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How to Live Mini-Adventures on a Small Budget

How to Live Mini-Adventures on a Small Budget
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    Believe it or not, having life adventures is not in the exclusive realm of eccentric billionaires and jet-setting entrepreneurs. Life adventures don’t even require a lot of time, so you don’t need to quit your job or cash in sick days. Having adventures is more about attitude and a skill than resources.

    What is an Adventure?

    Adventures don’t have to be African safari’s, base jumping or flying around the world. The best way to have more fun in life is to reframe what you feel an adventure is. My definition would be something enjoyable, unique and a departure from your routine.

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    With a simple definition like that, you can start having mini-adventures. They may not amazing tales you can tell over a campfire later, but they can make life a lot more interesting. Better yet it won’t break your bank (or your neck!) to go on them.

    Adventures are About Randomness

    The core of any adventure is that it is unexpected. Injecting randomness to your daily life is an easy way to start making it more interesting. This means doing things you wouldn’t normally do. Meeting people you would otherwise ignore. Saying yes to unknown opportunities.

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    Here are some tips to get you started in having mini-adventures:

    1. Turn Off Expectations – Your routine is easy to calculate. It is familiar. Adventures are fun precisely because they are impossible to calculate and anything but familiar. If you start trying new things without looking for results you can have more fun.
    2. Force Yourself to Try New Things – You aren’t designed to seek novelty. Fear of the unknown is usually a much stronger drive than curiosity. Suppress those fears and drag yourself to try new things. It won’t be easy, but once you cross the first threshold you may discover something you love.
    3. Sign Up For Organizations – Organizations are an easy way to try something new. They are easy to seek out, offer new experiences and are usually filled with other uncertain people who can reassure you. Toastmasters, cooking classes, dancing, martial arts and workshops can all offer you a quick way to try something new.
    4. Develop an Interest in People – I haven’t seen scientific research on this, but it seems to me that extroverts have more adventures than introverts. My guess would be that extroverts naturally meet more people and develop an interest in them. A side-effect of meeting new people is you get exposed to new opportunities.
    5. Keep a Failure Log – Keep a record of your worst failures and humilations. If you aren’t adding at least one or two a month, you simply aren’t trying hard enough. Lower your expectations to the point where you intend to feel stupid.
    6. To-Try Lists – I’m a fan of lists. To-do lists can keep your tasks organized. Why not keep a to-try list to store fun activities? You can use it to keep track of any interests that pop up but you currently don’t have time to explore.
    7. Make Time – Living life requires time. If you are currently feeling overwhelmed by tasks, having adventures may seem frivolous. I suggest reading The 4-Hour Workweek if you are interested in finding ways to steal more time to have adventures.
    8. Say Yes – There are many reasons to say no. But occasionally you need to say yes. You need to say yes to things that, at first, appear to have little value. Don’t commit your whole life, just offer to try something out.
    9. Unknowledge is More Important – Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes the case in The Black Swan that what we don’t know plays a much bigger role in our lives than what we do. This means we tend to poor at judging events in the future and retroactively explain unusual events. All the more reason to expose yourself to new adventures. Be random, because you probably aren’t good at predicting which will turn out good anyhow.
    10. Courage is Mastery, Not Absence, of Fear – Fear is what keeps you back, not a lack of time or money. It’s fear that you will look like a fool, fail miserably or waste your time. The fear intensifies as you approach a decision. Courage is your ability to decide in spite of worry, not in absence of it.
    11. Plan Ahead – Adventures require work. Although a rare percentage of people can spontaneously have an adventure, they aren’t most of us. You are probably like myself, bound by a routine that needs structure to break out of. You can’t simply leave your job and try something new for a day on a whim. So plan ahead and schedule it in.

    Start a New Challenge Today

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    It doesn’t take a lot of work to make life more fun. But if you keep ignoring the question and push it aside, it will never get answered. There are already too many urgent issues that require your attention. Instead you need to act now.

    • Step One – Pick one new thing you would like to try. This could be an organization, hobby, activity, concert, food, sport or language. It can be huge or it can be small. Just pick one and don’t worry if it is best.
    • Step Two – Find a way to insert this new activity into your next month. For organizations and classes this can be easy. Just find one that meets once a week and commit for thirty days. For other activities, you may need to make your own schedule.
    • Step Three – Follow through. Try it out. The worst that can happen is you’ve found one thing you don’t like. But you may discover something new and exciting to fill your life.

    Go ahead, write your plan here in the comments or the forums and you can share your ideas with other adventurers.

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    More by this author

    Scott H Young

    Scott is obsessed with personal development. For the last ten years, he's been experimenting to find out how to learn and think better.

    15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick 18 Tips for Killer Presentations

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why we procrastinate after all

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    So, is procrastination bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How bad procrastination can be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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    8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

    Procrastination, a technical failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

    Reference

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