February 2, 2012 
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Dear Lisa,

The Prosperous Heart thrives on adventure. New sights and sounds feed a feeling of abundance.  

~ Julia Cameron 

In This Issue
More Adventure, Please
Adventure Starters
The Idea Age is Coming. Are You Ready?
Further Adventures
MORE ADVENTURE, PLEASE 

Dragons in Vegas

Even though Jason Reitman grew up with a film director father, he thought he might become a doctor. When he discussed this idea with his dad, the elder Reitman gave him the same advice his father had given him when he was thinking about taking a corporate job. "There's not enough magic in it," he suggested. 

 

Apparently Jason Reitman agreed and at the ripe old age of thirty he was nominated for an Academy Award for directing Juno.

               

I wish there were more Grandpa Reitmans in the world. If so, we wouldn't be seeing this epidemic of what I've named Adventure Deficit Disorder. The symptoms are easy to spot: lack of enthusiasm coupled with loads of self-doubt enhanced by frustration and dissatisfaction. Instead of adventure, life for many has been about accumulation. It's hard to have a life of creation if you've created a life of maintenance. As Alexandra Stoddard warns, "Life's too short to spend it being the caretaker of the wrong things."

               

I've been musing about this a great deal lately, and remembered the exact moment when I knew that I wanted to live a life where adventure was given a leading role.

 

It happened between my sophomore and junior years of high school. (I realize that many of my readers may be too young to recognize the person who inspired this early adventure.) Here's what happened.

               

During a hot muggy Minnesota summer, I heard that Ricky Nelson would be performing at the State Fair. I immediately began to harass my parents about driving me the 75 miles to see the concert. I suspect that for many residents of my small town a trip to the State Fair was about as big an adventure as they allowed themselves every year, but I got the idea that I didn't just want to sit in the grandstand. I wanted to meet my idol. How was that ever going to happen?

 

I'm not sure how I came up with my plan, but I do recall it took several days for me to gather my courage. I marched into the office of our little weekly newspaper and made a proposal to our editor. Might he be able to get me a press pass to attend the pre-concert interview? In exchange, I'd write an article for the paper. He said he'd see what he could do. I realize now, of course, that my request was probably the most interesting one he'd gotten. 

 

When Mr. Hauck called to tell me my press pass had arrived, I was wildly excited and extremely frightened. A few terror-filled weeks later, I found myself in a dark little room with several actual journalists-and the shy Ricky Nelson. 

               

 I still have the yellowed newspaper clipping of that momentous event, but that wasn't the biggest souvenir of my experience. Not by a long shot. That bold risk was genuine evidence that it was possible to create fascinating adventures.

               

So what's an adventure anyway? My favorite definition says "an adventure is any undertaking the outcome of which cannot be known at the outset." It's the polar opposite of living with scheduled certainty. Adventure is propelled by curiosity, imagination and a willingness to be delighted  by the unexpected. 

               

You don't need a trip down the Amazon to qualify as an adventurer. You do, however, have to be an active participant in creating an adventurous life. When my daughter Jennie was entering high school, she decided to spend the summer Becoming Cultured. She had very specific ideas about what that meant. For starters, her summer reading did not include the usual fluff. It was time to tackle The Classics. 

 

Becoming Cultured also meant expanding her cooking horizons. Up to that point, her kitchen repertoire was pretty much limited to some snappy French toast, but that summer Jennie decided to learn the art of French cooking and we swooned over her perfect hollandaise and fretted over the lumps in her chocolate mousse. 

               

As Jennifer demonstrated, true adventure is about expanding boundaries and horizons. It's not being satisfied with the familiar. Adventurous living can happen anyplace, anytime. 

               

So why do so many people living in this rich, fascinating world suffer from Adventure Deficit Disorder? Fear of the unknown, years of advice to play it safe and disapproval of others has kept untold numbers of adventures from being  born, but those aren't the only villains. 

 

Author Richard Bach discovered an even more insidious adventure killer that may be hard to give up. "In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice."

 

Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
 
The theme this month is
Habitats
ADVENTURE STARTERS

Learn to listen, not just to hear

Write a love poem

Always have a current passport

Join an archaeological dig and discover buried treasure

Become an organic farmer

Redecorate your office

Help someone before they ask

Turn castoffs into treasures

Learn to draw

Write a fan letter to someone who influenced you

Throw a boomerang

Have your letter to the editor published

Finish projects ahead of time

Take a stand-even if you're the only one

Enter a competition

Bring food to disaster victims

Build a treehouse office

Engage in barter

Spend a whole day at a library

Come up with a family motto

Help clean up a polluted beach

Throw a surprise party that really surprises

Do something friends would consider out of character

THE IDEA AGE IS COMING. ARE YOU READY?

According to people who study such things, we've gone from the Industrial Age to the Information Age and are now entering the Idea Age. Creative thinking, often scorned by left-brained thinkers, is taking on a new importance. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, says,  "Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron ore was to steel making." 

 

For too many of us, getting ideas and bringing them to life has been a random activity, but my upcoming Idea Safari exploration will take a look at ways to make spotting and generating ideas an on-going activity. If you're ready to bring some wild ideas back to your habitat, join me for one or all of the teleclasses. Here's where the Jeep is headed:

               

Why Didn't I Think of That?  Thursday, February 9,   8-9 PM EST, 5-6 PM PST

Beyond the $100 Hour         Thursday, February 16, 8-9 PM EST, 5-6 PM PST

A Dozen Ways to Build Your Expert Status Thursday, February 23, 8-9 PM EST

 

Each adventure is just $25 OR you can sign up for the entire series for $50. Love to have you along.

 

Idea Safari

 

FURTHER ADVENTURES

For the past year or so, Ken Robert has been sharing his adventures in becoming an artist. Now he's taken a giant step and has a new Web site where he's inviting others to share their own artistic explorations.

 

Ken says, "Over and over we ask ourselves, 'Where do I begin?'

And since we're not always sure, we sometimes don't.

Perhaps a better and far more intriguing question would be, 'Where will I wind up if I do?'

That question has a pull to it. It opens up our curiosity. It tempts us to begin wherever we are so we can discover a place we've never been."

 

See what's happening at http://KenRobert.com.

Buon Viaggio,

 

Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 

 

P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.
 
Copyright 2008-2012 Barbara Winter, Joyfully Jobless | PO Box 800971, Valencia CA 91380 | Contact Barbara