I’m interested in when you last stepped outside of your comfort zone. Was it recently? Was it scary? Was it gratifying? Are you pleased you did so? Please respond and let me know what you did, how you felt and what the benefits were. I’m looking for ideas…
Why am I interested?
In my opinion, when we step outside our comfort zones it can often be when we make the most progress. Whether this be work orientated, in your social life or even doing something ‘odd’ to raise money for good causes.
I listened to a talk recently by Alistair Humphreys who amazingly cycled around the world, on his own, with no support crew and only £7,000 at his disposal. It took him 4 years and 3 months! Big respect. He’s written a book on his experiences and he was awarded the title of National Geographic Adventurer of the year in 2012. His journeys include walking across India, rowing the Atlantic and trekking across the Arabian Peninsula’s ’empty quarter’. He describes himself as a normal bloke but it’s not your average Joe who takes on such feats is it?
We can’t all be intrepid explorers but I was drawn to his challenge… “undertake your own micro adventure”. This could be with your work colleagues, your family, friends or a group who have common values.
So, what’s a micro adventure? Now you don’t have to try and reenact ‘I’m no longer a celebrity, get me some publicity’, you don’t have to go into the jungle. Just do something different, something out of the ordinary, something outside your comfort zone. A micro adventure is described as being close to home, cheap, simple, short and very effective.
Within my work environment I’m often taking myself out of my comfort zone but personally, perhaps I don’t as much as I should. So, after the talk from Alistair I went bounding home suggesting to my family that we should go and camp on top of a hill one night, wash in a stream and then go to work and school the next day. What Alistair calls the ‘5-9 challenge’. Alastair explained that the concept is to finish your work at 5pm and be back at work for 9am the next morning having had a meaningful adventure in between.
Guess the response I received? You got it… less than enthusiastic!
In their defense it was 2 degrees outside at the time!
The question I really wanted to asked myself is am I in ‘soulless automaton’? I love this phrase from Christopher Keyes, which I picked up in the ‘Outside Magazine’ and an article about improving your life through micro adventures. It refers to the busy lives we all seem to lead. Think about your last few days; has it been a blur of family and work chores? Has it been functional… or has it been stimulating? Over the last 5 days can you remember any thing which has enriched you personally?
You may wonder why I’m writing about this…
Well, most of what I get involved in through my work at Blue Sky is about helping people live the life they want. At the same time, challenging clients to ditch some of their predetermined thinking and look at life differently. Sure, we talk about money. This is the security blanket and indeed having money creates more choices. Yet, for many, especially those in work rather than retired, life can be a grind. Almost sterile at times.
My challenge to you is to try having a micro adventure once every 3 months to start off with, and try and involve others. It might even be as simple as taking a different more stimulating walk to work. Just breaking the routine of life may just be more rewarding than you think?
Remember, we owe it to ourselves and those around us to be the best we can be. If we are feeling on top of our game, we will have a stronger, more positive influence on those around us.
P.S. In three months I’ll report back on my micro adventures. I’d love you to do the same!