Adventure is having the courage to take risks in life without the anxiety of being judged negatively or failing. If Columbus cared about his reputation, he would’ve played it safe and stuck to the theory of the flat world. And who knows when someone would have discovered the medical benefits of penicillin from bread mold. How dull life would be without adventure!
In 1998, five breast cancer survivors and seven Princeton University women (all between the ages of twenty-two and sixty-one) climbed Alaska’s Mt. McKinley to raise money for breast cancer research. Although some of them had mountaineering experience, most didn’t—they were teachers, therapists, farmers, and tennis instructors.
While most of us may not ever climb a 20,000 foot mountain (I can safely say I won’t), there are still smaller adventures we can have to spice up your life. When I was thirty-eight years old, I walked into a tattoo shop with a drawing of a sun, moon, and star to be etched into my ankle. It was like a rite of passage for me after leaving my fifteen-year career I had no idea where I was going or how to get there, yet the anticipation of new possibilities was exciting. Some friends and colleagues thought I was insane to leave a successful career, but I listened to a voice inside me that beckoned like a blinking lighthouse to a ship in a misty fog. It said, “Do it, do it, DO IT.”
It was that same voice that encouraged me to move three thousand miles away from home when I was twenty-three and elope at twenty-six. These decisions were not the most popular with my Italian-American parents—OK, they were devastated by my actions! They believed a woman’s place was in the kitchen… serving her father until she got married to serve her husband. They believed in making all the safe choices in life, just like they did. A conviction guaranteed to render a life of unhappiness, just like theirs.
Many parents discourage adventure as a way of protecting their children from disappointment. As a girl, I felt like a dog behind an invisible fence. Each time I was tempted to go beyond the line, I felt a shock to the back of my neck, usually in the form of my father’s voice saying, “What are you— an idiot? You’ll kill yourself doing that!” Thankfully, there were more times in my life when my spirit of adventure outweighed the memory of my father’s advice, even if it was only to show him that not everyone who skis breaks a leg! And if I did (break a leg), at least I was doing something I enjoyed. Award-winning novelist Erica Jong said, “And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”
As for that tattoo, I did get it a few days later—after I had obtained a prescription for an analgesic cream. A Goddess shouldn’t need to include pain in her adventure!
5 Ways to Have an Adventure
• Take the path in life you want, not the one others expect you to take.
• Turn fear into excitement by visualizing the best outcome of a risky decision.
• Commit to trying something new—twice a year.
• Don’t listen to naysayers; they’re secretly jealous of adventurers.
• Change a familiar routine—your morning ritual, the drive to work, Saturday gardening.
About the Author:
Debbie Gisonni, aka The Goddess of Happiness, is a best-selling author, speaker, happiness expert, and columnist. Debbie knows how to find true happiness. At the height of her executive career, she lost four family members in four years. Debbie drew upon her inner strength and realized she wasn’t the Queen Bee she once thought, in control of everything, but rather an ordinary Goddess with the power to be happy no matter what. She now makes life easier and happier for women by helping them connect their inner power with real life issues they face every day, from the trivial to the tragic.
Originally from “Da” Bronx, New York, Debbie now lives in CA with her two biggest passions in life—her husband and dogs. Other passions include cooking & entertaining, physical fitness, clothing & shoes, painting, interior design, feng shui, tarot, dancing, drumming, all kinds of music, and laughter.
Visit her website at www.goddessofhappiness.com.
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