Monday, April 29, 2013

Exploration & The Meat of Life

I have a great fascination with explorers. I love that they venture into the unknown. That they do their best to prepare, despite the multitude of uncertainties before them. That they discover places and things not yet known to others.
So, naturally, I was thrilled to see yet another TED video from arctic explorer Ben Saunders. At the age of 26, Ben skied solo to the North Pole. With this exploration under his belt, in 2013, he's setting out to be the first to walk from the tip of Antarctica to the South Pole. And then back again. He's a beautiful man with a beautiful view of the world.Since we have a constant supply of information this day in age (for example, we can look up most any information about the Antarctic on Wiki), Ben's presentation questions: "Why bother leaving the house?"Ben encourages people to be spectators, rather than contemplators, or observers. Ben posits:
...the doing, you know, to try to experience, to engage, to endeavor, rather than to watch and to wonder, that's where the real meat of life is to be found, the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days.
He goes on to say:
...real inspiration and growth only comes from adversity and from challenge, from stepping away from what's comfortable and familiar and stepping out into the unknown. In life, we all have tempests to ride and poles to walk to, and I think metaphorically speaking, at least, we could all benefit from getting outside the house a little more often, if only we could sum up the courage.
I think about adventures that I'm looking forward to in the coming future. I'm looking forward to my multi-month bicycle adventure. I'm looking forward to defining a new direction in my career, whatever that might mean. I can keep thinking about these things. Turning them inside out. Continually reexamining and reanalyzing them from different angles. But, it's time I "get outside the house" a little more. It's time I step away from what is comfortable and step into the unknown. It's time I step outside of my cerebral confines and start exploring the world around me.This is where the real meat of life is to be found. And only by doing these things will I be able to explore myself. Explore my existence in this world. And, then, eventually, continue to grow by setting goals for new explorations.

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