Make life an adventure not a rut


We wake up every day with the unspoken challenge. Do we choose only to stick to our routine? Or is there more? The way we live each day can easily become a rut.

“A rut is a grave with the ends knocked out,” wrote Laurence J. Peter. A place of unborn dreams and empty of projects. A place of disinterest, exhaustion, apathy. A place where we ask ourselves, why bother?

Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author, expressed clearly: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” In the routine we only cling to the familiar, to what is known, to what we think we can command. But adventure means striking out; risking what is new and different with a clear and specific purpose. It is not chance nor circumstance; it is a deliberate search for doing something beyond our average life: it means extending ourselves to the challenge of growing and making waves… however small the waves may be.

The dictionary defines adventure as “an unusual, exciting, and possibly dangerous activity, such as a trip or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity” (www.dictionary.cambridge.org), “an exciting or very unusual experience”, from Latin “adventura”, what must happen, to come to, arrive at.” It means enthusiasm, extending beyond, creating a difference.

Adventure means reaching out to possibilities we did not think were possible. Even pain and grief can make us reach out and create something new. (How many wonderful projects were created in spite of loss and pain!) But how many more withdraw and retreat in their world instead of seeking out the adventure.

As humans we were created both with the need of stability and the need of adventure; both aspects need to be balanced in our lives. But if we only remain in the orderly and controlled aspects of our lives, we miss out on the growth, remaining in our comfort zone.

Dr. Paul Tournier, the Swiss physician and author, writes the following in his book The Adventure of Living:

The characteristics of Adventure

  1. Adventure is a manifestation of oneself, a form of self-expression.

  2. It innovates and invents; it is ingenious.

  3. It is coherent, evolving in the pursuit of a single final goal.

  4. This goal is love; it is love which suggests the goal, and love which directs and sustains the adventure.

  5. Lastly, it involves necessarily the running of a risk.

He also writes: “To express oneself in action, in a creative work, is to fulfill oneself as a man, to put to fruitful use the talents one has been endowed with… The attraction of risk lies in its subtle ambivalence, a man fears it, but he loves it at the same time… So it is that many people deny their talents, both to escape the responsibility that goes with them, and to insure against possible failure.”

How about following Paul Tournier’s advice to think and act more adventuresomely? Let’s stop complaining, hiding, withdrawing, criticizing and take a small step today towards the spirit of adventure.

Do something different. Greet a stranger. Start studying again. Pick up a craft. Write a book. Travel to a new place. Make changes you have been postponing for ages. Surprise your spouse. Begin a business. The list can go on and on.

Adventure will bring a light into our eyes,; it will spark our creativity, it will offer something new and wonderful that is needed. And if we reach our new goals, we will be wiser, smarter, and capable of even more.

And if our adventure is motivated by love, by kindness, and generosity, what an even greater adventure!

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