8 Do’s and Don’ts for Adventurous Living

August 13 2013

“You’re so lucky! I want your life!”

If you’ve heard this, you probably know luck has very little to do with it.

If you haven’t, you, too, can live the life that gets people asking, “How do you do it?” by following these tips for living adventurously:

Don’t: Be afraid of looking like a fool.

The “foolish” moments are the stories you’ll share later on. You won’t always have the answers, and on some days, you’ll feel like you are grasping at straws. This is how you grow. When you expose your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, you’ll place yourself in situations and in relationships that will stretch your understanding of the world and test your mettle. And when you meet people who are living the life, don’t be afraid to ask them: “How are you doing it?”

Don’t: Shy away from mistakes.

Screwing up means you’re learning, and if you’re worried about making a mess, you’re going to lead a very boring existence. The grit and the dirt and the flailing around is what gives life texture. Mistakes can be our biggest teachers. If you’re not making any, you’re probably not stretching yourself. Adventure comes from trying, failing, getting back up, and trying again.

Do: Lean on the help of others.

I used to be unreasonably afraid of asking for help. Asking for something meant I was not capable of providing for myself or I miscalculated something in someway. Wrong. Deeper relationships can develop once you let go of your ego. By allowing someone else to help you, you’ll be given a glimpse into their world as you navigate your own. People want to help, but you must first give them permission to do so.

Do: Appreciate the little things.

Cherish wins, no matter how small. Take time to savor each moment. Step away from work, gadgets and screens and invest hours giving to others or spending time with your family. Sometimes you need an afternoon to do nothing — send a few greeting cards and go for a walk. The most exciting stories can emerge from everyday activities. Seeing routine with fresh eyes can make the world of difference.

Don’t: Always shoot from the hip.

While serendipity can be magical, strategic moves are necessary. Too much risk can cause unstable footing, and clear vision vision can help minimize losses while informing calculated choices. Identify your top priorities and work backwards to move closer to your personal finish line.

Do: Think…but don’t think too much.

Believe it or not, you can get in your own way. Over-thinking can be counterproductive and distract you from hidden gems. If you try to plan each and every move, you’ll rob yourself from the mystery and delight of unexpected surprise. Hand over the keys and let your heart lead the way. Once your intuition grabs the wheel, your destination might pleasantly surprise you.

Don’t: Be too busy for kindness. Ever.

This cannot be overstated. We are all in this together. Why not make the folks around you shine just a little brighter while you’re at it? Look for ways to infuse kindness into your day-to-day. Surprise a loved one with a note, pack lunch for a neighbor, host a dinner party for your closest friends.

Do: Say thank you.

What goes around comes around. A simple “thank you” can open more doors than you could possibly imagine. Thoughtful reflection reminds you where you’ve come from and where you’re going, and gratitude works both ways. You need to express it as much as the people around you need to hear it.