Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How is Your Great Adventure?

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." — Helen Keller

Adventurers appear to share a few common traits. They have a genuine curiosity to explore what is not known and seemingly have no regard for fear. When I was younger I thought I was pretty courageous and an adventurer at heart. I had a passion for speed, loved to explore unfamiliar woods alone, always went on the most radical amusement rides etc… There are a lot of people that probably feel the same way. They relish those exhilarating moments of being somewhat out of control and on the edge. As I look at those activities now however, I might categorize them differently, labeling them more as thrill seeking or risk taking versus being adventurous.

Being an adventurer looks different to me today. It isn’t about seeking exhilaration or elation, although some of that still calls to me. The great adventure of my life today is more about being myself without fearing rejection, pursuing my passions without concern for being judged, looking deep inside to facedown my misplaced motives, caring as if the act of caring is all that matters, and living determined to finish life without regret knowing that all of the unknown in my life is just waiting for me to discover it.

When my life ends will people close to me say, “He had so much unrealized potential” or “Life with Stuart was a great adventure”.

How is your great adventure?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Facebook, Asset or Liability?

I'm sure I'll offend someone and get reprimanded for this post, but I need to vent about how much idle chatter happens on Facebook and the various other social networking platforms. I'll be accused of being a sour-puss (or worse), or an idealist, or maybe my comments will just be ignored like most of what gets posted in cyberspace. On the other hand maybe someone will find value in my venting. Yes value, I like that word. Something of worth, high quality, intrinsically desirable, to rate or scale in importance...

What I value from these social utility websites is the convenience of receiving updates from family and friends in real-time. I also like knowing that "the crisis response team" is on standby should anything arise. Unfortunately, I'm required to weed through so much that isn't valuable that I tend to stay away from these sites because they are HUGE time suckers. Does anyone really have that much "spare" time that they can participate in endless polls, quizzes, and other seemingly mindless behavior? (That is the statement that will get me in trouble) I'm not saying that I don't appreciate some of my more humorous friends brightening my day with silliness. And I'm not so tight-necked to miss the concept of light-hearted banter being exchanged. However, are we somehow missing the boat on the value these tools can bring to our lives?

I'm going to try an experiment during the next few weeks. My goal is to increase the volume and value of my posts on Facebook. You'll see inspiring quotes, encouraging news, and more interaction that I hope will be valuable. However, if my network doesn't find value in these posts I’ll submit to Facebook continuing as it is, and I won’t say another word.