I loved watching Sinbad growing up. His life was full of risk, adventure and so much interest! I wished I could trade my bogus life routine for just one day of the pirate’s (with his skills of course). I wanted to be stronger, faster, smarter, and better than I was. New year resolutions gave me a kick and I would start off with great ambition. However, by late February, my passions had died and I was back to my drudgery. I have discovered a few things over the years that have made my life an adventure. With time, I have mastered some but I believe I still have a long way to go. However, I will confidently say that if Sinbad was watching me today, he’d wish his life was as an adventure as Ernest Wamboye’s. So here are 5 things that I have seen in my life that make each day an adventure to look forward to.
- Cut the TV watching.
I realized that the only way I was going to have a better life than Sinbad, was to stop watching Sinbad. Television offers ideal concepts of life that are very unrealistic. Despite having full knowledge that what we watch is scripted, acted and made to bring the best and most impossible outcome, our subconscious minds don’t know that. TV is the reason so many attractive women feel ugly because they watched a model who spent six hours of make-up to appear for three minutes on set. TV can magnify certain insecurities you have and create new ones if you don’t have them. A good example is this: TV normalizes divorce and infidelity. If you ask a few people who have been through broken relationships, they will tell you it is nothing like TV. No-one is relieved and smiling the next day. Now, TV in itself is not a bad thing. There are very good TV programs out there by the way. However, the viewer must realize that television sells more than products and entertainment; it sells values. Sadly, most of those values will dull your life instead of give you more zeal for it. My wife and I disconnected our TV about two-months ago. We have had more time to dream and talk in a very enriching way during the time we would be watching a sitcom. TV replaces quality interaction. It shows you the world’s great and amazing dreams but it doesn’t’ tell you that those dreams are a smidge compared to what’s stored in your head if you interact with real people.
Nothing gets your mind well exercised than reading. Mark Twain once said that the man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. Reading gives you an advantage. I have been to cocktails with my peers where very important guests were invited. You always have an upper hand when the guests of honour speak of a book they read and you just happen to have read it. You look like you don’t fit with your peers because despite our academic degrees, you have an upper hand in the conversation. You stand out and you grant yourself more opportunities than the average-Joes who prefer watching a whole season of that-new-season during the weekend. I challenge you, replace the computer time in the weekend with a novel. Reading also spurs your imagination. Your creativity is bound to increase with increase in reading. With an increased creativity, there is an increased dreaming. An increased dreaming results in an increased challenge that translates into an interesting life if those challenges are pursued and even better if they are achieved. In the Information Age, the greatest tragedy is that we perish for lack of knowledge.
- Take up challenges
I like playing games that I know I will win. However, even after winning a few rounds, it gets dull. However, I have found it more interesting when I play a game with a worthy or greater opponent. The game is more interesting and you get to discover yourself (character and personality) in loss and in victory. So it is with life’s challenges. If we keep accepting to take up tasks that we are sure of 100% success, we will never improve our mettle. Life is dynamic. A time will come when titanic challenges will arise without notice and if we haven’t had practice with tough challenges, we will crumble and falter. Someone in November 2011 dared me to write a novel in 30 days. I could not imagine setting aside all that time to just write. How could I spend hours writing 70,000 words? Challenges require overriding our defective willpower that defaults for the comfort zone. I took the monumental task and on 1st of November 2011, I wrote 5000 words. There was no stopping. I had my first novel typed out by 30th November 2011. I had it published in one year after that. The novel has added a flavour to my life. I walk in the streets and a random stranger stops me and says, “You’re Ernest right? Oh my goodness, I so love your book! I’ve read it twice!” If that’s not an adventure I don’t know what is? Many people loved the book and kept asking for the next. I now have an audience that expects a new book every year. You need to discover your niche and respond to the challenges that it offers. It may be that you’ve baked for neighbours for too long and the challenge requires you to attempt a wedding cake or a birthday cake. Perhaps the melodious voice needs to do an album of 12 songs before the year ends and start a music brand. If I turned down the challenge, I’d have no incentive to become a best-selling author. I’m not one yet, but I hope to be. Listen, even if you fail in your challenge, rejoice. Failures are the battle-marks that prove you survived the war and that you can still fight. And this time, you can fight with better skill. A man who has failed has infinite success probabilities than one who hasn’t failed at all – even worse, than one who hasn’t tried at all. Take up challenges. If your dreams don’t scare you, you still have room for a more adventurous life.
- Change mediocre company
The only thing worse than bad company is mediocre company. If there is anything that kills ambition, motivation and passion, it is the average, mediocre friend. The one with whom you share your dream and they laugh because they think you are not being practical. They are the ones who are complacent about their body, their intellect, their jobs and who like free things. They have reason to complain how things should be but do not contribute to effect changes. They find work as a bother and don’t like stretching outside their zone of comfort. They would prefer sleep to activity any day. They are slaves to their appetites and are suspicious of those who succeed. They will be the death of you and the end of an adventurous life. I love my wife for being super company. I have shared dreams with Turi that looked crazy and she always considered the possibility before considering the impossibility. Some of the dreams have come to pass and I too was shocked to see them come to fruition. However, I look back and I see company that upheld my vision and spurred me to go on. Bad company will obviously keep you from clear success and a life of greatness. However, mediocre company is worse; it will not even let you know there is such a thing as an adventurous, successful life. Mediocre company is the carbon monoxide of a dull life; it kills you slowly and you don’t even notice it is lethal.
- Build your walk with God
This is probably the best way to an adventurous life. I have a personal walk with Christ Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I will tell you this about me – each day has new zeal knowing that God directs my steps. I arise before the sun is up and I ensure that my daily routine does not start without hearing from God first. Many people call it their Quiet Time (QT). In my QT I reflect on my life. As I read through the scriptures, I am made aware of the offences I have caused, the right decisions I have made, the mistakes I have incurred and the chances that I have. I am compelled each day to know that this adventurous life on Earth is just a teeny tiny molecule compared to what happens after I die. Every day spent reading and meditating on the Bible shows me that the Earth is a pixel in the vast universe and that I matter! Can you believe that? That my life has purpose and meaning! That I am not a mistake and that a loving God wants me by His side when this life is over. Each day as I build my walk with God, I discover that the word adventure has fallen short of the very experience of walking with my Creator.