“You put your head in shit and call it a challenge” mocked one of my relatives when I berated him that unlike me, he was scared of getting out of the Business shadow of the Banyan tree that his father had planted.
I am adventurous, not foolhardy.
Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
When I was a kid, my most fantastic adventures involved climbing trees, looking out from rooftops, and other high points. During my teens, it was trying out different hairstyles, building biceps,reading porn magazines jungle safaris, and most of all getting laid.
Immediately after my education, it was becoming financially independent by getting a paying job.
After joining my family business, it was starting new business ventures. So, I became the “greatest Sisyphus” ever: continually rolling up and down not one but three of my rocky business ventures up the steep hill of the commercial world.
(According to the Greek myth, Hades condemned Sisyphus to push a rock to the top of a mountain, only to have the rock roll back down each time he reaches the top. The maddening nature of this punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his arrogant belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus himself)
My interpretation of Adventure changed when I was fifty-six. I exited my business and the commercial world. I wanted to run miles and climb peaks. I wanted to be the fittest fifty-six-year-old guy in the universe.
My adventures primarily focused on masochistic personal challenges and many involved trekking and hiking in the Western Ghats of South India and Himalayan foothills. As a result, my sense of Adventure started resembling that of a man undergoing a midlife crisis. But instead of buying a Jaguar, I drove a Land Cruiser through Jordan. I snowmobiled in Alaska (which ended up breaking Mamatha’s ankle). I bathed in the sub-zero waters of the Gangotri Goumukh glacier…
Regular hiking probably resulted in a larger brain; my hippocampus got bigger and kept me mentally healthy.
I took to writing, and at 60, I became a writer. I started blogging in February 2019, and in the 30 months of its existence, I have published 31 blogs. These posts have had 60,131 views from 30,695 visitors so far. It may not be great from a success point of view, but more than ample from the standpoint of my satisfaction.
My book, “Inner trek, a reluctant pilgrim in the Himalayas”, is being released on October 1st, 2021.
Nowadays, I ask myself time and again what new Adventure I can take on, which new hobby or vocation I can try. I always get positive replies from within, and over and over again, the standard answer is that I am capable of more than I realize.
You all are. Listen to that inner calling. This is called “growth mindset,” It is one of the most precious gifts that adventures have taught me. Trust me, each of you has this innate need for new experiences, new knowledge, and new adventures. So keep asking yourselves, and the universe will conspire to guide you towards them.
To be adventurous is to have a growth mindset. Unlike a fixed mindset, a growth mindset has the confidence to try out new things without bothering about mistakes and looking at mistakes and failures as opportunities to learn.
We all struggle with feeling that there’s something more that we could be doing: something bigger, something different. Something calls us to move in a new direction, but we don’t know what it is. So, we end up doing nothing.
My next Adventure? I do not know yet. I will know shortly.
The greatest obstacle to an adventurous spirit is fear. Fear evolved from survival instinct and existed to protect us from danger, despite a world that is safer than it has ever has been. But, again, as Mark Twain noted, “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is acting despite it.”
Do not be afraid of failure. Do not succumb to fear.
Act upon your inner calling.
Untether yourself from your fears, for like George Eliot rightly said, “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.”