By Jon Handy
Everyone (well, almost everyone) likes adventure. Most kids love adventure. Just offer to take them to King’s Island or Disney World. They jump up and down and cheer just thinking of all the adventures ahead. They immediately picture themselves riding The Beast or some other scary roller coaster. They want to experience every ride in the park and then stay for the fireworks afterward. They don’t want to leave until the park closes and then complain all the way to the car that the adventure is over. Then five minutes after they settle down, they’re asleep leaving Mom & Dad to get them home safely. Oh, to feel that rush again – that unrestrained excitement.
But you don’t have to be a kid to have a thrilling adventure.
Your idea of what adventure is may have changed as you matured. You may not be thrilled with the prospect of climbing onto a roller coaster anymore, but there are many adult adventures to experience. There is mountain climbing, airplane gliding, parachute jumping, bear hunting, race car driving and long distance swimming to name a few. Sound a little too adventurous? There are many life-changing experiences that bring adventure. Falling in love is an adventure. Getting married is an adventure, as is moving to China as a missionary, buying your first house, deciding to enlist in the military (join the Navy and see the world) or move to a city where you’ve never been.
Adventure is where you find it. Starting a new job will be so much more tolerable if you see it as an adventure. Approach this job determined that you plan to do it better than it has ever been done before and it will become an adventure. Setting out on a vacation is an adventure if you can see it with the same enthusiasm that you felt as a kid heading for King’s Island. In fact, enthusiasm and anticipation are necessary ingredients of adventure. Life can be very boring without these accompaniments. Never let those coals die. Stir them with vigor, breathe on them with anticipation, fan them with excitement.
When we lose sight of our purpose, we lose our sense of adventure and forget what it was we set out to accomplish. Sometimes we need a slap on the face to jump-start us and get us going again. General George Patton once slapped a wounded soldier who was falling into a state of depression in a military hospital. He felt that the soldier was deprecating the others there who had given so much. Patton was vilified at the time for doing such a horrendous act.
Upon being interviewed later, the soldier saidthat this simple act helped to shock him out of his depression and renew his sense of purpose. He felt that Patton had done the right thing. War can be an adventure when it restores justice and serenity, though at a great price.
Whatever task you have before you, find the adventure in it. Without this sense of adventure you are destined to fail. Is your life getting boring? Shame on you! I remember a pop singer (ironically, I cannot remember her name) who sang “Is that all there is?” I thought at the time, “What a loser.” Boredom comes from a lack of interest in life. If you cannot find a zest for life, it is time to check into a nursing home and wait for death, but instead of doing that why don’t you just make some dramatic changes in your life and set out on an adventure?
Serving as an officer of Phi Delta Kappa National has been an adventure for me. It is a mind-altering experience that added plenty of zest to my life. I highly recommend it. Before you check into that nursing home, why don’t you give it a try? I guarantee that it will give you a new perspective on the value of our brotherhood and put some added value into your life. It will certainly forge a fresh path with obstacles to overcome and dragons to slay.
I hope you will seriously think about this and choose a path that will bring some adventure into your life. It’s there waiting for you. All you need to do is break the old habits. Then turn the page in the story of your life and set out boldly in a new direction.