How to live an adventurous life


“All great literature is one of two stories:a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.”Leo Tolstoy

I've loved this Tolstoy quote for years, not merely because it's true about great literature, but because it describes the amazing potential of YOUR life and mine.

Hang with me for a minute, this takes some explaining...

1. Greatness happens when someone DOES something.

Think of a film or book you've loved.

Got one?

Isn't it true that the story involved tension? Wasn't there a plot twist where the main character had to overcome some sort of adversity?  Whether you loved or hated the character, weren't you drawn to the story because something remarkable was happening?

Stories with little movement are stories which remain untold, or, at least, don't rise to the level of "great literature."

Who wants to hear a narrative where people live comfortable lives, content to stay in their hometown talking with familiar people?  Where's the adventure in that?

The principle of movement is central to our lives.  Our habit to find a groove and stick with it may minimize surprises, but it also dulls our ability to move into new adventures.

2. Adventure happens when you leave your comfort zone.

You are perfectly positioned to do exactly what you're currently doing.  Is that enough for you?

If it's not, nothing will change if you maintain your current direction.

For things to be different, we have to leave our comfort zone(s).  We have to take a "journey" down the unfamiliar paths in life.

Often, adventure begins when we "go!"

3. Excitement happens when you're open to new relationships.

Still, not every adventure requires a journey.  Sometimes adventures come into your world through people.

I recently made a new friend who was in Atlanta for Passover.  She was sitting near me in a shared work space, and we struck up a conversation which was fun, engaging, and made me think differently.  What a treat!  While we're not planning family vacations together, I have already enjoyed a "mini-adventure" in meeting someone new.  My story feels more full because of a new friend.

Haven't all of your friendships happened with similar steps?

Today your story and mine can take one of two directions: it will either take a dramatic turn, or it won't. It will be an exciting adventure or a continuation of what we already know.

There are plenty of average stories, but ours don't have to be.

Your adventure starts when you can answer this question:

What journeys are you taking or what people are you meeting who will challenge your status quo?