My life revolves around adventure. It is my livelihood. Adventure in the classic sense of scaling high mountains in remote regions of the world and adventure in the mindful sense of living each day, each project, and in each relationship with intention, focus, and humor.
Shifting my focus from physical adventure to mindful adventure has not been easy. In fact, it is the hardest thing I have ever attempted. Bringing adventure into the core being of my life has been fraught with challenge and learning. The reward though is a level of engagement and awareness that is deeply satisfying and joyous.
Ten years ago, it was a different story. I found myself standing on top of one of the highest mountains in the world - an experience that my colleagues, friends, and family looked at with awe and wonder. Yet that day I felt neither. I actually felt very little emotionally - I felt detached and indifferent to an experience that was an ultimate lifetime goal to others. I realized this numbness was permeating most aspects of my life.
I had lost touch with the true spirit of adventure, the spirit that infuses vitality and radiance into our lives.
At the core, adventure is the willingness to commit to an uncertain outcome with an open heart and a willingness to learn and engage. It is the ability to take a leap into the unknown with mindfulness and grace. Framed this way, opportunity for adventure presents itself to us everyday.
Adventure as made up of five elements.
Adventure is high endeavor. It is the ability to think big and think bigger about who you are, how you live, and what you can do in the world.
Adventure is total commitment. It is the spirit of willingness to embrace challenge and move toward success. It is the acknowledgement that total commitment does not mean blind faith or brazen disregard, but it is confidence and belief in the face of challenge.
Adventure has an uncertain outcome. A predetermined outcome is not an adventure but a packaged experience or amusement ride. Life is uncertain - get comfortable with it! It is the acknowledgement that there will be adversity and unease, but that an uncertain outcome is a gift of possibility.
Adventure is tolerance for adversity. It is our ability to be resilient in the face of challenge. Our willingness to laugh, use humor, and graceful during difficult situations. The opportunity we each face to take a step back and acknowledge the sometimes absurd aspects of being human, embrace it, and continue on.
Adventure is great companionship. While our lives can sometimes feel solitary, we can't do it alone. It takes a team to support living in commitment, joy, generosity, and gratitude.
We can live in a state of adventure everyday in every aspect of our lives. Living in adventure brings a sense of vitality, intensity, and energy into all of our relationships and endeavors.
Adventure is not reserved for the extreme athlete or the daredevil. It is an attitude and lifestyle choice. It is an expression of your heart's intention and passion for life.
Like any practice (yoga, meditation, soccer, you name it!), adventure is a practice too. I have found the greatest success and the most meaning in my life by surrounding myself with family, friends, and colleagues that support adventure. Adventure is work - but the pay-off is well worth the commitment. Your summits await.
Matt Walker is an Adventure Consultant with Inner Passage in Tucson, AZ. He thrives on facilitating adventure for others. His latest book is titled 'Adventure in Everything'. You can learn more and download the first chapter for free at www.adventureineverything.com