Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adventurous Living

When I think about days I've wasted and I think about the precious few ones left, my heart is tugged away in different directions that swirl and sink and I'm left wondering whether I've been focusing on the most important things in life.

There are plenty of bloggers out there who write about how they grew tired of working for the Man so they quit their jobs and spend their days doing yoga and talking to strangers in coffeeshops while they let their blogs amass money for them on auto-pilot or some such nonsense that never made much sense to me. I literally subscribe to a handful or so of those blogs in my google reader under the tag: "Blogs of People Who Bum Around and Spew BlahBlah."

Eloquent, no?
But in all seriousness, I'm both envious and skeptical of such individuals because what they're preaching is freedom to use every minute and every day to do ANYTHING.

Here is a video of people who spend their time jumping off mountains in beautiful places...

Last Walk Around Mirror Lake - Boom Bip (Boards of Canada Remix) from FroschYankee on Vimeo.

I will watch a video like that and think about how in my current life path, I will probably never, ever jump off a mountain. Or out of a plane. Or into a boiling pit of lava. Experiencing almost ANY completely random, far-fetched place, dream, or activity is what they are offering.

Which I guess is what this post is really about... Getting the most out of life.

It is no secret that I am a chronic maximizer, "seeking only the best option and not settling for anything less."
"In other words, maximizing involves spending more resources to find a better option than the best one found so far. The opposite end of the continuum, satisficing, involves settling for “good enough” options. Maximizing, therefore, involves a trade-off between spending resources and achieving a more optimal solution."
from Are maximizers really unhappy? (Journal of Judgment and Decision Making).

In that pursuit - maximizing life experiences - it is about endless, fearless dreaming.

In elementary school, we had an assignment to write down 20 things we wanted to do before the age of 20. Most of the things on that list, I can no longer remember, but here are a few: 1. Visit Iran; 2. Compete in figure skating at the Winter Olympics; 3. Publish 2 books; 4. Have 3 of my paintings exhibited in a museum. The theme of that list was a fearless determination and a willingness to set impractical, limitless goals. When I try to think about the rest of my life, I struggle with all the "I can't"s and constantly prevent myself from reaching as high and far as I truly want to.

As I sit here, contemplating the years and years (presumably) that I have ahead of me, I am at a loss - am unable - to open my mind and heart and think broadly about all the possibility of that time and willingness and energy. If one can do anything with her life, why slog through day after day doing the same activities over and over and over?

Maybe I don't have to overhaul my entire life right now, but I can start saying yes to the scary and the impossible and the unheard of. One by one. Maybe you will, too.

June 2010 - Sawyer Glacier, Alaska

No comments:

Post a Comment