This is a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Sam Spurlin of The Simpler Life. It’s his first guest post here and the first in a series of posts he hopes to continue on other blogs across the Internet.
We all need adventure in our lives.
It’s why we aren’t happy with the 9-to-5-boring job, sitting in front of the TV watching the same lame reruns and eating the same shitty food out of cardboard boxes. I sense that you are on the same page as me when it comes to that stuff. At least, you’re reading a blog about personal development and living consciously after all.
I’m starting a new series of many parts called Living a Life of Adventure. I want to point out all of the awesome things you can do or experience for free (or pretty damn cheap). It’s when we can find the adventure in the little things, the enjoyment in the seemingly mundane, that we begin to live a life at the edge of optimal experience.
Life Adventure #1: Learn Something New
There isn’t much more exciting to me than learning something new. Maybe I’m just a huge nerd. I won’t argue that point with you. But there is something about making connections between what I already know and new information that is truly exciting. This is where creativity is born. This is where great ideas are forged. It’s the cross pollination of previous knowledge and the formerly unknown that allows us to do amazing things.
Luckily, there are a multitude of free ways to learn something new. We live in an unprecedented era of free information. Not taking advantage of this gift saddens me more than most. Take 1 or 2 items off this list and grow a little bit today.
- Wikipedia Randomness: Click here to be taken to a random Wikipedia article. Granted, Wikipedia articles vary greatly in quality and depth, but they’re generally good introductions to various topics. Let yourself follow interesting links for awhile and you’ll be surprised where you end up.
- Read a free e-book: Every blogger seems to release e-books. Some even release them for free. A lot of these are crap, but some are actually excellent. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite free e-books here. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, I have my all-time favorite premium resources summarized here. An e-book can be a great place to learn something new and interact with an author passionate about a particular subject. The vast majority of e-book authors are very approachable and will respond to your emails/Tweets. At least, I know I will 🙂
- Digest a blog archive: Most bloggers post several times a week. Some established writers will have archives of hundreds of articles. I recently put together an Archive of the posts at The Simpler Life. Some of my favorite archives are Zen Habits, The Simple Dollar, and Far Beyond the Stars (check the right sidebar). Between these four you’ll have enough reading to last you for a long time.
- Go to virtual school: Many major universities are uploading lectures and other class material to services like iTunes U. I’ve recently listened to a course on Ancient Greek history and a course on the philosophy of death. Having free access to content like this from Ivy League schools is pretty incredible. The scope of subjects is growing like crazy so I’m sure you can find something that looks interesting.
- Get a library card: I’m constantly surprised by how few people use their local library. Ever since I moved out of my parents’ house and have had to be very cognizant of where I spend my money I have been a constant patron of the library. I use it for the free wireless internet connection, access to a ton of books, DVDs, CDs and free classes, lectures, and discussion groups.
- Join a forum: Online forums are a great place to meet with likeminded (and not so likeminded) people to discuss topics of interest. I used to spend an inordinate amount of time on a video game forum in my younger days. Now, I like to check out the Zen Habits forum and connect with likeminded people. There are forums for every conceivable topic and discipline, it’s just a matter of finding them.
Living the simpler life is contingent upon finding enjoyment from the activities and resources that are available to you at low-cost (or even better, free). Living a Life of Adventure doesn’t require a safari in Africa or skydiving. Daily adventure is about finding excitement in new activities, new information, and self-improvement. Learning something new is often the first step in any adventure.
Sam Spurlin helps people live more consciously through his writing at The Simpler Life. He writes e-books, articles, and connects with his readers via any means possible. He believes that any positive change in the world starts with people living as consciously as possible.
Gip Plaster is a web content writer. Previously a journalist, online bookseller and even a corporate advertising guy, Gip now specialize in writing high-quality content for websites — his and other people’s. Learn more here.