I am going to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
Typical response: “But why?”
I am walking across the United States, it’ll take me 7 months, I’ll cross 14 states.
I am going to volunteer on six continents.
I am going to run 50 marathons in 50 days.
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why has blended into adventures; some can feel they must have a well-founded why before starting something awesome. And since we can always count on human curiosity, those people know they’ll be asked “but why?” and they’d better be ready.
I have a list of adventures that my soul is begging to be taken on. Random experiences I can’t fully account for. I don’t know why I want to do most of these things.
It doesn’t matter why, either.
All that matters is something within me—an instinct, something subconscious—wants to do them. Maybe even needs to do them, sometimes these adventures aren’t what I want to do.
This happened with running the LOViT 100. I signed up for it without nailing down a reason why, and when people asked why I would subject myself to that, I didn’t have a clear or consistent answer.
The answer came in the middle of the forest in the middle of the night: I am doing this because it’s hard.
Same with packing up a backpack and taking to the world. I didn’t have a clear reason why I wanted to do this, mumbling through “want to find myself” or “because I can?” to those who asked. Neither of those are authentic reasons, and to be frank, I still don’t know “The Reason”.
We can skew ourselves when we label our adventures. “I’m off to the world to find myself,” says I. And now I must find myself. That’s what I’m here for, isn’t it? To find myself! But what if you’re there to meet people and broaden the mind? That’s a different process entirely!
While having a why can be like a compass in a sandstorm, it could just be attempts to justify instinctual urges for adventure. This squashes it, doesn’t it? Adventure should be child-like play; it doesn’t demand justification, it doesn’t demand answers. Adventure should be listening and responding to the call, not forcing it to mean something.
The meaning might come later, either during the adventure or long after.
We’ve got enough boxes already without adding one for Adventure.
Peace and Blessings,