(First published July 2013 on www.theclubsv.org/news.)
I've been thinking a lot about adventures, for a few reasons: 1) a good friend started a new company centered around providing adventures; 2) I recently was on vacation, enjoying adventures and time to think; and 3) Karen Catlin and Diana Olin got me thinking about work adventures (or, as they termed it, professional bucket lists).
My friend's company, Ethos Adventures (www.ethosadventures.com), is focused on getting people out of their daily routines and outside, to experience an adventure. Though the mission of her company is adventure, the mere fact that she started the company (after retiring from a young career practicing law) was certainly an adventure. She jumped into unchartered waters, without a life vest, and embraced the change, the adventure. What she found was a network of friends, family and colleagues that whole-heartedly supported her. She realized she was not in fact without a life vest. Rather, she had hordes of people cheering her on and offering support.
Her adventure got me thinking about experiencing my own adventures. My husband and I were recently on vacation in the Pacific Northwest. One day, at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, we rented mopeds (we had never ridden them before, so had to pass the training of riding without swerving, knees tightly pulled in - it took me a while...) and rode to the south part of the island. Though we could not accelerate above about 35 mph, it felt like I was flying, wind blowing in my face, sun shining down and amazing views over the fields and of the ocean. At one point, I realized I was smiling (I only briefly worried about catching flies in my teeth) and felt absolutely exhilarated. The driftwood, red fox that wandered within about 10 feet of us and lighthouse confirmed I was not at the office, and enhanced the vivid experience of living!
My joy made me wonder if adventures were only for evenings, weekends or vacations. First, I had to remind myself that working nights and weekends as I have done most of this year significantly reduced the time for non-working adventures. But then, I recalled a conversation on a recent CLUB Walk and Talk with Karen and Diana. We were talking about bucket lists and the topic of professional bucket lists came up. (See Karen's recent blog on this topic, at http://karencatlin.com/.) I have to admit, that was a new one for me. I have goals and annual plans, as do most lawyers in big firms, but a bucket list? Hadn't crossed my mind. After the exhilaration of my moped adventure, I started to wonder, why can't I have work adventures too? Should I create a bucket list of professional adventures to focus my efforts? How amazing it would be to feel the thrill of adventure at work! Think of the creativity and rejuvenation that would result.
Our challenge: find adventure on the job. Perhaps it requires moving outside our comfort zone and trusting our confidence to succeed. Let's go find joy, satisfaction and the thrill of adventure in our professions!