The death of many adventures usually starts out that way. An idea springs to mind, you dream of the possibilities, planning commences, and then you’re confronted with one of life’s biggest roadblocks: You ask yourself “what if?”
We humans are exceptionally skilled at creating future scenarios in our heads. We’re able to connect nonexistent dots to other nonexistent dots. For if “A” happens then surely “B” will happen, which spells disaster at “C”!
It’s as if a thousand years of conditioning has taught us to trust the instinctual moment of initial restraint.
“What if there is a predator around the corner?” “What if our hunt is not successful?” “What if our enemy raids our village tonight?”
Our ancestor’s crippling fear of the unknown settled into our own DNA. And while modern man is faced with a new set of unique unknown fears (credit card debt, loss of employment, etc.), the question of “what if” remains a constant inhibitor in life.
But how many times does an event play out exactly how we anticipated? Fear of the unknown is just that—unknown. We have no idea what will happen in any given situation, yet we allow fear to guide our thoughts and emotions.
You will no doubt feel a hint of restraint while planning your next adventure. A million things can—and maybe even will—happen. Adventure is so attractive precisely because of the unknown possibilities. Embrace this concept.
And always remember that the people in your life aren’t exactly qualified fortune tellers. They’re basing their assumptions on their own set of unknown fears when telling you your current adventurous plans are stupid, or dangerous, or way too risky.
They can’t even tell you what will happen tomorrow, next week, or even two hours from now. Yet they’ll make sure you contemplate “what if” to the point of full-blown anxiety.
Maybe your plans are stupid, and dangerous and way too risky. So what? If you allow fear of the unknown to hold you back from pursuing adventure, you’ll never know what could have been. Instead of experiencing the thrill of a lifetime, you’ll be stuck asking yourself a different sort of “what if.”
“What if I had just went with my gut and pursued my own adventures?”