Updated: Feb 22
Great news for adventure sport lovers! You are set up for great success wherever you are willing to find it - career, love, academia, wealth or even hygiene :) I may be biased, and this is definitely a sweeping statement but I'm going to suggest your passions have created an underlying wealth of potential, it just may not be uncovered yet.
"Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths."
Ever noticed how many motivational & inspirational posters about success are photos exactly like the one above? Proudly standing on top of a majestic summit, admiring the world from a new vantage point. I don't think the posters are made because everybody wants to climb a mountain.. I think they are made as a metaphor to what it takes mentally to climb a mountain, sail the open ocean, or bike across a country. Many of the skills or resources required to achieve these goals can be transferred to other areas of your life, if you desire.
Resources you very likely have in abundance if you are an adventure lover:
Persistence: If it was easy it wouldn't be an achievement, and if you didn't persist you would never make it! You persist through short term challenges and suffering because it makes it all the more worthwhile.
Adaptability: Very rarely does a mission go to plan: whether it be a flat tire, a change in the weather, or an injury, it is vital to adapt in the outdoors.
Patience: Waiting for the perfect wave, for the rock to be dry, the storm to pass. Adventure sports rely on factors outside of your control and you learn to accept this.
Consequential thinking: Thinking one step ahead - running through the costs and benefits of our future decisions. I know a lot of people who say they are simply going off their 'gut instinct', that's usually a sign of weighing up options subconsciously.
Confidence & Trust: You believe in your own ability to make it on to the summit, you are confident the rope and your partner will catch you if you fall, you know you have enough stamina to make it through.
Perspective & Gratitude: Adventure is great in expanding your comfort zones, being away from all the modern luxuries & safety nets changes your priorities. On a winter hike you will appreciate a warm fire, in the desert the sound of water is cause for elation, during high winds a crude shelter is bliss. We get in touch with our primal desires and reevaluate our priorities.
Purpose: That sense of achievement and purpose that so many seek. It's not about where you end up, it's how you get there that is important. You may not know exactly why you pursue certain adventures, but you know it's what you should be doing.
This is of course not an exhaustive list, there is plenty more we learn from our adventures, so let's put aside the modesty and recognize how much we have all gained from our passions!
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Ashe
All of these learned skills take most people years to master, and I'm going to make a bold statement that any adventure lover has most of the above list and plenty more to offer on top of that. The hard part is done! The next step is applying these learned resources to the areas of your life where you believe they are lacking.
There's a fantastic technique called the "map-across" to hack your brain - essentially technique to create transferable skills. If you find it easy to get out of bed and go climbing, yet can't find the motivation to get off the couch to cook a homemade meal, there is a difference in the way you represent the process.
The aim is to recognize HOW your thoughts are presented inside your head - is the image brightly colored, moving, close up, blurry.. is the sound loud, hectic, high pitched, constant. Focus on an area of your life in which you are motivated, confident, patient, persistent, etc. Compare this picture to where you believe you are lacking this skill and look for the difference that makes the difference. If, when you think about climbing it is in color, but you think about cooking it is black & white, use your imagination and change the image - you are MAPPING ACROSS the qualities of a motivational image to one that doesn't excite you. It may sound silly but have fun with it and be your own video / picture editor, play around with the thoughts in your head and look out for what makes a difference. It's no different than adding music to a ski video to make it exciting, or color to a poster to become more engaging. If I was thinking about my job in black and white, no sound, and all blurry I would have very little interest in showing up at work!
If someone is disciplined in making their bed every morning, passionate in progressing their career with a sense of purpose or confident to speak to a crowd, then you can learn to be too if you desire. That desire has to be well aligned at a subconscious level. There is plenty you find rewarding, interesting and exciting now that you did not 10 years ago, because you were open to change and new ideas! Allow yourself to be open, have fun trying out the technique, and see if you make any positive changes in your thinking patterns!
At BaseCampV we love to hear back from the community! What life skills have you picked up from adventure sports? Check out the comments below, and tell us your thoughts! Join our Facebook Group here