Adult Onset ADD: Adventure Deficit Disorder
Big news item today on the latest survey results of the nations ‘happiness index’.
Some would say there is an element of the blinking obvious; people are happiest as teens, go downhill in midlife and then get happier again in retirement.
Why the midlife can be less happy is not about happiness – it’s about boredom and excitement. The wrong question to ask is ‘what will make me happy?” A bottle of Shiraz will make you happy. The right question is “What will excite me?”
The dissatisfaction as far as I can tell is from boredom, stilted routine and lack of adventure. That is why I am a big fan of Timothy Ferriss (The Four Hour Work Week) and his notion of work / life – separation. As long as you have something that excites you in your life personally you’ll avoid the mid life dip (and dull work is made more tenable).
OK, so it’s great if work excites the life out of you, but what if it dosen’t and you cant’t afford to throw in the towel or, at the boss just yet?
Answer – do exciting things out of work that satisfy the enevitable need for a bit of adventure.
Recently some clients or friends of mine mindful or not of the need for a bit of excitement have:
- Cycled GB to France.
- Organised the creation of a borehole in a Tanzanian village.
- Bought the Harley and gone off on the road trip.
- Swam Lake Windermere.
- Started their own business.
- Changed careers.
- Climbed Kilimanjaro
The timing is poignant. Soon you may be lying on that summer holiday beach reflecting on where and what next. Make sure you ask yourself ‘what will excite me‘ this coming year?
I’m off to the USA for my annual retreat with the in laws August and the terrifying (exciting?) prospect of the Lake Michigan triathlon in 99 degree heat!
Have a great summer.