Go on an adventure

Benjamin Burkeen

Are you to that point in the semester where you feel like you have gotten into a rhythm or a routine? Do you feel like a zombie that’s just going through the motions? Stop it. Rhythms and routines are great and all, but life is meant to be lived and to be lived abundantly. Make a conscious effort to live your life a little bit differently. Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Go talk to a stranger. Tell them the corniest joke in the entire world just to gauge their reaction. If we aren’t careful, we tend to start taking ourselves and our lives entirely too seriously. We don’t like to do anything that could make us stand out or do anything that others might perceive as “weird.”

The other day I was spending time with some high school students and we played “Bigger and Better” in Tuscaloosa. “Bigger and Better” is a classic game where you start with one item and continue trading it for bigger and better items as you go. We started with an ink pen and ended up with a replica National Championship trophy in only an hour, and all of this happened because we put ourselves out there and started knocking on the doors of strangers. I believe that it is human nature to crave excitement and to want to be a part of something that is out of the ordinary. The people that answered us didn’t know us, they were complete strangers, but they were quickly drawn into what we were doing. We broke up their normal routines and made them partners with us in our quest.

Why don’t we do things like this more often? I ask for things all the time with the mindset of “what is the worst that could happen?” When we see a fun opportunity or we wish we could go somewhere or talk to someone, we instantly write off the possibilities in our mind by saying “Oh, that would never work,” or “They would never let me do that.” I say “Why not?” Having the audacity to make some insane request can get you through a lot of doors. A friend of mine wanted Denny Chimes to play happy birthday for his girlfriend. So he made a few phone calls, pitched this crazy idea to a friend of his, and soon he had a handful of people that became partners in his escapade. Even though the plan didn’t work out exactly as it was dreamed up, this example demonstrates what I’m getting at: when you choose to make life awesome, people want to join you for the ride.

Always be looking for adventure. Be looking for a way to break up your routine with some excitement. And sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and you’ll quickly have allies ready to move heaven and earth to make the seemingly impossible happen. 

Benjamin Burkeen is a senior majoring in management. His column runs biweekly.