Chasing Adventures

Launch of the “James Caird”. This photograph was published in the United States in Ernest Shackleton’s book, ‘South’, in 1919.

Launch of the “James Caird”. This photograph was published in the United States in Ernest Shackleton’s book, ‘South’, in 1919.

I have to admit, my DVR is filled with wonderful shows I rarely get around to watching. I’ve been meaning to finish watching OPB’s Chasing Shackleton program for months now, and I finally sat down to watch it a few evenings ago. I love adventure stories, and oh wow, this one sure didn’t disappoint. For those of you who don’t know the story of Ernest Shackleton, he was one of the the bravest, most courageous expedition leaders of all time who led three British Expeditions to the Antarctic. When his ship sank on his 1914 journey, he was faced with the responsibility of the lives of 27 men stranded on an ice floe, 346 miles from the nearest Antarctic station. He had a choice: They could either all perish there on the ice or they could risk the lives of five men to attempt the most perilous journey on earth to reach help and hopefully save them all.

If you haven’t seen Chasing Shackleton, I highly recommend it. The series follows a crew of five intrepid explorers in 2013 led by renowned adventurer, scientist and author Tim Jarvis as they re-create Shackleton’s epic sea-and-land voyage in a replica of the original explorers’ boat, using only the tools and supplies his team used. Watching this incredible expedition made me ponder all the adventures I’ve had in my life, all the adventures I’d like to have in my future, and what I’m doing right now in the present moment to make these adventures happen.

A good many of my great adventures have come from pushing myself and taking a risk. Sometimes I have taken what may seem like stupid risks, but they have never been uncalculated against my perceived abilities. I have the most amazing memories of my great risks, and to this day am still proud of myself for taking them.

I know I want a lot out of my life. As the years clock by I am reminded that my bucket list is still quite long and that I will have to work hard to make adventures happen. Even though adventures don’t come as frequently or as easily as they did in my 20’s, I know that exceptional things can happen when I keep going where many people might stop.

Start with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish? What is it that you truly want in life? Keep your focus on the end results. Consider your own adventures and what risks you took that made them happen. Not all adventures are spontaneous, especially as we get older, but that doesn’t make them any less special or thrilling. Start taking the steps needed to make your next adventure happen. Access your strongest and most dominant character to make your life come alive. Be practical and practice your boldest behavior. And most importantly is to never, ever give up because the most amazing stories can come after what you thought was surely the end.

My risks may not have been of Shackleton proportions, but as long as your risks illicit a strong emotion, whether it’s fear, excitement, or a feeling entirely unexpected, I encourage you to take them. You may surprise yourself at your own abilities.


10 Tips for Making Adventures Happen:

1. Make sure you do something(s) in this lifetime that you can be really proud of.

2. If you haven’t done anything adventurous in the past 12 months,  then now is the time to do it. Life is short.

3. Determine what makes you happy and strive to set up your life so you can achieve this.

4. Discover your strengths, write them down and use them to propel you in the direction you want to be going.

5. Find your courage and exercise it regularly.

6. Focus on what you want in life, find pictures of it in magazines or the internet and create a vision board. Hang it up somewhere you’ll see it frequently as a reminder of what you’re working towards.

7. Emulate the qualities of great leaders or people who inspire you until you feel confident in your own abilities.

8. Release negative self-talk and embrace the concept of loving yourself. This is the way to get ahead in life.

9. Who you are today will affect the rest of your life. Make sure you like what you are thinking, saying and doing.

10. Retrain your brain of old patterns and influences by using language that takes you in the direction that you want to be going.

Eilise Ward