Journey + Disaster = Adventure

Google said the paved biking trail was about a mile away. Stu and I parked in the parking lot and got on our road bikes expecting pavement the whole way. About 200 yards out the pavement ended. “Let’s follow the map anyway.” Our skinny road tires snapped on the rocks and the thin wheels stuck in the soft dirt. My buddie got off to talk a couple times. I cursed Google with my outside voice. After about another mile the gravel ended in an overgrown forest with the old railroad grade choked with brush, grass and a couple wild beasts. “Fucking Google!” Heading back up the gravel road required bike portage (carrying) and more cursing.

Journey + Disaster = Adventure

I recently read Kevin Kelly’s 68 pieces of unsolicited advice, where he wrote “A vacation + disaster = adventure”. It occured to me that the concept applies at the meta level too. Any kind of journey, life, travel, a relationship, a career, spiritual, etc. when hit with disaster can be framed as an adventure. It is easy to frame disastrous vacations as adventure because the people we tell about them can relate (and the stories can be made funny). The truth is all in the remembering. Do you remember the disaster or the fun of the adventure? To frame and remember as an adventure, can be liberating. How about these recent ones (which have all happened to me recently)…

Life + Covid 19 = New path in life Adventure!

Hot start up in the middle of fundraising + Pandemic = Restructuring Adventure!

Profitable Company + frivolous lawsuit for millions of $ = Bankruptcy Adventure!

Family life + Covid quarantine = New family activities adventure!

Profitable full service restaurant + Covid lockdown = Take-out adventure!

My reaction to events is all that matters. Events are neither good nor bad, my impression of the makes them so. Sure swearing at Google felt good for a second, but it didn’t help the journey. In fact it caused negative feelings which upset my physical body just like an injury. By reframing the experience as an adventure, I am able to remember the interesting, funny, learning parts and not the negative parts.

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I ride my bike, surf, develop great software products, develop real estate and invest in great ideas.

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