I was on a run the other day and my playlist started shuffling into old territory. We're talking summer of 2007 old. Journey came on and I almost skipped it because I sang Don't Stop Believing at the bar three nights a week in college and didn't need a reminder of those days.
But something caused me to continue to listen.
And I heard something new.
Or maybe I felt something new.
Either way, I found myself with new ears looking forward to how the song would unfold.
I can't explain how it happened or why - but I heard something new because I was willing to listen to the song with new ears.
I proceeded to shuffle through the rest of my afternoon trying to experience each moment with newness and curiosity and wonder.
One insight I stumbled upon was the realization there are several relationships I could enrich if I was willing to experience my next connection with those individuals for the very first time; to truly be with them without bringing along all the things I think about them and the weighty expectations I’ve placed on our relationship.
Walking through our days in this way with fresh eyes leads us down the path of adventure.
Look - I get it, for most of us our lives, regardless of our desire to add variety, are pretty routine. We've got jobs and home and friends.
When I work with individuals on personal storytelling they often encounter frustration because they don’t believe they’ve lived a good story. Many of us falsely assume in order to live a robust and adventurous life we should be acclimating to the altitude at Everest basecamp or double checking our rations for a three week hike through the jungle.
Yes, our lives are pretty regular and predictable these days. Yes, this also means “traditional adventures” are few and far between. By the way…what a gift to be free from daily fear of attack, famine, sickness, siege, etc. Regardless of the news today, a good majority of us are living quite well.
Until we forget how well we're living.
Which means we forget to cultivate gratitude.
Which closes us off to new experiences which might deliver us the opportunity to be brave or kind or serve a purpose bigger than ourselves if only we were willing to see each day, each task, each moment as if for the very first time.
Our lives don’t call us to do conventionally brave things, but this does not mean we’re bereft of opportunities to be brave — if only we’re willing to see the abundant opportunities to practice bravery wedged in between very regular moments.
Though our circumstances might not include car chases or heists or revolutions on a daily basis, our wiring is still the same. Meaning we still feel fear, wonder, awe, and the rush of doing something risky. We feel it in our bones when we to choose to be bigger, more confident, or different when it’s the last thing we want to do.
A story worthy life can be created in your hometown while inhabiting a quite regular existence. As long as your timeline is punctuated with the very big emotions mentioned above.
When we see our lives through the lens of a beginners mind, regular events take shape in new and exciting ways.
Our lives can be grand adventures with high stakes and surprise endings - if only we're willing to take our ordinary circumstances and see them anew, like it’s for the very first time.