I have the feeling that when I was little, the days lasted longer.
I remember that the weeks seemed like months, the holidays were always too far away and a year was like a whole life.
The class hours became eternal, and every school day was like starting a new adventure. What pranks would I do with my friends? Would the girl I liked talk to me?
Now, however, an hour lasts a moment and every year it happens faster than the previous one.
This flight of time worries me, so I wanted to give an explanation. And I have found many theories, since we got used to the passage of time until stress creates the feeling that we always have little left.
However, the one that convinces me the most is the psychologist William James, who proposes that time seems to accelerate because, as we grow up, we live fewer and fewer memorable events.
When you get older and stop measuring time for your first time (your first day of school, your first kiss or your first plane trip), the lack of news makes the days and years pass in an instant.
Learning to take risks again and live new experiences is the best way to live more intensely, so today I will explain in great detail how to add memorable moments to your life.
It’s long, so I recommend that you take a seat and dedicate yourself to read it quietly and without hurry.
As if time would go by as before.
I have always wanted to live a life worthy of being remembered.
In my teens, while my friends were happy playing video games every afternoon or going around the same places every day, I felt I wanted something more. He was aimed at extracurricular classes, had many different hobbies and tried to meet people and make different plans.
But still, I was missing something. I felt that my life went by without anything special happening, as if I were walking aimlessly. I felt lost, and doing the same thing over and over again did not help. When I looked back, it seemed to me that time was passing faster and faster, and I did not like this feeling at all.
Later, I understood that we only remember moments that have moved us in some way. That’s why I felt that time was running so fast: because I spent my days trapped in a routine in which everything was similar.
And yet, I knew people who lived totally out of the ordinary experiences, and who always had some new story to tell.
Surely you also know someone like this: people whose lives are much more interesting than normal and who seem to always have things happening around them. Like my friend Kora, who went to Italy to travel by bicycle for a month, and when all her belongings were stolen except the bike and the violin, she decided to continue the trip playing in the street to survive.
Or like Jana, a girl I met while in Erasmus, who made it a challenge to see how far she could go by hitchhiking and came back telling incredible stories. I assure you that neither of these two people felt that their lives were running away.
What is special about these people? Are they braver, smarter or more reckless than the rest?
After investigating how to achieve similar results in my life, I discovered that what makes this type of people special is that they decide to become the cause of the adventures in their life. Instead of waiting seated for extraordinary things to happen, they go looking for them.
And that is something we can all learn to do.
In this article I want to talk to you precisely about how to get to live more adventures in your day to day, and thus be able to fill your life with memorable stories.
Even if you consider yourself shy , or if you think you cannot do something like that because work or obligations take up a lot of your time, I assure you that you can always do something to live a more intense life.
What I understand by adventure
Psychological studies like this tell us that we remember better events that have a high emotional charge, both positive and negative.
The birth of a child, our graduation or the death of a loved one are moments that will probably never be forgotten. But (luckily or unfortunately) this type of memorable situations are very rare.
Does this mean that we must live our day to day without aspiring to have something happen to us worth remembering?
Although not all of us can be constantly traveling or parachuting, we can choose to live more memorable situations in our usual environment. Or as I call them, live more adventures.
The adventures have the following characteristics:
- They are exciting. The goal of an adventure is to create memorable memories. Therefore, an adventure should be worth talking about. If the experience you have experienced leaves you cold, then it is not an adventure.
- You must have at least one part without planning. Making a route through the countryside can be a good way to get out of the routine, but if you take it all planned it will not create such lasting memories. But getting off at a random metro stop and exploring that part of the city adds an unpredictable element that contributes to creating more interesting experiences.
- It must make you leave your comfort zone. Facing our fears and limitations, although a priori may be difficult, will multiply the emotional impact of that situation.
But why would you want to live more situations of this kind?
Why generating your own adventures will make you happier
If you are a regular reader of Social Skill, you have probably already tried several things to improve your life. But many people feel that trying to change is to stop being yourself. It seems that if you strive to live a more interesting life, with more moments to remember, you are acting.
When I have tried to convince some friend of the benefits of being proactive and generating the situations that you want in your life , the most usual response has been something like “Do not think about it so much, these things have to come up” or “be yourself and the rest will come alone . “
Why do so many people think that changing is a bad thing? At the end of the day, our personality is a mixture of instincts inherited from our ancestors and values learned during our childhood. And it has been shown to change throughout our lives.
Although there are people who come with “standard” empowerment behaviors , most of us have to strive to become the kind of people we want to be, overcome our fears or improve our skills .
One of the values that guide my life is that I want to remind myself with a smile when I am an old man. Most people, before dying, complain that they did not do what they wanted out of fear or to please others, and regret not having lived more experiences.
Therefore, learning to create memorable situations is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Yes, you can also live a life full of adventures
Surely you think that living an exciting life is not compatible with having a normal job, that you are too shy , or that you can only have new experiences if you travel or you have money left over.
When I was in Erasmus, every day was an adventure. Since I did not have to work and I practically did not have classes, I could devote all my time to doing what I wanted. I met a lot of people, I traveled and I got in shape. It was six months in which I lived as in a dream.
While in Spain I was ashamed to go to eat alone for fear of looking like a failure, in Prague I decided to travel alone to Budapest to see one of my favorite groups. I was terrified, but when I got there I met a group of Hungarians who sneaked into the front row of the concert and we ended up going out together to enjoy the night.
It was an unforgettable trip.
The problem returned when I returned to Spain and started again with my normal life. After having been half a year without any worries, I found myself again with classes, work, little free time and a much smaller social circle.
For a few months I had a very bad time; until I read a book, Level Up Your Life, in which the author shared several strategies to live as superheroes.
And no, I do not mean to put on a cape and go out to fight crime. His message was that, just as all superheroes have an identity that lives a routine life and another that lives adventures in their free time, we can also do the same.
Live an interesting life is not something just for backpackers, super extroverted people or people without responsibilities: you can always add a little adventure to our day to day to get out of the routine. Next I will explain how.
3 steps to get out of your daily routine
1. Audit what you invest your time
Most people spend their time on activities that are not going to add value to their life: surfing the internet, watching shows or getting lost on Facebook. If you feel that you do not have time for the things you would like to do, reducing this passive leisure can do wonders for you.
Many people say that they would love to learn to play an instrument, get in shape or learn a language, but they do not have time to do it. Lie! Unless you work 16 hours a day, we all have plenty of time to do something new: what happens is that it is not our priority.
Almost half of Spaniards spend between three and five hours a day surfing social networks. And being someone who plays several instruments and speaks three languages, I assure you that this time would do much if they used it for something productive.
Again, it is not a question of superpowers, but of prioritizing what is most important to you.
2. Try new things, however small they may be
Once you have released some of your time, it is time to get down to work.
Our brain is programmed to make us feel good when we learn new skills, so the simplest way to add variety to your life is to learn something new.
To begin with, you only need to feel like it. On the Internet there are hundreds of resources on almost any subject; I myself learned illusionism in a totally self-taught way watching videos online.
If you want something more professional, I recommend Udemy . It is a website with many courses for less than 20 euros. There I have seen from hypnosis to cross stitch tutorials.
3. Find your companions
It hurts much more to be part of a team like The Avengers than to save the world alone.
That is why, once you have found your superpower (your new hobby), the next step is to meet more people who are also interested. And it will not cost you much, because the fastest way to connect with someone is to have common interests.
In fact, in my adolescence I suffered social phobia and it cost me horrors to connect with other people. However with my fellow musicians it was tremendously easy since we shared experiences and interests.
Note: while in Meetup you can find activities of all kinds, from yoga to handicraft classes, Couchsurfing focuses more on travellers and will be useful if you want to meet foreigners or practice languages.
Once you have found a group that you would like to join, the normal thing is that you feel afraid if you are going to go alone. But in most cases the people in these meetings are extremely welcoming and the organizers will help you talk with the group members.
Once you have found a new hobby and a group to share it with, the next step is simple: enjoy your new adventures! But if you really want to take your experiences to the next level, there is still much you can do.
In this second part of the article I will explain a step by step system to live even more intense adventures.
How to live adventures with the EPIC system
I have tried for several years to understand how to add more adventure to my life, but this summer something happened that changed my beliefs 180 degrees.
I was listening to the podcast School of Greatness (which I totally recommend), and one of the episodes was an interview with one Jon Levy, author of The 2 am principle . And what was my surprise to discover that it was a book about the science of living adventures.
In the book, Jon explains how he went from being a shy person with a boring life to sleeping in castles with the French aristocracy, running in front of the bulls in Pamplona or jumping off a bridge in New Zealand without any protection.
But the book is not just a collection of funny anecdotes, but it presents us with the method he uses to live adventures: the EPIC model.
The EPIC model is a four-part process to generate extraordinary situations in your life:
- E for Establishes → The first thing is to lay the foundations for an adventure.
- P for Press → How to break fears and limitations that we impose on ourselves.
- I for Increment → What to do to take the adventure to the next level.
- C for Continue → Decide if you want to continue with your unforgettable experience, or follow it with style.
The good thing about this model is that you can even use it during your day to day. I recommend you take a look at the book (it is one of the most inspiring I have read), but in this post I will teach you everything you need to know to apply the model step by step.
Feel free to take only the parts that interest you most.
Establish your environment
Before starting to live unforgettable adventures, you must create an environment in which these are more likely. For this, you need two things:
- Remove any element that may prevent it.
- Set the bases for interesting things to happen.
Both are equally important. Imagine you have a meter from -10 to 10 about how likely you are to live an adventure. Eliminate the undesirable elements would be responsible for uploading the meter to 0, and lay the foundations for your adventure, to take it to 10.
To achieve this, you must realize that you can also live a memorable life (I hope I have convinced you in the first part of this article) and consider the following 3 goals:
- Go out with the right people.
- Find a suitable site.
- Have a mission
Let’s see how to achieve each of them.
1. Going out with the right people
We behave differently depending on the people we are with. Is it true that you do not act in the same way with your lifelong friends as you do with strangers or in front of the person that attracts you?
Well to live interesting experiences you must surround yourself with adventurous people. According to the law of emotional contagion, if when you propose to do new things to your companions they reject them, most likely you will also end up abandoning your idea.
The key is to surround yourself with people who support your motivations: open, daring and curious.
If you already have a group of friends, you can try the following:
- Propose it first to the most sociable or open to new experiences. If you get one or two buddies it will be easier for the rest of the group to follow you. To achieve this you can use the persuasion tool known as The Label .
The label consists, before proposing your plan, to ask whoever you want to accompany you something like “Do you consider yourself an adventurous person?”. We all like to see ourselves with positive qualities so you will surely answer yes, and then you will be much more likely to accept your plan to be consistent with your response.
- Living adventures is much easier with a small group. When you are with many people, it is difficult to deal with what each one wants to do.
- Do not forget that you can include strangers in your adventures. Most people are sociable when you give them the opportunity, especially at night. If you approach a stranger with the intention of contributing something, even if it is just a fun time, it is practically impossible to take it badly. I recommend you try it: one of the most rewarding feelings is to live an intense experience with someone you did not know a few hours before.
A very simple way to approach a group of people is by giving them a why and a why. Why have you approached them and not another group? What do you propose to do?
This can be as simple as saying: “Excuse me, my friend and I want to meet new people, and you seem fun. Do we introduce five minutes? “ . You will see how with phrases of this style most people are happy to meet you.
2. Find the right place
Finding a good place to live your adventure is a fundamental part of the process. If you always go to the same places it is very difficult for you to live new experiences, do not you think?
And on the contrary, if you go somewhere new, the interesting experiences will happen almost by themselves. Being out of our comfort zone we become more creative and more open to new experiences.
I’ll give you an example.
In my city, as I already had my routine formed, I almost always did the same thing and went out with the same people. But when I was in Erasmus, having no habits, I did more in six months than in the previous three years. I travelled alone, I tried climbing, I learned to dance a little sauce, I ate insects for the first time and I even made an earring!
Now imagine what would happen if you could replicate that every day of your life. How many experiences could you experience over the course of a year?
To add these new features to your daily routine I recommend the following:
- Say yes when you are invited to something new. If you expose yourself to unknown situations, your creativity will increase and you will live more experiences than if you do the same as always. If you feel fear or laziness invading you, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. This phrase was the one that convinced me to eat a fried giant ant (something I would not want to repeat but I’m glad I tried!).
- Go to events that you would not normally go to. Again I recommend Meetup and Couchsurfing.
- Make a list of interesting places in your city. If it’s fairly large, you can look at the My Cloud guides , a page that collects recommendations about bars, restaurants and all kinds of activities.
- Travels! You can live new adventures in your city, but it is much easier to do it when you are in an unknown place. You can travel alone, convince someone to accompany you, or even find a travel companion with applications like TravellersPoint .
3. Have your own mission
Finding the right people and place are the foundations for adventures to happen. But having a mission that challenges you will multiply the intensity of your experience.
Have you ever wondered why video games are so addictive? By having clear objectives and being able to measure your own progress, when you play you enter a state of flow , something similar to a huge sense of happiness. Well, a good mission will do the same for you.
What elements must a mission have?
- A specific and difficult objective, but not impossible. A good example would be “Getting to play pool with a group of strangers” or “Somebody recommend a book in FNAC” . When you pose such a clear challenge, your mind will enter into creative mode.
- You can add restrictions to make your goal more challenging. For example, it limits who you can interact with, where you can go, how much you can spend or what you can talk about. If you are in a meeting of Couchsurfing, a restriction could be to speak only in English or to know only English people.
- Experiment and look for ideas anywhere. Many books, series and movies have characters that you can take as an example. My favorite is the character of Barney Stinson , from the series How I Met Your Mother; although he is a little crazy, he always tries to make his day unforgettable.
If you are starting, a good mission may be to close a plan with someone you have just met. For example go to a Meetup, meet someone with whom you have something in common, and propose to see you another day to carry out an activity that you like both.
Once you have your mission, you’ve found your group of buddies and you know where you’re going, it’s time to have fun!
According to experts, humor comes by breaking rules, whether social, emotional or physical. And that is what this second part of the model is about.
We all move in our day to day with a lot of rules (self-imposed and learned) that dictate what we can and what we cannot do. For example, almost no one would think of climbing to a bar table to sing, or going to class disguised as a horse. But I assure you that both experiences are part of some of my best memories.
On the other hand, almost any memorable experience has to do with breaking boundaries, and leaving your comfort zone. In general, face your fears.
Afraid to be ridiculed, to talk to strangers, to do the idiot, to snowboard, to jump by parachute, or simply to do something different: if you manage to face them you will not only have a much better time, but you will notice how it increases your confidence for the rest of your life.
Basically there are two ways to overcome your fears and leave your comfort zone:
- Start little by little. If it scares you a lot to talk to strangers , one option would be to separate that challenge into stages and start with those that are easiest for you at the beginning. You could start by thinking only what you would say to a stranger, then asking the time, then making a compliment to someone, etc. The idea is that you go up the difficulty.
- Do something totally absurd and out of your comfort zone. I’ve always been embarrassed to talk on the phone, so one day I decided to call a number at random and get recommended for a movie. When I finished, I was euphoric and my fear of talking on the phone diminished greatly!
Yes, try that the situations in which you enter have only perceived risk. In the example of talking on the phone the worst thing that can happen to you is that they hang you (your phone).
Increase the intensity
Sometimes it will not be so easy to look for new activities or places for your next adventure. Does this mean that you will not be able to have a good time?
No. With the attitude and the necessary tools almost any situation can become something memorable. According to Jon Levy, creator of the EPIC model, there are three things you can do to improve a boring situation:
- The simplest is to propose a challenge, a competition or a bet. A very simple tool is the game I feel like. At any time, one member of the group can tell another what he or she wants you to do. For example, “I want you to dance the Macarena . ” The other must meet the challenge, or if you do not suffer the punishment you previously agreed.
- Use surprises to make everyday situations more memorable. If you want to spend an unforgettable afternoon with your partner you can do some new activity, or compose a song and sing it in the middle of the appointment. But whatever you do, do not tell him anything before. Anything by surprise will have much more impact than if the other person were on notice. You can also propose to your friends a routine of surprises, where everyone will be surprising on a regular basis. For example, in my master group we are making a permanent invisible friend .
- Work to become a more impactful person. Learning to tell stories, develop interesting skills or dress creatively, among others, will add fun to your social encounters. If you want to learn to communicate in a more impactful way, I recommend that you sign up for Toastmasters , a club where participants work their public speaking skills.
Continue your adventure
There will come a time when you will have to decide if you want to continue or end your adventure. In the last part of the book, Jon offers advice both to take the adventures to the next level and to finish them in style.
- In general, overcoming a fear or breaking a limit is exhausting. It is not necessary that you face everything that scares you in the same day; it is better to go dosing it. If until now you have not been a very daring person, be patient with yourself.
- Finish your adventures at the highest point. It has been proven that people remember better the beginning and end of each situation, so if you exceed and your adventures end in a boring way, you will remember them as less interesting than they really were.
This lesson I learned when I did magic: people had a lot better time if they only did one or two tricks and left them wanting more than if they kept doing magic for a long time.
- Lose the fear of losing something. We live surrounded by stories of people living extraordinary lives, and that generates frustration. But if you focus on what you DO NOT have, you will not be able to enjoy what you are experiencing that moment. When that happens to you, ask yourself what you can do to improve those situations. This way you will focus your thoughts on what you are living and how to make the most of it.
- You will be happy to the extent of how uncomfortable you are willing to feel while struggling for what you want. To enjoy more of your day to day, the most important decision you can make is to try new things and leave your comfort zone.
Summary: What can you do today to live more adventures?
If you got here, congratulations. I hope I’ve convinced you that you can also live unforgettable experiences, no matter what lifestyle you’re in right now.
As there is a lot of information in the article, I want to say goodbye with a summary of the three most important steps if you want to start living more adventures from now on.
- The first is to realize that living unforgettable experiences is within the reach of everyone. It is not necessary to be a millionaire or extrovert, surprising things can happen everywhere.
- The second is to develop the habit of looking for opportunities to have fun. As I told you above, almost any situation can become an adventure, so always ask yourself what you can do to improve what you are experiencing.
- Finally, seek help. If nobody around you wants to live adventures, look for models of people who live the kind of life you want. Some places where you can find them are:
· In series, books and movies. Again, I recommend How I Met Your Mother, especially for the character of Barney Stinson.
· Biographies of people with an exciting life. One of the books that inspired me the most in this sense was Un mundo sobre ruedas, by Albert Casals. In it, a disabled boy tells how he went to travel alone in the world, without practically money and without help from anyone. A truly inspiring book.
· People with whom you relate. Both people you know through your new hobbies and friends you can inspire to be more adventurous, nothing better than a team to encourage you to overcome your own limits.
I hope you liked the article and that it made you think. Now it’s your turn to start building your own adventures 🙂 I hope to read your stories in the comments!