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This exercise went quick! I actually finished it in one morning… those who know me know that I love to talk to people, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised! I set myself up at Matchbox Coworking Studio for the workday, and just chatted with a couple friends as we were grabbing our morning cup of coffee. After getting some work done, I checked my Facebook page to find a couple of comments in response to my question about how a lack of adventure makes you feel, and got some great interaction there too.

Exercise and Deliverables

The exercise was to talk with five people who feel the problem I’m trying to solve, and work to understand their perspective of the problem in their words. Here are the words of the people I talked with today:

“When I don’t make time for adventure, my mind feels constricted. I go into survival mode instead of being an explorer. I don’t ask ‘what’s out there?” I just think ‘how can I get through this?’ ” – Tom Elliott

“Whenever I’m out of the house, I feel like it has to be work related. Time is a precious commodity, and I feel like I have limited control over it. How can I justify taking that time away from my wife and kids?” – Ryan Traeger

In talking with Ryan, I shared my distinction for adventure (an experience where you learn by persevering into the unknown, finding fulfillment), to which he said: “Yeah, I want that for my kids. Especially because they’re my daughters. My wife wouldn’t enjoy that at all though. How do you do that with your wife when she’s the polar opposite?”

“When I’m not getting enough adventure, I tend to look forward to going to bed. When I feel like I’m getting sufficient adventure, I look forward to waking up.” -Dan Giles

In my own life, I have discovered that I can have adventure even in the mundane. I ask myself “how can I do this differently or better than last time?” I’m on a personal adventure at the moment that includes a lot of hard work and it’s going to take months or longer to get to where I want to be. Asking that question helps me to keep pressing. However, somewhat related to what the gentleman below mentioned, sometimes it feels like I’m a workaholic and it robs from my kids and family. I’m trying to learn how to share my adventure with them. Doing so gives me the opportunity to keep on my own adventure and include them in it.” – Dan Giles

“You need a healthy sense of selfishness as well as good together time in a marriage! Prioritize those things that fill you up and help you be a better man, husband, and father.” Rob G (therapist)

Then the piece de resistance, this epic post from my friend Jerry Hawthorne:

“I’m convinced that having new experiences is a sort of fountain of youth. This is especially true of experiences that make you feel a little thrill.

The flip side of this is the lack of new adventure will age you, maybe even beyond your years. The longer you go without it, the more afraid of the thrill you will become. That feeling will become so uncomfortable, you will say no to adventures that you should say yes to.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to go on vacation with my 79-year-old dad. He’s a widower and is living on a borrowed kidney. My whole life, he has said no to every opportunity to enjoy the thrill. Instead, he was a duty-bound workaholic. I was absolutely floored when he said yes to my invite. This meant he had to get on a plane alone for the first time in 40 years. He had to change flights in Dallas. He had to be away from his house and his routine which involves taking a lot of pills, and he was afraid of forgetting.

He had a blast! He said the whole experience made him feel younger. He seemed completely alive and full of vigor

I got to talk to him a lot. He admitted that he regretted never taking a real family vacation with us. He regretted judging people for their lifestyle only to miss them when they passed away. He regretted making promises and not following through on them. He regretted never taking risk in his career, and following his passions.

I think at 79 my dad is growing more as a person through adopting an adventurers heart, and it fills me with joy.” – Jerry Hawthorne

Reflections

I was really excited for this exercise, especially after getting to talk with Jeff Bonaldi and Josh Spodek yesterday about this great work. They were both so encouraging, and Jeff had some super special news to share that I’m excited to share when the time is right. 😀

I felt genuinely interested in each of the conversations, and curious throughout. Everyone I talked to was eager to share their experiences with me and was really passionate about the need for what I’m doing in the world. Tom even commented “so, you’re doing something in the fall for this, right?” I guess so! 😛

My motivation has gotten even bigger after this exercise, if that was possible. Now I really see that in a short period of time I found people I care about who would genuinely benefit from my work. I think I’ve come to a better understanding of the problem and the quality of the solution has improved too. Everyone I talked to is interested in keeping up with what I’m working on as the project evolves. On to the next!