This guest post was written by Robin Krieglstein, founder of GoalTribe.
I know a little something about living an adventurous life. I’ve hot air ballooned Kathmandu, glacier trekked Patagonia, gone paragliding in the Andes, slept in a snow-shelter at the top of the Rocky Mountains, scuba-dived in the tropics, camel trekked the Sahara, rock-climbed in Thailand and been on an African safari. Oh, and I’ve been sky diving, cliff diving, rafting on Class V white water, and I was even swept over a waterfall once.
Huff, huff… You thought I was finished, didn’t you?
I’ve also visited 20% of the world’s countries and circled the globe twice. I’ve explored ancient castles, palaces, temples, tombs, catacombs and labyrinths. I’ve stayed in 5 star hotels, caves and dessert caravan tents. I’ve seen the pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Amazon, the African savanna, the Himalayas, the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis in Athens and the Taj Mahal.
And I have to tell you – it’s been extraordinary. It’s an absolutely amazing, brilliant, beautiful world out there filled with dazzling wonders that are readily available for you to experience. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be exceptional. If you want to experience it all, you just have to make a decision, set some goals, and make it happen.
Step 1: Discover Your Vista’s of Adventure
First get a clear vision of what the word ‘adventure’ means to you. Take 30 minutes, put on some inspiring music, get excited and write down everything that comes to mind when you think about an adventure. What movies inspire you? Indiana Jones? James Bond? The Bourne Series? What types of adventures appeal to you? Adventurous sports? Travel? The great outdoors? What specific activities sound like a heart-pounding blast? Bungee jumping? Exploring ancient ruins? Heli-skiing (skiing areas you can only get to by helicopter)?
Step 2: Choose 5 Specific Adventure Goals
Life is short! Now is the time to get real. Now is the moment to make a commitment to experience the life adventures you want to experience before you die. Choose 5 adventure goals from your brainstorm that you’re most excited about. Pick one that you will do within 3 months, one that you will do by the end of the year, one within 2 years, one within 3 years and one within 5 years. The first 3-month goal should be exciting, but reasonable, so it’s actually possible to achieve in a short time frame. This one is very important because it will help you build momentum and faith in yourself.
Also, be firm and DECIDE that you WILL give yourself the gift of an adventurous life. Spend an additional 5 minutes writing out why this is important to you, and then write a formal commitment to yourself and hang it where you’ll see it every day.
Step 3: Learn How to Take the First Step
Now take your first 3-month goal and figure out what you need to do to make it a reality. One of the most common reasons people don’t make their life more exciting and adventurous is that they don’t know how to start. But that’s okay – you can learn. Search the Internet, the library, or talk to people who’ve done what you’re planning to do. Ask questions. Make calls. Figure out what steps you need to take. There are companies that arrange everything from local rock-climbing and white-water rafting trips to round-the-world, multi-month adventures. Also, read “ 25 Ways to Learn How to Do Absolutely Anything ” for more ideas.
Step 4: Create a Plan for Your First Adventure
Once you understand the initial steps that are required to embark on your first adventure goal, create a clear plan. Make a detailed list of what actions you need to take and set a date for completing each action so that you’ll be off experiencing this first adventure in exactly 3 months from today.
Step 5: Jump into Action Immediately
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably just read the previous 4 steps without actually doing anything. And guess what? You’re in danger of finishing this article without ever taking action. Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen:
Take action immediately! Yes, right now! Start brainstorming your adventure goals.
Pick your top 5 goals. And then do one more step…
Figure out what the logical first step is towards your first adventure goal.
Additional Tips on Living an Adventurous Life
Overcoming your fears is half the fun of adventuring. The adrenalin rush can be exhilarating! And when it passes, and you realize you’re still standing, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. Remember most fears are not real. Fear could stand for: “False Experiences Appearing Real.” Fear is also a great way to get people’s attention and motivate them to do things; so the media, politicians, companies and many other organizations spend a lot of time and money trying to make the world seem like a scary place. It’s not. Even for people living adventurous lives, disaster rarely strikes. That’s why when it does strike it makes the evening news… because it’s rare. Ultimately the secret to fear is: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Whenever you have a choice of activities to do, pick the one that will make for a better story.
Don’t have the time? Instead of going to see an action movie, take action in your own life. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, sit on a ski lift. Instead of sleeping in your bed, sleep on a bus on the way to the Grand Canyon. Instead of going out to the park, go out rock climbing. Instead of vacationing at Disneyland, vacation in Thailand.
Don’t have the money? International travel is much cheaper than it seems. Just give up a few luxuries and don’t try to keep living exactly the same way you do at home. You will keep costs down and have a much more profound experience if you eat what the locals eat, sleep like the locals sleep and travel like the locals travel. Visit countries that are more affordable than your home country. As for adventure sports, most of them are filled with specialized, expensive gear that you don’t need. You need SOME to be safe, but don’t be fooled into a thousand dollar shopping spree for a weekend camping trip. Rent, borrow or go without. Yes you can!
For additional advice on doing the impossible, I recommend reading (or rereading) Marc and Angel’s excellent post “How to Walk on Water.”
And one last tip from someone who’s been there: As your life unfolds with new excitement, experiences and adventure, you must, must, must keep a journal of your experiences. Also, take thousands of pictures and lock those precious moments into your memory forever. Someday, when you’re sitting with your children or grandchildren, you’ll be so happy you did.
What adventures would you like to conquer? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Robin Krieglstein is the Founder and CEO of GoalTribe, the most advanced goal achievement social network on the planet. GoalTribe offers free, step-by-step guidance to plan your goals, get a support team, build motivation, track your progress and overcome all obstacles. On GoalTribe’s blog, Robin explores life changing ideas colored by stories from his around-the-world travels through 38 countries.