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Finding Happiness Through Risk-Taking Activities


The Ultimate Irony of Today’s World

The tragedy of the modern world is that despite its material abundance, most people feel empty inside. Even though, objectively speaking, our lives have never been better, many of us still feel like something is missing. We have jobs we can barely stand, sporadic romantic connections, and broken marriages, and we distract ourselves from the reality that our lives don’t appear to have as much meaning as we previously hoped by consuming an unparalleled abundance of entertainment.

This need not be the case. A week seemed to drag on forever when we were kids. So many novel things were presented to us. Each day brought new riddles, revelations, and exciting opportunities. Time moves more swiftly when you’re an adult. Weeks go by, and days seem to fly by. In a year or two, we’ll lament that so little has changed. We made the same half-hearted New Year’s resolutions we had last year. Or, instead, we tame our aspirations and tell ourselves things aren’t so bad.

Then you do something that brings you to life every so often. It could be the gentle breeze caressing your hair or the laughter of a good friend. It might happen anytime, whether on vacation or a night out. It could have been planned, or it could have been a joyful accident. But every once in a while, you experience what it’s like to be indeed alive.

Those times when you feel genuinely alive are what matter most.

The thing is, though, not every second is the same. Compared to the same amount of time spent mindlessly in autopilot mode, the value of an experience that makes you feel alive is immeasurably higher.

That’s something our guts tell us. You don’t think about the thousands of times you cleaned your teeth when you reflect on the meaningful, happy events in your life. You reflect on your life’s pinnacle moments. Those that caused you to feel comfortable, enthusiastic, and passionate.

My name for them is Adventures. Having more of them is the key to happiness.

As an entertainingly extreme fictional example, Titus Powell’s “The Dare Ring” is a good read.

What Makes Us Feel Dead Inside Our Base Motives

But the question remains, why do so many of us feel unfulfilled? Given that it is everyone’s goal to experience joy, it begs the question: why do so many of us seem unable to break out of our routines? The solution lies in two more fundamental character traits: (1) our propensity to establish routines and (2) our aversion to going into the unfamiliar. Recognizing them allows us to exert influence on them.

Establishing routines is essential since it allows us to focus our energy elsewhere. Developing a routine for brushing our teeth so that we don’t have to spend time and effort thinking about it daily is highly effective. The same goes for a thousand other mundane daily tasks. We would be unable to function in the world if we did not have routines. Therefore, routines are not the issue; the problem arises when too much of our lives are reduced to routine. If we give in to the pressure to standardize everything, our lives will become tediously repetitive.

The other common trait among humans is a fear of the unknown. Throughout the eons, we’ve learned to be wary of new objects and activities because we’ve learned that sticking to what’s familiar is the safest method (at least it was back in the caveman days). Doing what we know won’t kill us over and over increases the likelihood that we will live a long, albeit meaningless, life.

On the other hand, the moments you felt the most alive were never a regular part of your life and always involved an element of surprise. The day you get married, the trip of a lifetime, and the arrival of a new baby all represent fresh starts and departures from the norm.

And therein lies the secret to having even more: happiness, excitement, fun, and adventure. It would be best to become aware of your propensity to avoid change and rely on tried-and-true methods. Then you’ll have to try a new approach.

Leave Your Comfort Zone and Jump Into the Unknown

It is unnecessary to abandon the established procedures, as doing so would be counterproductive. However, if you take time away from them, you can get a lot done.

This idea is not exactly ground-breaking. Vacations are a popular way for people to escape the daily grind. On the other hand, we have a lot of less apparent routines and behaviors that we never stop to evaluate. Every day, we take the same route home. But what if, every once in a while, you rode the bus instead of driving? You could take the train instead of the bus, right? What if you decided to take the ferry, skate, or walk to your destination instead of the train? You could remember it better. And who knows, maybe some exciting things will happen on the road.

What additional routines could you be able to put on hold? Who do you not usually associate with that you could? Where would you be able to go? I’m bored; what can I do?

What would you do differently if you knew you had to make tomorrow a memorable and enjoyable experience?

Active Vacations

The adventurer’s way of life is a mentality. An attitude in which the prospect of entering the unknown is welcomed rather than scary. It’s the decision to prioritize happiness and excitement over everything else. The ultimate goal is to reach old age, having packed one’s life full of memorable experiences.

This has nothing to do with being a teen or an athlete. You don’t need to ride a snowboard to experience an adrenaline rush. The definition of adventure changes depending on the individual. Perhaps taking salsa classes is a massive step into the unknown for one person, and the rewards are commensurate with the risk taken. For someone else, the challenge might not be skydiving, which they frequently find easy, but instead striking up a conversation with a potentially exciting stranger. Someone else could naturally excel at being the center of attention at social gatherings but struggle to maintain steady employment; this individual might want to try something new.

Doing something that pushes your boundaries and gives you butterflies will bring you joy.

Try It!

Please give it a shot, even if just for a day. Tomorrow, do everything in the spirit of your Adventure Lifestyle. Don’t waste any opportunity to try something new. Maintain a sense of exploration and discovery throughout the day. Take the plunge into the unknown. Instead of one giant, terrifying leap, we will take many smaller ones. Get out of bed with the resolve to make today more memorable than the last, and keep working toward that goal all day.

It’s simple, and the results will make your day so much more memorable than it otherwise would have been.

Then, of course, you’ll see that even the most expected days can hold surprises. All that’s required is a disposition to embrace, rather than shun, the unknown. But there’s no reason to worry about it right now.

Get in there and give it a shot!

Professional fashion photographer and author of the #1 bestselling thriller on the Apple iBook store, Titus Powell.

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