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adventure to acceptance

From adventure to acceptance - because the greatest adventure is the journey inside.

15 years ago, I declared that I wanted to be an adventurer like Indiana Jones, do something cool and gallivant around the world. I’m glad to say that I’ve done some of it - sleeping in a tent in Tanzania with giraffes, hyenas, and lions hovering just outside (wasn’t my intention), swimming with sharks in Malaysia (again, wasn’t my intention), bungy jumping in New Zealand (this time, it was my intention), going to Iceland twice trying to catch the Northern Lights, to name a few. I’m happy to declare that I will spend the rest of my life gallivanting around the world as long as my legs and health can take me, maybe a little less Indiana and a lot more idyllic.


The reason I wanted to be an adventurer so badly was - I wanted to break free, break free from a protective environment I was raised in, and from a mundane life I couldn't imagine living. I was also going through a quarter life crisis at 22, fresh out of university but no job I wanted would take me. I wanted something that’s intellectually stimulating, takes me around the world, and makes me a lot of money, because money was the ONE thing I associated with breaking free.


Guess what? It still is. Let’s not kid ourselves, having money is important, being financially free is important. The difference this time – is that it’s no longer the ONE thing, it’s one of the many things that will set me free. As I take a long hard look at where I am, I realized, to be unshackled, mentally, there are at least 3 other things I need to accept. I hope what I’m about to share can help you too.


Firstly, I must accept my imperfections. I’m not talking about just physical imperfections; I’m referring to one’s current state. Maybe you’re not where you are in your career, maybe you’re still looking for love, maybe you’re still figuring out, what next? And it’s ok. I’m still far away from the success I envisioned. I accept it. Accepting one’s imperfections is not a sign of weakness. It brings you peace, it allows you to see who you are, instead of who you are not, most importantly, it enables you to recreate yourself from a place of love and self-compassion, instead of self-rejection. Create from a place of love, and you’ll build something that’s meaningful to you.


Secondly, I accept that age is just a number. 15 years ago, I mentioned that a man’s greatest regret is his inability to act. Being young was not an excuse to sit on my dreams. Similarly, being older now is not an excuse to give up on my dreams. The young ones complained that they didn’t have the experience or money. The older ones complained that they didn't have the drive and energy. If you have an excuse, you will have an excuse at any age. Therefore, I accept that age is just a number. If Yuichiro Miura can climb Mount Everest at the age of 80 years 223 days old, there is no excuse not to act.


Thirdly, I accept that I’m the author of my life. I’m in control of how I choose to write my current and next chapter. The sooner you accept 100% responsibility of your life and whatever happens to you, the sooner you own it. I’ve heard some of my peers lamenting “Why me??” when they got retrenched, faced marital issues, experienced unfortunate illness, and so on. As I get older, as we get older, the probability of us experiencing those incidents gets higher. If we’re lucky, we have people supporting us in times of need, but no one is really going to rescue us or wave a magic wand and say, problem solved! So, be the author of your life. Choose how you wish to write the protagonist – is he or she going to be delighted or depressed?


Accept yourself. From there you will recreate yourself, recreate your dreams, and recreate your stories. Get ready to experience the greatest adventure of your life!


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