Have you or someone you know had a daring adventure? Tell us your story
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” Helen Keller.
To really understand and embrace this quote, it is good to remember a bit more about the author. Helen Keller was an author, political activist and a lecturer despite the fact she could neither see nor hear. Her story was made famous by her autobiography, The Story of My Life which later became the play and film The Miracle Worker. If you recall, Helen Keller was born deaf, blind and dumb. In her story, we see how her teacher, Anne Sullivan, awakened a young Helen to the world of language and communication. With education and support, Helen would go on to overcome her disabilities, from learning to speak to becoming a great lecturer. Helen was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. In her lifetime, she visited 35 countries from 1946-1957. Helen lived to be almost 89 years old and spent much of later years raising funds for the blind. (Wikipedia). Just think of the obstacles Helen had to overcome to live such an extraordinary life. Her wisdom in the quote “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing,” makes us all realize that living our life while pursuing our passions, taking some risks and moving out of our comfort zone can be a warrior’s path. Just practice doing anything blindfolded and having your ears plugged so you cannot hear. Helen had this condition from birth and look what she accomplished.
So let’s explore this word “daring” and some of the synonyms related to that word. Daring is described as a person or action, adventurous or audaciously bold. To be audacious shows a willingness to take surprising risks. Valiant means possessing or showing courage and determination. Courageous is described as not deterred by danger or pain; brave. (All definitions by Google.com).
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, and author of the book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead described courage as asking for what you need. This self-exclaimed researcher, storyteller and Texan has spent the majority of her life describing what she refers to as wholehearted people. These are people who live life to the fullest and dare to be vulnerable. At the start of her book she describes what she means by being wholehearted from her research. She found several similarities and characteristics in people she identified as wholehearted people. Brown came up with 10 guideposts that you can practice to become wholehearted.
1. Cultivate authenticity – Let go of what people think of you.
2. Cultivate self-compassion – Let go of perfectionism.
3. Cultivate a resilient spirit – Let go of numbing and powerlessness.
4. Cultivate gratitude and joy – Let go of scarcity.
5. Cultivate intuition and trusting faith – Let go of the need for certainty.
6. Cultivate creativity – Let go of comparison.
7. Cultivate play and rest – Let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self- worth.
8. Cultivate calm and stillness – Let go of anxiety as a lifestyle.
9. Cultivate meaningful work – Let go of self- doubt and “supposed to.”
10. Cultivate laughter, song and dance – Let go of being cool and always in control.
If we return to the life of Helen Keller, most assuredly, she possessed all or many of these these characteristics to live such a daring, audacious, valiant, courageous, and adventurous life. Helen was not afraid to be vulnerable. In fact, she lived vulnerability in every moment. So now we have it, someone with a severe disability who lived a daring, wholehearted, adventurous life. The coolest part about all of this, is that this way of life can be learned, no matter who you are or what your age or disability might be. It all can be just a matter of taking small steps out of your comfort zone every day and releasing parts of yourself that you no longer need to hang onto. Daring to live your life the way you want. Daring to have a great adventure.
Certainly, don’t let advanced years scare you, as there are many examples of people in their later years living an extraordinary life. Just Goggle, People Who Did Great Things After Age 50 (www.ranker.com/list/accomplishments-after-50/matthewcoleweiss) and you will find a listing of 25 people all over age 50 who climbed mountains, went to the North Pole, ran marathons, became famous painters, went to space, swam from Cuba to Florida, entered politics and started their own business. Many of them had the same courage as Helen to overcome obstacles, look danger in the face and live their life like it was a daring adventure.
If you are not living your life like this and you want too, you may want to think about what is stopping you. There is always a way to get what you want out of life. It may not be easy – nothing worthwhile ever is-but the process of making your dreams come true can be an adventure in itself. When people look back on their lives they show regret not for the things they have done but for the things they have failed to do. It is never too late to plan some adventures of your own. “Come to the edge,” he said. They said, “We are afraid.” “Come to the edge,” he said. They came. He pushed them….And they flew.” Guillaume Apollinaire
If you are living your life like this or know of someone who is, we want to hear from you.
In this column, Life is a Daring Adventure, we are looking for stories about those everyday people who do remarkable things. People who overcome obstacles and accomplish amazing things. Those people who look at life as an adventure (even if it is just for a short time) and embrace what life has to offer. These people live in the present moment and are passionate about their mission, their work, their families and living life to the fullest. You do not have to be famous to have a extraordinary tale, just an amazing adventure to share.
Are you one of these people? Do you know someone who looks at life as a daring adventure? If so, please contact us as we want to tell these stories to inspire us all. Contact me at (218) 770-2722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.