“Try to be prepared, but not so prepared that you deny yourself the adventure.”

“Try to be prepared, but not so prepared that you deny yourself the adventure.”

It’s easy to fear the unknown. It’s also easy to fear the known. Our experiences and failures help us prepare for future events. But sometimes we can cling so tight onto fear that we try to prepare for every contingency just so that we won’t be caught off guard by “unpleasant surprises”. The unknown can be both exhilarating, and terrifying. Often we see it as the latter, and choose to invest so much time into preventing it from happening.

But rather than trying to prepare for every contingency, we should be striving instead to becoming more flexible, adaptable people. Flexibility and adaptability are general skills that can help us adapt to nearly ANY situation, whereas over-preparedness is specific to one instance or another. The problem with over-preparedness is that despite our best efforts, the unknown can still happen and all the time we invested in trying to prepare is seemingly wasted.

But if we try to become more adaptable individuals, we can learn to shrug off the unknown, taking it in stride, instead of stressing over it.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared. The only way to be prepared sometimes is to make mistakes, accept our failures, and learn from both. But there is something to be said about the adventure as well. There is something about trusting in yourself and your adaptability that you aren’t phased by the unknown. And wouldn’t that be a much more worthwhile goal, one that greatly enhances our lives and makes us much better people? It certainly is much more helpful than the rigidness of over-preparing, and the stresses that can come when things don’t go according to plan (and they rarely do).

If we are more accepting of the potential for adventure, we are much more adaptive, much more patient, much less stressed as people.

So rather than preparing for every contingency, let go every once in a while and instead prepare yourself for an adventure that is guaranteed to challenge you, and teach you how to be a more flexible, adaptable person. Indulge in the sense of adventure. Life has many of them. Don’t deny yourself the chance to indulge in one.

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