Getting unstuck….how to find your ‘get up and go’ and begin your adventure
The hardest part to getting more adventure in your life can be to just start. That first push can be the biggest hurdle, whether it’s sleeping out under the stars or finding the confidence to change your job. So how do you get the motivation to make the change and just do it?
There’s always one more thing. One more item you need before setting off on the adventure of a lifetime. One weather forecast too many, suggesting, hinting at the possibility of slight drizzle, which in turn hints at the possibility of entirely ruining your night under the stars. One little hill left to climb, one more decision to make. So we dither and we wait, we make lists and twiddle our thumbs until the next pay day. We stare at the sky for a gap in the weather, then we stare back at the TV weather to tell us when we can stare at the sky again. We wait, we stall, and life carries on outside the window. It passes us by, time, adventure, memories. They pass us by.
The first step is the hardest-deciding what’s essential
The easiest way to get unstuck is to just go. Grab the essentials and get out the house. But what’s really essential?
We’ve been conditioned to think that we need a lot of things that really, in all honesty, we don’t. Ever been camping and watched with amusement as a group arrives with a veritable bus load of ‘essential camping items’ such as a tv, plug in coffee machine, full on gas bottle powered BBQ, cigarette-lighter-powered mini fridge…. All marketed to make our lives more comfortable, easier, just like being at home. So is there any point in even leaving home?
Do these essential items really make things easier? Or do they add to the stress of getting ready, packed tightly into the car, just one more thing on the list to forget and realise about halfway to your destination? Do they clutter up your loft space or shed, unused for most of the year?
The hard part is deciding what’s truly essential. When writing this post, this led to some debate, with the general consensus being that here in the UK, a sleeping bag is probably definitely essential, mostly…! We argued that it’s entirely possible to sleep in the UK without a sleeping bag, although probably only on a few nights of the year when it’s warm enough. Some food and a trangia (or a beer can stove/campfire)? Playing devil’s advocate though, it’s rare you’ll be far away from somewhere you can get a decent meal… We settled on the fact that cooking your own food is much more adventurous and fun!
Another way to delay your adventure. Debates about what you should take, what you need, what each person classes as essential to them.
The spirit of adventure
The spirit of adventure is managing with what you’ve got. It’s finding solutions and challenging yourself. Keeping warm, dry and full are the basics. Having good fun and creating memories goes without saying. What do you truly need to do this? A shelter of some sort, some food, a positive mindset.
You can camp out under the stars in a sleeping bag and bivvy. You can make a shelter from moss and leaves and logs. You can bring a camping stove or make a fire, responsibly of course. You can bring food or you can hunt or forage, if you know what you’re doing. Which brings up the same question again…what’s really essential?
Starting small can make things easier. Check out Al Humphrey’s ‘Microadventures‘ for some ideas. An adventure doesn’t have to be huge to be amazing! (I love that site, dude).
The ‘ready, steady, stop’ problem
It’s not just outdoor adventures that can suffer from the ‘being stuck’ mindset. We get stuck in every area of our lives, from decision to losing weight, from saying yes more to changing jobs, from trying a new class to changing our haircut. The situations are different but the problem is the same. We spend so much time planning and organising and making lists as to why it’s a good idea or a bad idea, that we forget the most important thing. We forget to just start.
We can feel like all the planning is part of our adventure. But looking a bit deeper, it can be just an excuse to delay your adventure. Will making yet another list bring you any closer to your goal? Or is it just putting it off for another day, or week, or year? Waiting until you have all the things you ‘need’ ready to go? It might not be a simple as camping, sure, but the similarities are there. What do you really need to start your project?
I call it ‘ready, steady, stop’. So much planning, so much detail…but no further forward. Why does this happen to so many of us?
F is for fear
The unknown. Fear. But fear of what? Looking stupid? Failing? What’s the worst that could happen? How will we know if we don’t even start?
The fact that we have to step outside our normal world is disconcerting. It’s embracing the unknown, in a world where it is seen as positive to know everything. It’s having to let go of that fact, and take that leap, that step, even that shuffle over the line that is dividing normality and comfort from difference and mystery.
The more we think about it, the more we plan and develop strategies…the bigger that step seems to become.
So just do it.
The easiest way to start something is to stop thinking about it. Stop planning. All those lists? The pile of stuff ready to be loaded? Forget it. Grab a couple of items and just go. The same applies to anything in life. Jump in. Start doing it, start living it. Figure out the details as and when they appear.
When you’re feeling the urge to plan some more, then you know. Grab those few essentials and practically run out that front door. Hit the ground, move forward, and open your eyes and mind to possibility. You’re there, you’re doing it, and you can take everything in your stride because you can’t go back.
Yes it’s scary. But it’s exhilarating and that’s how life should be. 400 items in the back of your car that you’ll never use, versus a tin of beans, a flame, something to keep you warm, and the whole of nature surrounding you? 50 lists, meetings, self-help books and quizzes versus pure enthusiasm, immersion and thinking on your feet? I know which I’d choose.
If you read this and are thinking “yeah but…” I challenge you. Yeah but what? Yeah but you’re waiting for your piece of kit to arrive? Yeah but you haven’t got time? Yeah but you need to write another business plan? Yeah but it’s scary?
It’s scary if you spend too much time thinking. And if we spend too much time thinking, eventually we’ll run out of time. Think about getting unstuck. Turn the ‘ready steady, stop’ into a ‘ready, steady, let’s do this!’. The ‘one more thing’ is so least season. The world is out there and amazing things will happen, with or without you. It’s your choice.
Come and dive in!