Whatever your poison, quit sitting around talking about what you want to do and just go do it. Sometimes the hardest person to convince to get out is yourself but the power of conviction radiates into all aspects of your life. Go outside now and all other things will fall into place if you approach them with the same Think-Do attitude.
Everywhere… in the Northern Hemisphere, that is. Snow is melting, rivers are running and photosynthesis is bumpin’! It’s been a long time since many of us have seen the glorious color green and when all those trees start to tease their leafy ‘fro into existence it’s a glorious sight that beckons to be held. Spring is the season of renewal, of rebirth and every one of us could use a little bit more of that in our lives. If you’re one of the 21.6 million twenty-somethings in college, you know the inescapable doldrums of the spring semester. With summer so close you can taste the cerveza, it would be detrimental to your health to not turn of your computer and go for a hike. Don’t even finish reading this. Just go. Now.
Prove it to yourself
Self-doubt. I know you have it, we all do. We’ve all stood at the bottom of that pitch with our hands sunk in our chalk bags and tried to hide our uneasiness and fear. We’ve all stood at the banks of a raging river and felt small and powerless. Overcoming that fear is what makes our passions so addicting. Sending that project and riding that wave is a moment suspended in time that we need only to reach out and grasp. The more you reach, the more you tend to find something worth holding on to.
Spend time with your friends
The people in our lives that care for us are the backbone of our existence. The memories we share with our friends and families are the ones that shine brightest in our mind’s eye. It is important to feed off other positive sources of energy and there is no better place to do that than on top of a mountain or on a river or in a valley. Let the sun shine in or sleep under the stars knowing that there are people in your life that make the next day worth living.
Take your dog out
If you don’t have a dog, and you have the social maturity to care for another living creature, get one. They love hiking and swimming. They always listen and never judge. They can keep up at any pace and they fart just a little bit less than your ex-boyfriend did. If there is any better reason to get outside than to see the smile on a panting dog’s face I can’t think of one. It feels good to provide for something and get a little in return. Humans need to run and stretch their legs every day just like dogs do. Maybe that’s why we get along so well.
Watch the sunrise
How often do you ponder your cosmic connection to the universe? Our generation is the least religious of any generation prior, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t spiritual. For some folks, church means sitting in an air-conditioned room, shaking hands with strangers and donating pocket change in exchange for salvation. For others it is nothing more than waking up before the sun crests the horizon and rooting yourself to the earth and your connection to nature. If everyone started their day above treeline where the air is crisp and time is meaningless, what a world we would live in.
Lose your breath
We all need to feel vulnerable at some point in our lives. We need the grounding sensation of defeat to propel us on a path of progression. You don’t have to be training for the Olympics to thirst for more–a faster lap, a harder line, a smoother execution. Succeeding in accordance to your self-perception is an important aspect of life. But life is about balance–yin and yang– and we can’t fear defeat or shy away from failure. They are what make us aware of the possibility for self-actualization. In the end, the only person you have to prove anything to is yourself. Leave your camera, phone, and iPod at the door and take that stupid GoPro off of your head. Impress no one but yourself and you will impress everyone. I promise.
You don’t have to be artistic to desire inspiration or crave creativity but nothing facilitates your minds exploration better than when it’s following your feet. That crazy Thoreau guy knew that a simple walk can set your mind on a beautiful course when unrestrained by four walls and a ceiling. Stop looking at that picture of the Tetons on your cubicle and go oogle the real deal. Humans spend ninety percent of their lives indoors. Rattle that around in your brain for awhile… We need the wilderness to lift our spirits and heal our minds. So many people view humans as separate and independent of nature, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Let your mind wander into the universe and you will be a better person for it.
Yvon Chouinard says that adventure begins when everything starts to go wrong. That’s not to say you should write engine failure into your road trip itinerary, but accepting that fact is a beautiful thing. Our lives are a series of stories that play back in our minds when we stare down the road into the Great Compost Bin. In the end, our blood ain’t made for more than just wetting down the dirt so take some chances and live a little while you still can. Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down. When you return to the trail head grinning ear to ear, you won’t remember the miles of off course bushwhacking, you’ll remember that time you saw a mother bear and her cubs saunter off into the distance.
Find peace within yourself
Life is stressful. Work, love, money, politics. It all takes it’s toll after awhile. Your sanity is the most precious thing you own and if you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t expect to take care of the people around you. We all need to unplug every once in awhile and recharge our supply of Vitamin D. Go outside and quiet the voices in your head that tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Forget about the corporate ladder and your news feed. There is comfort in the fact that your world exists entirely within your own reality. If you choose to stand on top of that mountain today, tomorrow the sun will rise just the same and you will be ready for whatever it brings.