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Are You Willing To Risk Everything For Adventure?

Are You Willing To Risk Everything For Adventure?

There are some people who love and enjoy pushing themselves to their limits, to seek adventure and thrills that others would probably deem a bit mental. I am definitely not one of these people – the closest I get to an adventure fuelled adrenaline rush is when I manage to carry a mug of coffee without spilling any of it – but Laura Potts of Dumb Little Man wants to know: are you?

Do you hanker to hike the Appalachian Trail? Care to climb Kilimanjaro? Dream of daunting feats of physical fortitude? The wife of a wilderness junkie would like to hear why. There is a point when most men, no matter how derring do their attitude, might decide that the prospect of combining saltwater and blisters in sensitive spots is a discomfort too far.

And then there’s my husband.

Now I’m not saying he has acquired any of the aforementioned salt-stung-sore-behind symptoms – yet. But it’s just one of the tantalizing prospects I’ve asked him to consider in his blinkered quest to row the Atlantic.

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Ocean.

In a tiny boat.
You read that right. We are now deep in the throes of his latest (PleaseLetMeGoAwayForThreeMonthsMinimum(ButPossiblyForever) attempt to conquer the greatest, most challenging physical and mental endurance test he can think of.

Best case scenario, this involves him achieving his lifelong goal in a matter of months, in one piece, with a job (and wife and four kids) when he returns, super fit and with a tan to put David Hasselhoff to shame. Not that he, or especially I, have any aspirations for him to emulate The Hoff in any conceivable way whatsoever.

Worst case scenario doesn’t bear putting into words, but let’s say that blisters on any part of his body would be the least of any of our worries.

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Sound familiar?

So are you one of these guys who believes life is lived to the fullest with some extreme physical challenge to work toward? And if so, can you please explain to the rest of us what drives you to want to risk everything – your bodily and psychological well-being, your loved ones, the home and work life you’ve worked so hard to create – when you could scale back to something that makes more sense to the majority of the world? Like spending a meaningful afternoon with a chainsaw, a brush pile and some matches, for instance?

I’m not saying men should be complacent or lazy or never strive to achieve something monumental, especially just because they’ve chosen to marry and have children. We all deserve to have individual aspirations and realize our dreams. What’s more, in many cases – my husband’s included – the biggest challenge is not the physical aspect but the fundraising for charity, and that’s an admirable goal.

But no matter how many times he tries to explain that rowing the Atlantic, a 3,000-mile test of human will against the elements, is what drives him to get out of bed in the morning, I still don’t get it. The comforts of home, it seems, are no match for the wide open sea – sharks, sunstroke, sheer boredom and all.

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He’s not having a midlife crisis: this has been in the works since we met in early 2004. At that time, he was well into the planning stages of his oceanic mission, but our whirlwind marriage, my move to another continent to be with him and a couple of kids in quick succession – joining the two daughters he was already raising – put those efforts on hold. For a while I foolishly believed we, his family, were enough to have knocked him to his senses, but I’m beginning to see that love might conquer all, as long as there’s still room for conquering the occasional physical exploit.

So at the time of writing, he’s established a fund that he’s enthusiastically finding new and ever more bonkers ways of contributing to (no franchise coffee shop’s couches will go un-pilfered for loose change when he’s around); he has the skeleton of a support team in place; and his exercise routines are ratcheting up in anticipation of a December 2015 launch from Spain’s Canary Islands, Antigua-bound.

Bigmouth Strikes Again

Others might chalk up his behavior to the unrealistic fantasies of a big-talking dreamer. But he’s certainly no bigmouth, and I’ve seen him complete every challenge he’s set his mind to, from climbing the highest mountain in Europe – twice –  to cycling the length of Great Britain, only stopping to hike the Three Peaks (Mount Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland) along the way. Much as I might wish otherwise, this is no midlife crisis that starts out as a plan to buy a yellow Porsche 911 and ends with a souped-up Ford Fiesta. This man starts as he means to go – or rather, row – on.

Nor is he a selfish oaf who lacks emotional intelligence. With every marathon, biking challenge or other endurance test, he’s raised significant money for, and awareness of, important causes, such as help for abused and neglected children. He works in a demanding health care role that requires empathy and patience and, moreover, he’s a caring, thoughtful husband and devoted, involved dad. Still.

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There must be others out there with similar ambitions. And if you’re anything like my husband, you’d probably like your chance to explain why your desires to push the boundaries and live a life less ordinary are still compatible with being a good partner, father, man. So here’s your chance.

Just don’t expect the rest of us to sympathize with your blisters.

Laura Potts is a writer and editor living the American dream – in rural England. Before moving across the pond in 2005, she was a staff reporter for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. She has no ambitions to row across a puddle, much less an ocean.

Are You A ‘Call Of The Wild Man’ Willing To Risk Everything? | Dumb Little Man

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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