Friday, June 11, 2010

Why Do We Do This?

A young girl is trying to sail around the world, solo. Yesterday she had to be rescued in the Indian Ocean because of big storms.

Why would someone want to do something like this?

Once when someone was asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, he responded, "because it was there."

For some people that answer may suffice, but I think that for people who want dangerous and unusual adventures, the answer is probably more along the lines of adding excitement to their lives.

Extreme sports offer a person an opportunity to test the limits of their capabilities, and the reward is in the feeling of satisfaction from having achieved something that few others can do.

Not everyone is into extreme sports, but there are other areas of our lives where we can experience excitement.

A person who starts their own business gets to challenge their own abilities and feels the incredible surge of energy when their efforts are paying off.

People seek this same sort of excitement and reward when they endeavor to become excellent at other things, such as a game, an art form, music, comedy or any number of other things.

Our need for excitement is an extension of our need for recognition. Who does not like to get compliments for things they have done?

Extreme sports is an extreme example. Poets, musicians, comedians, artists all have their chance to show what they can do at open mike nights or unjuried art shows.

Entrepreneurs can try starting new businesses any time they have an idea they want to try out and can get the necessary resources together.

Excitement motivates people to get more joy out of life. In extreme cases, people risk their lives for that excitement. In other cases, maybe we just have to stretch beyond our usual comfort zone. Either way, we get a greater sense of aliveness, and that enriches our experience. We just have to consider how big and what kind of a challenge we want to choose.

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