If you’re like most people – if you want to avoid risk, if you never want to experience any discomfort (no matter how minor), and you want to always know exactly what’s coming around the bend…
If all you want is a quiet life, a comfortable life, a marshmallow existence, where everything happens just like it’s supposed to, where you’re never surprised, and you never leave your comfort zone, then…
Follow our 11 No-Fail Ways to Avoid Risk, Discomfort, and Uncertainty.
Follow the path
Millions of people can’t be wrong, can they? So make sure to follow the path laid out for you by society. Graduate high school, go to college even if there’s nothing you want to learn there. After college, take a few months off to follow other backpackers around Europe, or if you really want to get crazy, go to Vietnam!
After that, find a job, find a partner, buy a house, settle down, have babies, live for your kids… if you survive until it’s time to retire, and you’ve have managed to save like the government told you to, you’ll be very comfortable.
Do what everyone else does, following the prescribed path – it’s a sure way to avoid risk and never be surprised.
Keep your calendar full
Fill every second in your calendar with tasks, no matter how meaningless. Make sure to bounce from task to task, so that you never really focus on one thing. If you manage to snag a miracle day off, schedule it with back-to-back activities! Go shopping, see a movie, eat some fast food!
Keep your mind and your body occupied at all times. Never ever take a few moments to think about your life or how you feel. Ignorance is bliss.
Tell yourself that things could be worse
Gratitude is a great thing. It keeps you happy, especially when you express your gratitude to others, and it helps you remember how lucky you are. So keep telling yourself that you’re better off than someone else – happier than someone else, richer than someone else, healthier than someone else.
If things could always be worse, there’s no need to strive for them to be better. What a great excuse to stay inside the boundaries of your comfy rut, never growing, never changing, and above all, never risking anything.
Learn more about the downside of gratitude from counsellor Jane Travis
Fall for the sunk-cost fallacy
You put so much effort into getting where you are, didn’t you? All that money for college, all those years working your ass off, all those meetings attended, and bosses you had to suck up to. Don’t stop now, even if you hate it.
The only way is forward. Keep throwing your time, effort, heart, and soul into your losing proposition. Think about what might have been, but don’t do anything to change your situation. Keep heading in the same direction so you know what to expect tomorrow, next week, and for the next 30 years.
Focus on tomorrow
Taking a long hard look at yourself and your life today is, well… really hard. It can be painful and depressing.
So focus on all the great stuff that might happen tomorrow. Focus on your summer holiday, Christmas, retirement. Focus on what you’ll do when get that promotion, when you buy a bigger house, when you send your kids to college…
Keep living for tomorrow, never ever think about what’s happening today.
Learn more about focussing on tomorrow from One Salty Kiss
Wait for the perfect time
If there’s something you really (really!) want in life, absolutely don’t start working on it today. Today is a terrible day to start. There will be a perfect time, later on, some day – there will come a day when you have more free time, more money, fewer obligations.
Wait for that perfect day before you start any new project.
Keep on waiting, waiting, and waiting… if you never start, you never have to risk failure, discomfort, or uncertainty.
Learn more about the perfect time to start anything
Ignore your gut
Your body may tell you something isn’t right in your life. Your instinct might niggle at the back of your brain, or it might scream at you to make a change. Ignore that shit. What does your subconscious know anyway?
So whatever your body is telling you to do, just grab the remote and a big bag of chips and drown out that inner voice.
Learn more about listening to your gut from Life Coach Murielle Marie.
Why listen to yourself when there are so many other people you can listen to…
Listen to other people
We all get wonderful, useful advice from our friends, family, coworkers and bosses. “You’re lucky to even have a job!” “You don’t need to lose weight!” “Just keep your chin up and don’t complain.” “Don’t change, you’re perfect just the way you are.” “Just smile, sweetheart.” “You can’t make money in this economy.” “The world is dangerous, stay home.”
Always listen to what other people tell you. Do what they say to do. Never make a decision based solely on how you feel. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to make a decision at all.
Learn the secret to making the right decision every time.
Plus, if things go wrong, you can always…
Blame someone else
Oh, the places you’d go – if only your husband wanted to! The things you would accomplish – if only you had the right opportunities! You would do everything you every wanted – if only you’d been born rich!
Too bad your life is not in your hands.
Keep reminding yourself that you’re a victim of your circumstances. It would be awesome if a genie would grant you three wishes. But until that happens, there’s nothing you can do. You have no power. Things are the way they are and nothing you do will change that.
Never try anything new
If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’ll get the same results. That’s perfect, because you’re familiar with those results, they’re like an old pair of slippers. Your results never surprise you, never challenge you, and never make you grow, or change, or any of that nasty shit.
Keep doing the same thing you’ve always done. You’ll keep getting the same thing you’ve always gotten – no risk, no uncertainty, and no discomfort.
Shoot for average
Why shoot for the moon, when you can shoot for somewhere so much closer to home? Set your sights on goals that you’re likely to hit first try. Don’t take on anything too big, like starting your own business or cycling around the world or becoming a New York Times best-selling author.
Instead, try for things you know you can achieve easily, without much hassle.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but we aim too low and reach it.” – Michelangelo
Sure, that whole aim high thing is fine if you want to paint the greatest work of religious art known to man.
But what if you just want to be safe, comfortable and ordinary?
Then shoot for average. You will almost certainly reach it.
Most people wake up each morning knowing exactly what they’ll face today…
Today looks just like yesterday. Today looks a lot like their neighbour’s day, their parents’ day, and all their friends’ days, too. And that’s perfectly fine.
In fact, it’s great… for most people. That’s what most people want from life. Most people want to avoid risk, discomfort, and uncertainty at all costs.
But you’re not most people are you?
(You’re reading a blog about living your adventure; that’s a dead giveaway that you’re a little bit different.)
If you want adventure, you’re going to have to start embracing a certain amount of risk, the occasional discomfort, and a whole lot of uncertainty.
Those moments of risk, when things start to get a little uncomfortable, and you’re not entirely certain what’s going to happen next…
…those are the moments when life challenges you. That’s when you grow, change, and expand further than you thought you ever could.
♥ Happy adventures, Jane & Stephen
Hi, I’m Jane, founder and chief blogger on My Five Acres. I’ve lived in six countries and have camped, biked, trekked, kayaked, and explored in 50! At My Five Acres, our mission is to inspire you to live your most adventurous life and help you to travel more and more mindfully.