Word-Of-the-Week #615: Adventurous

May 19, 2016 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #615: Adventurous 

Adventurous – willing to undertake new and daring enterprises.

At this stage of your life how willing are you to undertake new and daring enterprises? Does that feel scary or intimidating? Or do you get a feeling of excitement?

New York times writer Carl Richards aka SKETCH GUY is this week’s contribution. His latest article “Adventurous Quests Sharpen Everyday Skills” states, “I was telling a friend about some projects that really excited me – a new book I’m working on, an article I’m writing and a new hobby, motorcycling in the desert.

He asked, “How do you stay so motivated and so excited about things?”

It caught me off guard. I hadn’t really considered the “why” behind my activities. But I realized that the common thread was the feeling of being in over my head, just a little. In other words, doing things despite the fact that that, as the marketing guru Seth Godin likes to say, “this might not work.”

Now, that may sound counter-intuitive. It’s easy to wonder how doing stuff that makes you uncomfortable, and might not even work, is a source of motivation. I’ve been thinking a lot about this paradox. I wondered whether I’m wired differently. But there’s something about a sink-or-swim environment that excites me.

a embrace

My friend Dallas Hartwig told me about this concept call hormesis, a phenomenon by which something that could impair or even kill you in high doses can make you stronger in low doses.

Of course, I thought. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s well documented that the way to grow muscle is to rip the muscle tissue, and then give it time to regrow. It comes back stronger than before. It makes sense that the business equivalent of building muscle is trying new things. When you throw yourself into the deep end of something new, you face a steep learning curve. That forces you to grow, adapt and develop your skill set. It’s almost irrelevant if the project succeeds. The very act of taking on something new helps you become better at your work over all.

You cannot spend your whole life in the deep end. Muscles get tired. Just like physical exercise, you have to calibrate the stress and rest cycle of any sort of entrepreneurial or creative work. The more I thought about it, the more I began to see these experiences for what they really were –adventures. After all, isn’t the definition of adventure to set off into the unknown, endure hardships, come back and then rest?

I know that adventures can feel scary and intimidating. But making a habit of seeking adventure may be the secret to staying motivated about the things you do.

And that confers a key economic benefit to anyone who experiences it. Even if we set aside all the tangible benefits that come from stepping outside our comfort zone, it is obvious that being more excited about your work is a surefire way to improve your performance, and turn your various ventures into adventures.

This week’s focus is on being more adventurous. How motivated are you at this point of your life? How would it feel to step outside your comfort zone? Is there anything you have been putting off that would bring you excitement?

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