopy who could take the simple act of eating and turn it into a jungle hunt for prey.

What if getting ready for work each morning were an adventure of “human against the clock?” Rather than dragging yourself through the morning yawning and moaning, you could turn it into a high stakes game that gets your adrenalin pumping and makes you feel alive. Of course, some of you do this already but in a negative way. You get up too late and then it’s a heart-in-your-throat adventure to get to work on time or at least to your desk before your boss notices you’re late. What kind of impact do you think this type of adventure has on the balance of your day?

How could you turn work into an adventure? What would be your equivalent of a bungee cord ride? Perhaps you can focus on what you are discovering (also known as learning) as you move through your day. Many of us get excited when, on vacation or over the weekend we go to a museum or on a tour of a park. We can’t wait to tell friends all that we learned from our guides. What if we shared what we learn at work with equal excitement? Is it any less of an adventure? It’s actually even better because you’re getting paid for learning!

Take a look at your life over this past summer. Make a list of the adventures you’ve added to your list. Maybe you survived the ordeal of a co-worker’s vacation when you were left behind to carry his workload. Is this any less exciting than someone in the news who survived being stranded at an airport for 48 hours by the weather?

Perhaps you figured out some amazing shortcuts for doing your work faster or better. Are they any less impressive than finding shortcuts while on a forest hike?

The kinds of lives we lead all have to do with perspective. I know rich people who are miserable and poor people who are happy as can be. It all has to do with their points of view. One finds life a series of adventures (how little can we spend this week by using coupons at the grocery store?) and the other finds life a chore (“Why can’t I have a drink? Last call doesn’t apply to me!”)

Helen Keller said it perhaps best, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Remember—whoever dies with the most adventures wins. It could be you!

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