Choosing adventure over comfort and convenience – A new New Years theme

Common: A mundane life of sheltered by comfort and convenience.

Uncommon:My last post got me thinking. With some reflection and assessment I recognized a very surprising personal trend of mine in 2010 that I wish not to repeat.

I refer to this discovery as “surprising” because I see myself as an adventure seeker. I enjoy a change of scenery, a new challenge, and the thrill of experiencing the unknown. But, I’ve realized in 2010 I compromised this intrinsic drive on more occasions than I’d like to admit. And now, I want to put a stop to it.

My decade long quest of researching behavior has taught me that humans are master justifiers (yes, that includes me). Regardless of consequence, we are fully capable of labeling any personal decision or behavior as justifiable. And this rationale can easily detain us a in a pattern of comfort and convenience, slowly and clandestinely keeping us away from our goals and our ideal life. Let me share an example.

The inner voice:

Recently I was invited to join a small group on a duffy boat cruise around the Newport Beach harbor. This sounded like fun to me, but when the day came (this past Sunday), my to-do list was longer than expected and the weather was cold and rainy. As I sat in my warm home office sipping tea that morning I heard my inner voice attempt to talk me out of this small adventure.

“You can’t afford to take 5 hours off this afternoon,” the voice told me. “Especially if the weather is poor and you don’t have the proper rain gear. And when are you going to get more uninterrupted time to work?” The commentary went on for some time. Fortunately, with my recent assessment of 2010 on my mind, I was more aware than usual of this negative voice inside my head. “No more,” I said. “I’m going.”  I grabbed my jacket and walked out the door.

Although wet and a little numb, the experience was still well worth it.  On the drive home, I discovered my theme for 2011: Adventure over comfort and convenience. I also realized that the greatest memories throughout my life have all been adventures – big or small, it didn’t matter. At the end of each year it was always the adventures (travel, new activities, and pursuits of the unfamiliar) that stand out.

Adventures in 2011:

It’s all to easy to choose the path of least resistance – so easy, in fact, we often aren’t aware of when and how often we do it. It’s a paralyzing pattern to fall into. Accordingly, I’ve set some big goals that will force me to seek more adventure.


As one example, in the next 6 months I have committed to travel to: Boston, New York, Singapore, Beijing, Dominican Republic, Croatia, London, and Hungary. And I imagine the latter half of this year to be similar. I will also be completing my education (graduating) at USC, starting 2 more blogs, and writing and releasing 3 books/manifestos. 2011 will be a year of adventures… because I will make it so.

Too many people go through life hoping that adventure, excitement, and happiness finds them. Rarely, if ever, does this happen. The New Year is always a good time to set new expectations and plan for new adventures. (Read my last post for a outline of how to do this.)

I also suggest revisiting your priorities and emphasizing the top 5 so comfort and/or convenience do not overshadow what is most important in your life.

“Inciteful” questions:

  • Am I making this decision because it is easier or more convenient than another option?
  • Is fear or desire driving this decision?
  • How will I look back on this decision at the end of this year?
  • Is this decision aligned with my most important priorities?
  • How will this action better my life?

The truth is, there is rarely an ideal time to begin a new adventure, it’s just that some are worse than others. With that in mind, it doesn’t make much sense to delay the experiences that make life interesting and exciting.

It’s trite but very true: Life is short, so don’t allow comfort or convenience to be your dominating influences. The greatest rewards in life often involve some level of risk and discomfort. Identify your key values and priorities and dare to live by them with conviction.

To a year of adventure and meaning!

Your thoughts?

How do you feel about this theme/concept? What is your 2011 theme? Why? Post your comments below. I would love to hear from you.

Stay uncommon,

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