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  • Proactive Happiness

My Latest Adventure Is.....Fighting Houston Traffic.

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

When people are unhappy at work, there are many factors that can contribute. One factor that people often overlook is the need for adventure, and how that need aligns with your current situation.

When I decided it was time to make a major shift in my career, one of the things I noticed was how little adventure I had in my life at work. Adventure takes many shapes and forms; it looks different for each and every one of us. Some people need to actively seek adventures to fill their adventure cravings, and others are able to explore their existing world and fill their adventure needs in other ways. What I discovered when I took a hard look at myself was that for me, adventure had looked like living in Spain for a year at 15 years old, touring Europe by myself for nine weeks at age 17, playing every sport I could ever get my hands on, including rugby and boxing (not necessarily well, mind you), bungee jumping, skydiving, white water rafting, swimming with whale sharks, riding a one-eyed mule up the side of a mountain, ziplining, travelling to South America for work….you get the point. I would never have called myself a “craver of adventure”, but when I stopped and looked back over my life, I realized that I actually am. What I refer to as “the best times of my life” all involved some sort of big adventure.

When we think about why we are feeling dissatisfied at work, we typically start with the obvious elements. For example: Do I like the types of tasks I do every day? Do I like the company and the people I work with? These questions are very important, without a doubt, but there is so much more to it. Taking a bigger picture look at how your current role fits with every aspect of your life is essential, and the “adventure piece” is one of those many puzzle pieces.

If you’re struggling to understand why you don’t feel “right” at work, take a minute to consider the adventure piece of your happiness puzzle. Take five minutes, lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and think about what you consider to be the best moments of your life. Think about the role that adventure has played in your life. As I said, adventure looks different for all of us, and not everyone craves the adventure like I do. For some, their adventure needs can be fulfilled by driving to work (which in Houston and many other cities can TRULY be a wild adventure), wrangling their children every day (I think sometimes this may require a hardhat) or taking an occasional weekend getaway to a new spot.

The point is to make sure that when you assess your adventure needs, you ask yourself this question: does your current role align with your need for adventure? If you don’t crave much adventure, finding yourself in a position where you are required to travel 100% of the time to locations where you don’t speak the language or like the food can absolutely have the power to make you miserable. If you, like me, are one who craves adventure, finding yourself sitting behind a desk and reading accounting literature every day is probably going to leave a bit of a hole in your happiness puzzle.

So what can you do about it? Easy place to start - be more proactive and deliberate in moving towards a role that aligns better with your happiness puzzle, including your adventure piece. There is absolutely nothing wrong with craving a lot of adventure, or having little craving for adventure. One is not better than the other – it is simply part of who you are and how you’re wired. The idea is to understand what adventure is to you, and embrace it. Don’t downplay the importance of this element in your next move – to complete your puzzle, you need to have all of the pieces!

Need help finding the pieces to your happiness puzzle? Schedule some time with us - we can help!

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