“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.” — Nishan Panwar
I was 10 years old when I was introduced to the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. I wasn’t an avid reader at the time so I found that the books came in handy for school presentations; I could decide how the story would end up based on decisions I made on each page, and I often cheated death by jumping ahead to see what was in store for the protagonist.
While I was entertained when reading these adventure stories, the fun was short lived as I was told the books were banned from being used for future presentations. Bummer.
Choose Our Own Adventure
While I still don’t understand why these books were banned from reading and sharing at school, I now understand the importance/hidden message these stories had. While decision-making was in my control so I could escape death over and over again, this was not the big takeaway. Ultimately, the big takeaway was what these books were categorized under – Choose Your Own Adventure!
The Choose Your Own Adventure Mindset
At some point I had lost the mindset that I could choose my own adventure in life. This may have taken place post-college when I began my corporate career. I piled on the debt, bought a home, and began living a life of expectancy. I was living someone else’s adventure at the time and not my own. While it took me some time to un-school myself from the school of hard knocks, I was able to see a gradual mindset shift once I made a few simple changes to begin my own life adventure.
How to Break Free and Live Your Own Life Adventure
I must admit, I am privileged to live in a developed nation. It took me many years to understand how fortunate and grateful I am to have access to what others in developing countries may view as luxuries. When I first began to understand how lucky I am is when I made a conscious effort to break free of living life according to my understanding of the world’s standards.
Of course, I couldn’t just cancel out the life I was living overnight as I had a lot of bills to pay and a family to feed. I could, however, begin to implement a system that would allow me to develop a greater mindset and live an intentional life.
Inspired by these changes, I have coined this simple 3 step system as “The Activation Of Our Own Superpowers!”
- Eliminate unnecessary external noise
- Shift time
Step 1 – Eliminate unnecessary external noise: Studies indicate that the average American watches 34 hours of television per week! While television is just one form of external distractions in life, other forms of external noise may include frequent use of Smartphones and tablets; Internet and social media lurking; checking email every five seconds, etc…
Cutting down this time by 25% will free up a substantial amount of time each week to activate the process of discovering new and exciting life adventures, such as reading!
Step 2 – Simplify: One of the common misconceptions in the nation I live in is to become more, you must attain more. I followed the pack on this before, and in no way did it lead me to become more other than becoming more broke, miserable, and depressed.
The moment I began to simplify my life to become more by attaining less is when a ton of weight was removed from my shoulders. I had fewer bills to pay and could now work at a job I enjoyed. This process to simplify began when I de-cluttered my home, which in turn de-cluttered my brain. I moved from a medium sized home with an expensive mortgage payment to an apartment where I pay less for rent and I no longer have to worry about paying for expensive home repairs. I cancelled the cable television, the Internet for a while, smartphones, and more.
While folks don’t need to be as radical as I am when making drastic changes, I do recommend simplifying your life; de-cluttering your home can do wonders to de-clutter your brain. This step will open up a different, clearer perspective of the world you live in.
Step 3 – Shift Time: As we progress through the first two steps we naturally find ways to shift our time to explore more life adventures. For example, less television watching can lead to more socializing, exercising, reading and/or writing. We also find more time to educate ourselves on topics that mean the most to us. This could be a hobby we have just discovered and now have the time to begin working on. It’s amazing how many of these hobbies and passions were once unidentified or buried underneath when all the distractions and clutter once masked them.
Ultimately, there is a life out there for us to live; a life in which we can choose our own adventure! To live this life we must break free of unhealthy practices, which can be done through eliminating & simplifying what’s not necessary and shifting our priorities to make time to explore the world unknown!
Eric Koch lives with his wife and three boys in the Washington DC metro region. He is now an avid reader, writer, and is passionate about simple living. He writes on his publication Leisure Flow, the art of uncovering leisure time, and to use this time to experience more in the zone moments.