Choose Adventure 🚀
JamBlog by Mychal Culpepper, Founder at Pinview
Like every good body of work, I think your life should have a guiding thesis — an internal mantra that you live by. For me, it’s adventure. More specifically it’s “choose adventure”. The thrill of unpredictability is something that is vital to our growth as individuals. CEO of Career Karma Ruben Harris recently tweeted an illustration showing how fundamental it was to the human condition. Far too often I think we are taught to veer away from it, when we should be embrace it.
Expand Your Comfort Zone
I’m not “necessarily” saying blow up your entire life, buy an RV and travel cross country (although if I’m being honest I gravitate toward this end of the spectrum much more strongly), but I am saying you should always be trying to raise yourthreshold for chaos. A common expression is to “get out of your comfort zone” , but I think a better framing is to expand your comfort zone.
As we wrap up the heavy safety precautions of Covid-19 we have found that a large portion of the workforce has opted not to return to the status quo, leading to what is known as the Great Resignation . I think that while the pandemic was a global tragedy whose impacts will be felt for generations to come, it allowed us to rethink what really matters to us in life.
Death of the American Dream
Something that has seemed painfully obvious to me but I think has taken time to become a standard point of discussion is the death of the American Dream. Honestly, I think that it’s a good thing because I think it was a dream we inherited and not one designed for the average American today.
This dream was designed for families in the 50s who had to endure the immense volatility of WWII. Therefore the US government had to create a terrarium of sorts for us to refine our identity as a nation.
False Equivalency of the Terrarium Effect
Because America has lived in unprecedented prosperity for so long I think we improperly attribute this to the effect terrarium life has had on us. But like animals in captivity, we have done little to expand our domain and rather spent time making incremental improvements on the enclosure we were given. Modern appliances like the telephone, cars, refrigerators, etc. are all relics of the turn of the century United States that founded entire industries. In order to get back to that level of innovation and breakthrough, it’s going to take an expansion of what we define as the American Comfort Zone.
Reroute the Golden Path
Most of us can recite the golden path to American mediocrity better than religious text.
Go to school, graduate, get a job, find a spouse, get married, move to the suburbs, start a family, work for 40–50 years, retire, die, repeat.
I bet it you got tired just reading that, huh? Any anomaly or deviation from that path is seen as almost blasphemous, a violation of the community contract we forcibly signed.
But I don’t think anyone can disagree that the drivers of true growth have all come from people who rejected this path. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Michael Dell, etc. Be honest, you felt a spark reading the list that time, didn’t you? Of course you did because these people helped change the world as we know it…but the problem is they aren’t in high enough volume. Maybe that’s by nature of the degree of difficulty, but I think as opposed to looking at innovation and success as hierarchical , we should reframe it as a gradient.
Change doesn’t have to be as dramatic as creating the iPhone or releasing Donda 2 on stem player (pure slams by the way), it can be as subtle as thinking of ways to improve your daily life and then scaling that to a community you’re a part of.
Micro Innovation will lead to Macro Revolution
Here are some things I think we can all do to expand our comfort zone and live more adventurous lives:
Create tighter Communities/Networks
Take more unexpected paths when going somewhere
Have someone make a playlist of music you don’t normally listen to
I moved to Phoenix in July of 2021 from Columbus, OH. The only person I knew was my cofounder whom I ultimately fell out with and because of that I was decidedly alone. At the time I’ll admit I was extremely alone and wasn’t sure if I should just head back home. But I thought about the alignment between the city of Phoenix and the phoenix from Egyptian mythology. Instead of viewing it as a death of something it was a rebirth of something new; a chance to Choose Adventure. I’m not saying your journey has to be as dramatic as mine, but I do think this rebirth has reenergized me to look at the problem I was looking to solve in a whole new way, and I’m excited about what I’m getting ready to build 🛠.