Imagine if Batman tried to live his life as if he was living out Superman's adventure. The consequences would be pretty dire.
Too many of us spend our lives trying to live up to other people's expections, to live out the adventure they think we should enact. The consequences can be pretty dire.
We must choose our own adventure.
Life Is Not An Adventure
“Life is not an adventure.” I hope that got your attention. For decades, I have been immersed in personal development literature and teaching, teaching that declares Life is meant to be amazing and that the Universe is a friendly place. It gets pretty disappointing when that isn’t true to our experience.
Sometimes, it can feel like there is something wrong with us…
The suggestion from these teachers is that if I do not believe this to be so, then Life will be miserable, and the Universe will show itself to be an unfriendly place. Clearly, I haven’t believed! Currently, I’d say I’d been mis-sold the idea of a friendly Universe.
[Stay with the programme, though, because it’s going to get positive… now!]
However, there is massive hope if we tweak our thinking a little. Let’s try this: “Life is NOT an adventure; Life is YOUR adventure.” I found this thought liberating. Here’s what came to mind…
Imagine Batman trying to live his Life as Superman’s adventure! The moment he leapt off a tall building trusting in his superpower to fly unaided, he would have begun to get negative feedback until he got the ultimate feedback hitting the pavement below. “Splat!” Or, perhaps, “Kersplat!” And what would be the point in Superman having all Batman’s gadgets? Clearly, the illustration is nonsense – spoiler alert: neither Batman nor Superman exist in the real world. This reminds me of a sadly hilarious notice on the wrapping of a Superman fancy dress costume. It said, “Wearing this costume will not enable you to fly.”
That’s a silly notice, isn’t it? Or is it? I’ve worn costumes for years and tried to live the adventures other people think I should live. I’ve tried to be this. I’ve tried to be that. None of it has worked over a sustainable period. Yet I believe Life should be an adventure, as long as we choose our own adventure. My kids used to devour a series of books called, “Choose your own adventure.” The outcome of each story had alternative endings depending on their choice as a reader. Ain’t that the truth in life? Choose your own adventure!
Don’t live the adventure your Mum chose for you.
Don’t live the adventure your Dad chose for you.
Don’t live the adventure your careers’ advisor chose for you.
…your friends suggested for you…
…unless those adventures resonate with your inner core.
Life is YOUR adventure.
My pause for thought today is to challenge us all to press pause and think, “Am I living my own adventure, or am I living out someone else’s expectations?” “If I’m not living out my own adventure, what would it look like if I did?” “What would I do more of?” “What would I do less of?” “What’s stopping me?”
When we choose our own adventure, the wise words of Helen Keller ring true: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Here’s that quote in context.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. God Himself is not secure, having given man dominion over His works! Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
That’s from her book, “Let Us Have Faith” and a chapter titled “Faith Fears Not” published in 1940.
I hope you have a great day today, and, above all, I hope you choose your own adventure…. YOUR adventure.
Perhaps not all at once… perhaps in gentle steps… but take action today to assert yourself.
And as my friend, Kim Searle says to, “Be More You!”