How to embrace your wild side in 2019
It’s that time of year again, when we’re contemplating what has been, what could be, and what we want to improve on as we move closer to that first, glorious sunrise in January – a moment packed with possibility.
In our view, there’s one New Year’s Resolution that’s worth your commitment in 2019, as it will have a positive ripple effect over many aspects of your life. That resolution is to ‘be adventurous’; or, as Mark Twain eloquently put it, “Sail away from the safe harbour…explore, dream, discover.”
While many people love the idea of adventure, they struggle to step out of their comfort zone and turn their wild dreams into reality. Routine is safe and stress-free; new experiences involve risk and discomfort.
But, while adventure may seem energy-sapping at the outset, we promise it will make you feel more alive, confident and happy in the long run. Nothing ignites the spirit quite like an adventure – it offers the ultimate legal high. So, if you want to unleash your wild side in 2019, here are some tips to help inspire a year filled with adventure…
1. Don’t hesitate
Don’t give ‘survival mode’ a chance to creep into your mind and prevent you from living a bold and exciting life. Give yourself five seconds to commit to an adventure – be it big or small – and then go for it; plan, prepare and enjoy. If you overthink things, they won’t happen. You’ll start finding reasons (excuses) to ditch your dream. Commit to your adventure quickly and wholeheartedly from the outset (no maybes, ifs, or buts), so every next step comes from a positive, determined and focused mindset.
2. Be adventurous with your adventures
Adventure comes in many forms. It’s not just physical; it can be cultural, social, mental, spiritual and beyond. If you lean more towards physical challenges, try immersing yourself in a new subculture. If you’re confident when it comes to new social experiences, why not tackle a solo physical challenge? Who knows, you might discover a new activity or experience you really enjoy. At the very least, you will have learnt something about the world and grown as a person.
3. Master your mindset
The success of any adventure is more about mindset than it is physical fitness, raw talent or luck. So, don’t let your environment or circumstances control your mindset. Whatever comes your way, focus on being positive – an optimistic mind can overcome any challenge. This is the mantra of our Expedition Director, Ben Southall, who’s encountered many hurdles over the years. From impossible border crossings and logistical nightmares to physical injuries and natural disasters, his permanent smile and positive attitude have gone a long way towards his accomplishments. So, remember, nothing is impossible – you’ve got this!
4. Back yourself
When choosing an adventure, you’ll have plenty of naysayers questioning your ambitions and outlining the many reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do something. Don’t join the critics, be your own cheerleader. When our Marketing Director, Sophee Southall, decided to skateboard 1000km solo and unsupported around Tasmania whilst four months pregnant, many people expressed their doubts and concerns. Despite having never stepped foot on a skateboard, Sophee decided to back herself and hit the road, towing her life in a trailer behind her. After five weeks of brutal mountain ascents and tearful moments, she finally made it to her finish line and had the pleasure of whispering, “I told you so”.
5. Manage your fears
While fear can be a helpful tool in extreme circumstances, it generally prevents us from living more exciting and fulfilling lives. When you feel the fear creeping in, put it on the stand and question it. Is it being driven by irrational self-doubt or your innate desire for comfort? If so, tell it to take a back seat. Is it warning you against genuine and probable harm? If so, nut things out and come up with a contingency plan. The goal is to stay safe – not comfortable.
6. Go big then start small
Don’t sell yourself short and don’t let anyonebelittle your potential. Go big, be bold – explore and embrace your awesomeness. Life is short; you don’t want to reach the end of it with regrets. If your dream is to walk the length of Africa solo, become a doctor in your 50s, establish a charity that lands you a knighthood or invent something that improves the world, go for it! These things have all been achieved by ordinary people who decidedthey could do extraordinary things.
Big goals can be daunting, even paralysing, at first. To ensure you’re not overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge ahead, break it down into smaller goals and start kicking them – seriously, just start. Before you know it, you’ll have momentum and the finish line will be in sight. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
7. Learn from failure and try again
Adventures don’t always go to plan. That’s what makes them adventures. You can’t control every aspect of what lies ahead, though you can (and should) pre-empt and prepare for most of it – physically, mentally, logistically and so on. In our experience, your best weapon heading into any adventure is a strong and adaptable mind. The main difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is their level of resilience and agility. In other words, successful people fail, but they choose to learn from the experience, adapt their plan and try again…and again. So, don’t let bumps in the road stop you in your tracks; find an alternative path and be relentless in your pursuit of the finish line.
8. Be true to yourself
Life is a grand adventure and it can be truly extraordinary – if you let it. While routine stresses and humdrum tasks often occupy our lives, our hearts hold on to that glimmer of hope – that desire for something more. Don’t ignore that feeling; listen to it and let it steer you towards your next adventure.
Unfulfilled potential is heart breaking. Give yourself permission to be extraordinary – to create and enjoy an epic life story on your terms. At the end of the day, people who tackle wild adventures aren’t the crazy ones. It’s those who stick to the same boring routine – despite the crummy way it makes them feel – that are completely bonkers.