When people ask about the Leadership and Personal Development company I have founded, I reply with the question: Do you learn better if you are told something or if you experience and live it?
The intention behind Spirit of Adventure is to take people through adventures out in the world where they really get to experience what's going on within themselves. John Muir, "Father of the National Parks" captured this eloquently when he said "I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in". That's how I see adventure, not merely as a means to get an adrenalin rush or a great experience but as a vehicle to get to the core of oneself. It's only by understanding oneself that we can start to really understand others.
There are a few other organisations that offer team building and leadership development using outdoor activities. Most are focused on the activity itself and how people interact with each other in that moment. That's great. And I would add, it's a great start. There is a lot more to truly building long lasting values that make up a strong and productive team such as trust, compassion and integrity to name a few. And it it all starts within each of us. So, as exciting as it may be, white water rafting with your colleagues will remain a good memory that will slowly fade away with time if it stays on that superficial level. But if the intention behind the activity is to bring awareness to the emotion it awakens within us, we can utilise this experience to create an anchor that helps us in our everyday life. The emphasis is on the being not the doing. Be adventurous!
In a society where success is valued in terms of job title, rank, profitability and of course pay-cheque, people are too busy doing things; proving that they can do more, better, faster. Personal development is still seen as a nebulous idea that is not suited to the busy man or woman. Self-reflection, which can be another way to describe meditation, is for those with time on their hands. If you ask people whether they are prepared to put 20 minutes a day for self-reflection, many will say they don't have time. And yet it is a known fact that we spend hours on social media, watching TV and other such activities. So we do have time, though we'd rather be doing something else than looking inwards. I'm not suggesting we stop using social media, or relaxing in front of the TV, but rather, limit the time we spend on these in order to connect with what's going on inside, how we feel, what is the impact of our actions and reactions (negative and positive) to what happened at work, on the way back home and with our family. Being aware of our emotions and those of people around us gives us the advantage of better handling our own feelings and our relationship with others. This is the essence of Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman).
So whatever adventure you chose to have - high adrenaline sports, travelling to remote areas of the world or discovering a new route to work - do it with the intention of being fully aware of what's going on within.