You are designed to go somewhere. You have the potential and you have the desire. You are willing to take measured risks and put in the hard work to achieve what you want. Now, you need the map to get you to your destination. Adventure Mindset is what you are looking for. No wasted effort, no lost time. Unlock your inner map to maximize your potential and reach your goals on this journey to wellbeing and high performance.
Think for a moment about your last thrilling adventure. What was it that drove you there and now calls you back? Was it the sense of elan when the sun rose over the huddled forest below? Was it the cool invasion of the misty air deep in your chest? Was it the slow glance from a friend when you hit the summit? Or, maybe it was the throat tightening satisfaction of killing that challenge that no one thought you could achieve. Or could it have been that you were in solitude in the haunting ripples of ancestors footsteps? Whatever it was, it made you feel GOOD.
Now, be honest with yourself for a minute. How well do you feel today? Really. In this moment, in this month, in this year? How well do you feel? More importantly how well ARE you? Chances are, if you are honest, you’ve probably been better at some point in your life. What was happening when you were there? How do you get back? How do you press forward into the unknown? Can goodness and wellbeing possibly be beyond the horizon? Can you imagine a place where you can thrive?
I bet you have some inkling of what that looks like and you want to go there. As humans, we have an innate teleological drive. It is the drive to reach a goal, the drive to achieve something we dream of, or the drive to be well. It is in our nature.
Dr. Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania has committed his life to studying well being. He and his students have observed and interviewed thousands of people in their quest for wellness and has boiled the topic down the 5 major components. These are elements that we must have in our lives in adequate amounts in order to live healthy and feel well. He calls the 5 elements PERMA, an acronym for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment.
Positive Emotions: Seligman says that we must maintain a ratio of 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative emotion in order to maintain our sense of wellness.
Engagement: We need to have activities that engage us and absorb our attention. Often these activities are related to our interests or strengths.
Relationships: Who is important to you in your life? We need to do things to spend time with people we value and who value us.
Meaning: We need to do things that feel important and make a contribution to society beyond ourselves.
Accomplishment: People who are well DO things. We create, we imagine, and we achieve.
As I was reflecting on Seligman’s findings I couldn’t help but think of the spirit of adventure travel and how our ATTA community gets it right. Interwoven in every adventure itinerary are the elements of PERMA. Think about it. The positive emotions of watching the sun rise in a remote forest. The laughter around an evening fire with loved ones, or friends old or new. The sense of accomplishment in reaching the end of a challenging trail. The feeling of meaning we get when we travel light, leaving no trace, and care for mother earth. The sense of engagement in the planning, executing, and powering of our own journey. They are all there, the elements of well-being, and they are there in abundance. I believe this is why the ATTA community is so resilient, because we are involved in an industry where we major on PERMA and bring others into that realm (which is also meaningful to us!).
So, where does that leave us when we aren’t traveling? Or, in the case of 2020, when we CAN’T travel? It means that we may need to understand and develop other areas of our life to increase our PERMA to maximize our well-being. As many have pointed out, the forced sabbatical that COVID-19 has imposed upon us in the travel industry may be having a positive impact on the environment, our own ability to slow down and evaluate, and increase relationship time with our family or friend group. This may be the perfect time to look inward and prioritize our well-being. To learn more about ourselves, or to develop new skills and to prepare for what’s next.
My hope for you, my peers in the Adventure Travel community, is that you will be well. That you will take the time to evaluate your ‘self’ and take advantage of this time to return to travel better, stronger, and more purposeful, in order to live with more PERMA and share those future thrilling adventures with others.
Maybe you would consider joining us for Adventure Mindset – part self-paced videos and part real-time instruction, it is a live experience that participants will experience with expert educators. Several cohorts with dates in October, and November are available. Click here to register for an upcoming session. Check out all of ATTA’s course offerings here.