I recently watched the film 180 Degrees South. For those of you who are not familiar with this story, it documents an expedition of a man, Jeff Johnson, who took 6 months away from his "real life" to travel down to South America in 2007. Years prior Johnson watched footage from a 1968 trip taken by the founders of Patagonia and North Face and was inspired to create his own similar venture.
There was a quote said during the film that really stood out to me:
I started to think about what an adventure is, which, to me is a journey into the unknown. I suppose that’s what makes it so exciting. You don’t know what lies ahead for you, what you will come across, who you will meet that can touch and change your life and for that, it’s an adventure. It’s ironic because so often I see not only others, but myself at times, struggling in the space of “not knowing.” That grey area can produce so much anxiety, fear and worry that we suffer. So in one instance, we can become bored and stagnant when our life is like groundhogs day, each day being planned and known. On the other hand, we can continue to freak out when we don’t know what’s coming next. The unknown can make us nervous and scared. So, how do we win here, right?
Looking at your relationship with adventure and the unknown can be an area where you can gain some self awareness that can help you battle worry more productively. Even if you have decided that you are a creature of habit and you’re cool with that, life is going to throw you some lightning every now and then. Learning how to handle these bolts with a grounding attitude can not only help you, but everyone around you. To go further, getting more comfortable with the concept of the unknown creates a more playful and open attitude toward life. Simply said, you allow more in. The fact is that things are not always going to go as planned. Working toward feeling more comfortable with this reality can be a game changer and lead to less stress and worry. When adventure arises in your life, it’s how you react to the blank space ahead that can make your reality a horrible, scary place or a magnificent “plot twist.”
As cheesy as this can sound, we do author our own lives. How we script our character to act is going to dictate what happens. At any point, you can change things within your self or life that are not serving you.
When plans change and the unknown presents itself, instead of becoming lost in fear, you can work toward switching your perspective. For example, you can see the unknown as horribly scary or fabulously exciting. You will feel two very different ways based on which emotion you pick to support. A change of plans does not need to mean doom. It means that there is something different ahead then what was originally anticipated. That’s it. Why is that bad and scary? Why can't that be interesting and intriguing? A change of plans can be mind blowing if you allow it to be. How about marinating in that thought?
* This image was taken somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Maui bound.