How New Adventures Lead to New Success
What would make this year a successful one for you? Whether you are reading this at the start of a new year or somewhere mid-year, it’s not too late to consider a brand-new adventure! After all, being open to new experiences naturally contributes to your success.
My Definition of Success
Before I go any further, I want to clarify what I mean by success. It isn’t about being famous, having a host of followers, or making a bunch of money.
My definition of success is being obedient to what God’s asking me to do. I know that whatever He is urging me to do will make a difference in the lives of others and it will invite me to grow.
When all is said and done, many of the tasks I’ve pursued with great gusto will amount to very little! He calls me to put my efforts into what will last and yield’s great fruit.
An Adventurous Heroine
A few summers back, just about every book I read seemed to feature an ambitious, adventurous, historical woman. Their zeal for life and courage to step outside the norm for women both personally and professionally truly inspired me!
One of novels I read that summer, The Road We Traveled, was about a heroine that was based on the real life of Tabitha Moffat Brown. She was a highly motivated gal who started a whole new chapter of life when she was 66 by daring the Oregon Trail. Not only did she survive the treacherous trail, but she went on to establish an orphanage, a school, and a university. Oh, and did I mention she had a lame foot? She didn’t let anything hold her back. That’s impressive!
It’s stirring to read about those who reinvent themselves like Tabitha Moffat Brown – especially late in life. Sadly, most of us are not as adventurous as Tabitha. In fact, typically the older we get, the more we prefer to remain in our comfort zone, which decreases our chances of positively impacting others.
Adventures, Your Comfort Zone, & Success
Advancing in your career, life, and purpose means consistently challenging your comfort zone. Outside my comfort zone – that’s where I need God the most! And it’s where the bulk of my learning, growing, and preparing for what’s ahead takes place. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely not ready to stop learning and growing!
So, while there is nothing new under the sun, there are still plenty of new experiences to be had regardless of your age, right? When was the last time you engaged in a new venture or activity, something that forced you to stretch or face your fears?
Engaging in new adventures, even frivolous ones, primes you to take on new challenges in more important areas of your life and work. When was the last time you…
- Did something new just for the fun of it?
- Intentionally tried something new?
- Embraced a new way of thinking?
- Diligently cultivated new habits?
- Set out to learn new skills or explore a new topic?
- Deliberately connected with new people?
- Were purposefully proactive rather than procrastinating or avoiding?
Have I enticed you to do something new? I hope so! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider the new adventures that are best for your life and work:
1. Try Something NEW Sooner Rather Than Later!
Did you know the longer you put something off the harder it becomes? So, the sooner you take action, the better!
For example, putting on extra pounds happens with very little effort. Taking them off – that’s another story! Those extra pounds don’t just show up – they are the result of being stressed, overindulging, and not being active. The sooner you start new behaviors, the fewer extra pounds there are to lose.
What changes have you been putting off?
2. Do Something Small
You don’t have to take giant steps to enjoy the fruit of taking new actions. Nope! Even a small shift or tweak makes a difference! And when you see the positive results, you’ll be more motivated to make more small changes. Before you know it, the idea of venturing into new territory no longer produces the same level of anxiety. The bonus: your comfort zone naturally expands! That’s pretty sweet!
What new small step will you take?
3. Do the Wise Something
Certain tasks come easily to me. They keep me occupied and feeling industrious, but they don’t always produce the results I’m after. It isn’t enough to do something – it takes doing the “right” activities, the wise actions, to get the results I desire.
Here’s the catch: whatever the wise something is probably going to be challenging and outside my comfort zone, but I can’t let that keep me from pursuing the new ways of approaching my life and work.
What wise actions do you need to pursue?
4. Don’t Let Failure Slow You Down
As you try new experiences or ways of doing things, you will encounter some bumps along the way. That’s normal! Not everything you try will be a raging success the first time around. Keep experimenting and trying new methods. Treasure all that you that you learn and the ways that you grow in the process! Knowing what you don’t want to repeat – that’s a valuable discovery too!
How have unsuccessful new experiences slowed you down?
5. Try NEW and Memorable Ways of Connecting
It doesn’t take long for relationships to grow stale. Imagine how your marriage, friendships, or work relationships would benefit from a novel experience or two. Bringing unique and creative experiences to play doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming – it just needs to be something you normally don’t do. Making sweet memories – that’s priceless!
How will you breathe new life into your relationships?
6. Allow The New to Enhance Your Life
If you haven’t assessed your life recently, I encourage you to do this on a regular basis. Those areas where your scores are low are the perfect opportunity for you to pursue a new adventure or two!
What area of your life needs a little perking up?
7. Keep Pursuing The “New”
I’ve discovered that over time, whatever I do personally or professionally eventually becomes less effective even if it was wildly effective at first. That’s means I’ve got keep making adjustments and trying new ways of doing things over time if I want to successfully achieve what God has for me.
To be more effective, what needs to be refreshed?
8. Don’t Overlook God in the NEW
The most important relationship in your life is your relationship with God. It’s easy to get lulled into a hum drum place and resort to a formulaic way of engaging with Him. I’m quite sure my human relationships would not last long if I connected with others day in and day out in the same old way.
What if you breathed new life into your time with God and mixed it up a bit? Got a little adventurous? What if you burst out in song? Focused on all the many facets of His character, His love, or His grace?
What about including God in your life moment by moment – doing life with Him?
What adventure has God been nudging you towards that seems too big, impossible, or a little crazy? How has God been prompting you to alter your life, work, or how you lead that’s made your heart skip a beat?
Stepping out and obeying His lead might seem risky, but it’s also an opportunity to experience God’s faithfulness, power, and love, to appreciate Him in unexpected ways while deepening your understanding of who He is.
He’s there to help you along the way. He’s eager to reveal more of Himself to you!
You have His promises:
Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and He will give you success. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NCV)
Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:19-20 (MSG)
9. The Blessings in NEW
New adventures and being stuck – they just can’t coexist! Learning new skills keeps you mentally sharp. Engaging in new experiences makes you a more interesting person. And when you keep your attention on the process when trying new things, you are more present, less stressed, and experience less anxiety.
On the flip side, focusing on results, striving for success, or putting all your energy into making sure you don’t fail creates stress and anxiety. Nobody wants that!
Isn’t it time for you to do life and work in a more adventurous way? What’s keeping you from pursuing a life brimming with NEW?
© Can Stock Photo / alphaspirit