Our safari guide had made arrangements to take five of us out in a boat to see the hippos in the Okavanga Delta in Botswana. Our guide, Cruise, spotted three hippos in a deeper pool, so he pulled the boat over to the side about 15 yards away so we could watch.
Suddenly a hippo surfaced behind us and was blocking our way out of the narrow waterway and putting our boat between two groups of hippos. Cruise flew into action, started the motor and veered as far away from the hippo as possible, and we got out safely.
When John and I planned this trip to Africa last year, I asked myself this question:
What would be the bravest thing I could do on this trip?
I decided that it would take a lot of courage to go down a hippo highway in a boat, which are waterways in rivers that are cleared by hippos grazing in the reeds.
We’d heard that hippos are considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable animals in Africa because they are aggressive towards humans whom they attack in boats or land for no apparent reason.
This is how I approach my life by asking myself what is the bravest thing I can do.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with out innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” Joseph Campbell
It’s the experiences of life that I most want to acquire.
Psychological research suggests that, in the long run, experiences make people happier than possessions.
Researchers note that it’s because the initial excitement of acquiring a new material object, such as a new car or new kitchen appliance, fades over time as people become accustomed to seeing it every day. It’s how we are wired.
Experiences, on the other hand, continue to provide happiness through memories long after the event occurred.
Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, shared the results of his research findings here.
It’s the experiences in life that show a higher satisfaction at the time and after the experience had passed.
In my business, I also choose to move out of my comfort zone seeking experiences that help me build confidence.
I take calculated risks.
At the end of December of this year, I will go down to Byron Katie’s certification course. The bravest thing I can do is to be 100 percent myself and not be in my ego.
How would I know if I were acting from my ego? I would want to do “it” whatever I am doing – right.
I would want to be respected. Instead I will show up as authentically as I can for the experience.
I will follow the simple directions and practice courage but most importantly I will be conscious and awake as much as possible so that I notice when my mind wants to take me out of the game before I even start.
What is the bravest thing you can do in your business?
Would it be to blog regularly?
Would it be to make a video for your web site?
Would it be to speak on a topic that you are passionate about?
Would it be to give a teleclass on your favorite subject?
Would it be to raise your prices?
Would it to invest in yourself and your business and hire a coach?
Would it be to fully show up and not reject yourself for anything before you even start?
The evening of the boat ride visiting the hippos, John and I decided to go back to hippo highway but this time in a dugout canoe with a guide. One of the women in our safari group decided to go with us.
As our two canoes were launched into the water, and we were about 100 yards from shore, we heard hippos grunting in the reeds beyond us. The other woman in our group, asked her guide to take her back to the land rover because was too afraid to continue. She and her guide returned to shore while John and I continued on with our guide.
I figured that if this was my time to go, it would make a good story because I was doing what I loved. It was thrilling being adventurous. I was excited to have another lifetime memory added to my memory bank.
I’d love to know what one brave thing you want to do but haven’t done?
What would you be able to do, have or be if you did this one thing?
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