First-Time Adventures

If you think about it, every day is filled with first-time adventures. We just aren’t conditioned to think about things in our lives from that perspective. If we are lucky, we get glimpses of that perspective—the gleeful welcoming anticipation, like waiting to open a long-awaited gift—if we are blessed to share a journey with a child or to see an event through the eyes of a child.

Today, I took a business trip not unlike many others I’ve taken before, except for one of the other passengers: A small blonde-haired, brown-eyed, three-year-old girl. According to her family, this little girl is an experienced world traveler and a frequent flyer. Yet each flight, each takeoff, and each landing was something to be excited and amazed about … a new adventure like never before! The plane taking off still a wonder and all the people in the plane are “friends” coming along for the ride; friends she might know or not, but she was happy to see and wish well on their next airplane ride.

I have to admit she really was a good traveler. If she hadn’t been, the trip would have been a completely different experience and an “adventure” of another type. This little girl was well behaved, and her mother had obviously taught her about courtesy to others. When she got too excited and the volume got too loud all it took was Mom saying a gentle reminder and she turned the volume down. Every now and then her joyful giggle would still be heard throughout the plane. No one seemed to mind and it brought answering smiles without anyone even knowing why the little girl was laughing. The sound was enough to make you smile.

For me, sitting just a row ahead and hearing much of her conversation and even occasionally joining in, her joy was in everything “new.” And everything was new, even though nothing was a first time. The breakfast of cornflakes and milk and raisins wasn’t her first meal, not even on an airplane. But it was the first that day. An adventure! How exciting and enjoyable! I’ll bet everything that day and on every flight she took was the same: a first-time adventure. Mom was undoubtedly exhausted, but she too was smiling.

It’s all about perspective. So, as I do something today for the first time, travel to a new city or country, meet a new client, make a call to a potential new client, meet a colleague (even one I’ve known for years)…everything is new. Even as I read through emails or catch up on trade journals, I’ll find the enthusiasm of making it brand new every time. It may be really the first time or the first time that day, but it means my heart is in it. I’m enjoying the experience of doing everything and it makes it more enjoyable.

In seeing adventure, it makes even the routine new. It makes new things less intimidating. It makes challenges things to be embraced and welcomed. Everything is an adventure to be welcomed gleefully and rejoiced in. The first time we do anything we get butterflies in our stomach and the bit of nerves that help us perform that little bit better. We are more alert to everything because we aren’t taking anything for granted. We have a greater awareness about ourselves and everyone around us. It is gives us an advantage in our interactions.

Somehow, we’ve become persuaded that always being in our comfort zone is desirable. Always knowing exactly how things are going to work out and being in control is important to us. We never want to seem as if we don’t know what is going on. We want to be experienced and blasé about everything. In doing this, we miss out and short change ourselves. It is good to be in situations where we don’t know everything. We need to travel where we’ve never gone before and ask for help dealing with those new situations and how to deal with them. Then we need to turn around and help someone else. Find the adventures in everyday life in the new and the routine. Make adventures for everyone else too.

Grab onto the adventures. Look for the “new” perspectives in every takeoff and landing, every sunrise and sunset. Find a first-time adventure in your daily life and see all that you can live. Live the life you are living!

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