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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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