Something which I have noticed in the last decade, between the age of 30 and 40, is just how safe I have become, always looking out for things that may go wrong or identifying and focusing on risks. Whilst this is a part of getting older and an indication that we are learning from the mistakes we make in life, it is essential that we don’t become so risk averse that we lose our adventurous spirit. I have been taking steps to remedy this in the last year or so, alongside my good friend Stacey Tokunaga, who most certainly doesn’t have the same issue. Stacey is an avid rock climber, kayaker, runner and generally a very adventurous spirit and I have been fortunate to have her in my corner, to keep me from becoming to ‘safe’ and boring. If you want to stay adventurous as you get older, here are some tips.
They say that kids are fearless but I have found that this isn’t the case, the reason why they are reckless is a lack of understanding what they are doing and that is why they don’t have fear to begin with. Where kids and young adults are impressive however is in their willingness to overcome and conquer fear, and this is what we need to get back to as we get older. The knowledge that things can and do go wrong is what provides us with the fear, but if we give into it, we slowly erode that adventurous spirit that makes us who we are. Calculated risks are very different from risks, and once you understand the difference, identify the fear and overcome it, that is when you’ll get that spirit back.
As we move through life we can become a victim of the stresses and responsibility that we have as adults and we also become very used to putting up obstacles and saying no to things. The more that we do this however, the more that we alienate ourselves from friends and family, as well as alienating us from who we are. My relationship with Stacey for example began to drift for many years as a result of this, her inviting me on some cool trips and me saying no because of work, or family or any other reason. The truth was I was saying no without reason, simply because I thought that I had stuff to do. This killed my adventurous spirit and it is the reason why now I am very much a yes man.
Society has many ridiculous rules in place which can have a huge impact on how we live our lives and what we do for fun. They say that when you are 30 or 40 you soul be settled down and living a quiet life, or that certain you shouldn’t be doing certain activities after a particular age. The more that we buy into these nonsense rules the more we will chip away at that adventurous spirit. Ignore the naysayers and do what you want, regardless of how old you are.