How to Foster a Healthy Sense of Adventure in Your Children

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
-Mary Schmich

Adventure requires risk. According to Merriam Webster, risk is defined as the possibility of loss, injury or peril, and adventure is what follows. Adventure starts the moment you decide to expose yourself to an unknown outcome. Adventure is what happens when you push forward. Despite the fear. Despite the trepidation. Despite the negative possibilities. Adventure is the physical manifestation of the abstract concept of what it means to truly live.

Risk taking is a part of life. We’ve all faced the crossroads of deciding whether to cling to stability and familiarity, or throw caution to the wind and leap into the unknown. Although it’s comfortable to follow a predictable outline in order to arrive at an expected outcome, doing so isn’t always the best option. Setting aside predictability, in the name of adventure, can result in some of the most memorable, life changing experiences, lessons, and opportunities.

As adults, we’ve seen proof and heard success stories about how big risks can pay off. We understand that adventures don’t always end in triumph. However, are still undeniably worthy of pursuit. We’ve experienced the highs and lows of our own risk taking and have learned that a strong sense of adventure is a valuable quality to have.

As parents, it’s our job to pass that knowledge on and teach our kids to be confidently adventurous. Here are three ways to foster a healthy sense of adventure in your children:

Support Safe Risks

As children grow and interact with their world, they will naturally encounter obstacles that’ll force them to decide whether to be daring or cautious. Use those experiences as teachable moments. Model how to weigh the pros and cons of possible consequences. And if the risk is safe to pursue, encourage your little one to go for it! The way you choose to respond heavily influences the type of response your child employs. So, instill confidence by providing the proper problem solving skills to analyze the safety level of the risk, then be supportive when the adventure begins.

Don’t Project Personal Fears

As much as we hate to admit it, parents’ personal phobias and negative self-talk is contagious. Children are perceptive and impressionable, causing them to absorb and mirror the behaviors that surround them. Your attitude, perspective and outlook is the blueprint for your children’s foundation. Therefore, be aware of how you handle risks. Think of the example you’re setting and adjust accordingly. Lastly, when speaking to your children, equalize your emphasis on potential outcomes by highlighting what may go right, instead of only discussing what may go wrong.

Regularly Expose Your Kids to New Experiences

Humans are granted such a short period of life to feel unburdened by the stressors of adulthood. By design, childhood is absent of major responsibility. It is a safe space. To learn, to play and to fail. School-aged children have the luxury of experimenting and discovering who they are, while still covered safely under the umbrella of financial and emotional support. So be intentional. Foster their sense of adventure by tailoring their exposure. Seek frequent, meaningful risks and experiences that will help build character and shape their worldview. Give your child the best start possible to their lifelong pursuit of adventure.

Author Neale Donald Walsch stated, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Risk can be scary, but it can also be gratifying. Do your part to guide your children through coping with the fear and celebrating the reward. Use the three tips above to help foster a sense of healthy adventure. By doing so, you are opening the door to a lifetime of fulfillment.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow to Foster a Healthy Sense of Adventure in Your Children
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4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side

Anyone would be happy to be described as adventurous. It is generally a compliment implying that someone is interesting, independent and strong. The trait personifies confident individuals who are ready to face any challenge that comes their way. All the positive characteristics make being adventurous a little intimidating. But as they say, there is almost always more than meets the eye. Adventurous people may appear larger than life for others, but in reality, they are just typical people with their share of strengths and weaknesses. Shatter any doubt about your ability to embrace an adventurous spirit by looking at some of the misconceptions about this trait:

Adventurous people are fearless.
Bravery plays a huge role in trying something new, so it is easy to assume doubts and fears have no place in any adventure you take. However, it does not mean that people should adopt a “risk-it-all attitude” at all times. A famous quote even says that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to face it. Therefore, it is wrong to think adventurous people are fearless. Most likely, they suffer from worries and anxieties too, but the main difference is they have learned to adopt skills and techniques to deal with their fear. So, if you are feeling a little scared, do not be too quick to say no to an adventure. Rather, try to look for ways to subdue your fears. When you come to think of it, without the element of fear, an activity may not even be considered an adventure at all.

Adventurous people are young.
People associate old age with retirement houses and routine activities. On the other hand, heart-racing adventures seem to be reserved for the young. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if people beyond their 50’s would think twice about trying new experiences. But the truth is, there are no rules stating an expiration age for adventures. If you have a young spirit, no one can say that you are too old for any adventure. As part of caution, it is still advisable to seek the advice of a physician before starting any physically draining adventure.

Adventurous people are wealthy.
You can’t deny that funds and resources are needed to try new experiences. Travel requires airfare and some activities require equipment. However, do not forget that money is not the most important thing about being adventurous. In fact, lack of funds could even open doors for more unforgettable experiences because you get to make do with what you have. People who are truly adventurous are resourceful and creative, so they can find ways to make exciting activities happen even with limited funds.

Adventurous people are perfectly healthy.
It takes physical strength to participate in extremely strenuous activities, such as mountain biking or rock climbing. Still, adventures should not entirely exclude people with physical limitations (such as disabilities or ailments). Sometimes, adventures can even pave the way to physical fitness or improved health. It can also be a way for some people to discover hidden strengths.

The decision to be adventurous is not something reserved for the privileged few. Given the right mindset and stern determination, anyone can add a sense of adventure in their life. So, if you want more fun and adventure, start by widening your mind and shattering misconceptions.

Brad and Julie Duncan4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side
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Three Ways Great Leaders Rise From Their Mistakes

Leadership comes with great responsibilities. But no one said that the heavy load a leader has to bear requires perfection at all times. On the contrary, the very best of leaders are those that are not afraid to make mistakes. They proceed with caution and minimize errors as much as possible. But they also have a full understanding of the risks involved in their actions. Thus, mistakes do not rattle or take them off guard. They recognize the opportunities that come with every mistake they have made. Great leaders overcome mistakes with ease and can even turn them into opportunities. They can do this by adopting a few key mindsets and principles, which are discussed below.

Accept and react accordingly.

In an organization where leaders refuse to acknowledge errors, problems persist and can ultimately break the team dynamic. That is why wise leaders do not turn a blind eye when something went wrong. Instead, they quickly acknowledge it and are willing to apologize for it if necessary. They are not concerned that these actions willl make them appear weak or incompetent in front of their subordinates. On the contrary, leaders will earn the respect and admiration of their team because admitting mistakes is a decision that takes humility and courage.  

Do not resort to negative behaviors.

As a leader, you are likely wary of making mistakes because they can often lead to negative behavior or situations. Proactive leaders, though, know that negative actions are a waste of time because in the end, they don’t solve anything. It’s important to get to the root of the problem in order to have a clear understanding of how the mistakes happened and how they can be fixed. However, once the scrutiny reveals the names of the people who are responsible or involved with the mishaps, exceptional leaders have the ability to react calmly and constructively.

Great leaders don’t resort to harsh punishments and instead set their attention on the mistakes done and not on the person who did it. Instead of subjecting people to harsh criticisms, they listen in order to learn how the mistake can be fixed or avoided in the future. Criticisms and fault-finding will only damage your team’s morale, which can create more trouble for an organization in the long run.

Focus on lessons and solutions.

Leaders may feel frustrated over a misstep for a while, but it is important not to linger on the mistake and instead look to the bright side. Be aware that mistakes are just a part of the journey and come heavily laden with lessons to learn. Likewise, don’t dwell on negative emotions for too long after a mistake. It is not wise to dwell on bad emotions. Your main concern should be set on how to solve it. Any problem can be fixed, so try to instead plot ways to correct the mistake.  

Do you want an easy way to assess a person’s leadership skills? One way to do it is by observing how they handle mistakes. The mediocre ones may start to panic and end up making decisions that can turn a small mistake into a major problem. On the other hand, great leaders stay cool and collected, giving them presence of mind to turn any mistake to their advantage. So what kind of leader do you want to become?  

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways Great Leaders Rise From Their Mistakes
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