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. Visit Gip’s Front Yard (www.gipsfrontyard.com) too.
I really like this post, Sam. Thanks for letting me publish it. I look forward to seeing more posts in this series.
Putting your picture so near mine probably wasn’t a good idea. I look kinda sickly. I need to do a photo-makeover on my site, too.
Hah, well I look unecessarily angry for some reason. I’m not nearly as moody as I appear in my picture 🙂
Thanks for the opportunity to guest post, Gip! I hope your readers find the information useful and I always love to hear how other people are injecting a little adventure into their lives.
Me, too. I’m sure they’ll all be along in a few minutes to offer their comments.
I don’t know why my blog put your comments in to be moderated. You’ve commented here before. I think I must have messed something up. It’s made that mistake before.
Good post, too many of us are looking for the miracle life-changing experience, its the small things that will add up to give you a more fulfilling life ……
on that subject I am personally getting a bit ‘over’ minimalist simply living etc bloggers & their negative view of the 9-5 job, it comes across as mine is the only way to live/work which i am sure is not you intention.
They are not all boring, but they will become so if A) you let become so by being a passenger or B) it was the wrong place for you anyway ….. Yes i enjoy my 9-5 job. but i also live minimalist/slow lifestyle always have done really, its currently enjoying a renasonce
*apologies for any spelling errors am breaking in a new laptop
Thanks for your comments on Sam’s guest post. Most of life happens in small things.
I don’t write much against 9-5 jobs, but I certainly never plan to have one again. There are full-time employees who are in a position to do meaningful things and enjoy it along the way, but I never had one of those — and my first “real” job was at a university! I was supposed to be in a position to make a difference for unemployed workers trying to get back in the workforce, but I soon realized we were just scamming them for their workforce commission retraining money. Then, at my corporate job my department was redoing work already done in another department.
Those things helped turn me off, but I was never cut out for that lifestyle anyway. I liked lunches and walks in downtown and some of the arts and entertainment benefits of my corporate job, but that’s about it.
Nice post Sam. I think when we stop learning we just get bored and boring – there is always something new out there!
Kate recently posted Stop Procrastinating Today!
It is a good post, Kate. And thanks for commenting here. Sam always does a good job, but I particularly like this post.
Aloha! So glad I followed Sam’s link to your site; I’m going to be good and finish my writing assignment and then come back to read some of your posts. I think Sam’s post, as usual, is excellent. My husband and I were talking about this very subject with friends from our parent’s generation this weekend and how important it is to have the right attitude about living adventurously at all ages. No adventure=a very limited, and ultimately, limiting life. We’ve also chosen to live a more relationship and experience oriented life as opposed to a thing or mindless entertainment centric lifestyle. Glad to “meet” another blogger with some of the same goals. I look forward to catching up on some earlier posts! Have a great week 🙂
So glad to have found your site through Sam; I’ve subscribed to your updates and look forward to digging around the site. I also thought it was a great kick off to the series and wanted our readers to both read it and find your site as well so I linked to it in our post today. Hope you have a great week and feel free to drop by and say hi anytime!
I’m glad to discover your blog, Gena. Thanks for commenting here — and for giving Sam’s post and this site a mention on your blog.
For anyone who didn’t go check out your post, here’s the link:
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