The Discipline Of Adventure


Life is either a great adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

When I was in fifth grade, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.  I wanted to be an astronaut.  I wanted to fly to the moon, around the earth, and through the solar system on the adventure of a lifetime.  I remember writing to astronaut, Jack Lousma, to find out more information.  He sent me a personal note along with hundreds of 8″ x 10″ photos taken by NASA photographers, and he even autographed a few of the photos for me.

When I was in college, I wrestled with the idea of becoming a full-time overseas missionary.  I wanted to help people.  Part of me longed for the adventure that came with this kind of pursuit, but a major part of my was terrified of the unknown related to this decision.

As I’ve become older and I’ve taken on more and more responsibility at home, at work, and at church, my sense of adventure has continued to diminish.  I have become reluctant to pursue things that may be a little crazy.

Recently, I was reading Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds (affiliate link) by Carmine Gallo, and he reminded me that we are actually made for adventure.  In Chapter 4 (Team Me Something New), Gallo shares some quotes from arctic explorer, Ben Saunders“In my experience, there is something addictive about tasting life at the very edge of what’s humanly possible.”  Saunders goes on to say, “In life, we all have tempests to ride and poles to walk to, and I think metaphorically speaking, at least, we could all benefit from getting outside the house a little more often, if only we could sum up the courage.”

I don’t know what’s holding you back, but I think it’s time we all reconsider the discipline of adventure.

Life is too short to live in our comfort zone.  We must relearn the thrill of doing something that scares us a little, that causes our heart to beat a little faster, and extends the boundaries on what we thought was possible.

You don’t have to go to the North Pole, to the moon, or to a strange land to practice the discipline of adventure (although these places may be where you end up someday).  Adventure is waiting right outside your door.  Get off the couch, and go do something that matters.  Seek out adventure, and you might just be surprised by how much you stretch and by how much you learn about yourself.

How would your world be different if you made the decision to practice the discipline of adventure?  How has adventure made a difference in your life?