Want to add a little adventure to your life, but don’t know how to start? We asked Lisa Mashall, Director of Wild Women on Top, to explain how she lives her life and what we can learn from her.
You won’t find lasting happiness in your iPhone, or your laptop, your next glass of wine or your tv. Instead, I want you to consider getting out in the wild! I’ve seen women swap their Gucci handbags for a backpack, their high heels for their trail runners and never look back. I live for now and I try hard to be present with the people I surround myself with. Everything I learn out in the wilderness from the places I see and the adventurous women I meet, I apply to my personal and business life. I’ve learned that I can’t live without regular immersion in nature and getting ‘wild’ wherever possible. I urge you to do the same! Here’s how:
1. Expect the unexpected
If you expect the unexpected you’ll respond better to change, you’ll react with less stress, more focus and you’ll learn to adapt and be resilient to things outside of your control.
2. Do it out of love
I coach teams of women to take on adventures because I love to see the physical, mental and emotional benefits they get from moving out of their comfort zone and redefining their impossible. I love seeing how people are fulfilled by putting their health first and how adventure becomes a way of life. I am sure that I feel content and happy because adventure and health are top of my list in all aspects of my life. My goal is to share my love for adventure, health and nature with as many women as possible, because I know they can then pass this on to their families.
3. Don’t take things personally
Out in the wilderness, tempers can fray, people say things they might not mean because they’re totally out of their comfort zone or tired or struggling with altitude. I’ve had people swear at me on the way to a summit, and then hug me when they reach the top. Don’t take things personally. Don’t judge, instead, be the calm, the rock, the listener. Provide care or comfort where required and be ready to laugh at the situation a few days later together.
4. It’s all about the team
Shared experiences are much more fun than those you take on alone. You have people to reminisce with, laugh with, cry with and the bonds you form when you share a challenging adventure with a team. Together everyone can achieve more, is true! When you’re out in the wilderness taking on a challenge that requires mental and physical exertion and focus, having a supportive team around you, seeing others do it and learning from each other, makes each individual journey much more enjoyable.
5. Be present, in the moment
Your state of mind, your presence, your ability to be in the moment, positively effects those around you. Sometimes you will find yourself in a place, atop a mountain, or looking across a valley that you will probably never revisit again. Take time to just be there, to take it all in, without a camera, phone or video, and in silence, so you can absorb the moment, soak in the serenity and store the memory with every sense possible.
6. Get sweaty, often
Isn’t it true that the times we have felt truly alive are when we’ve had to exert ourselves? The connection between physical activity and how this stimulates the desired mental and emotional states is well researched and proven. Climbing to the top of a steep mountain, running through the finish line of your first fun run or making it up that steep hill you have dreaded climbing on your training run! If you want to experience the natural exhilaration of adventures out in the wild, get sweaty!
7. Learn from the hard times
The times you had to turn back and didn’t want to, the times you got sick or injured or things didn’t go to plan… These are when we grow as an individual and discover how to survive out of our comfort zones. So when things get difficult, use your resilience to step out of your comfort zone and then reflect afterwards on what you learnt from the experience and how you can apply that to life going forward.
Life’s an adventure, so don’t talk about ‘one day I will’ or ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I’d love to…but’. Make scary decisions, choose big goals that frighten you. Yes, you will be challenged, you’ll find some things harder than expected, but, if you don’t give up and you keep calm and carry on, you’ll be fulfilled in ways you never imagined. So, where’s your next adventure?