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This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

IN HIS MEMOIR, Education of a Wandering Man, Louis L’Amour wrote, “As I have said elsewhere, and more than once, I believe adventure is nothing but a romantic word for trouble...What people speak of as adventure is something nobody in his right mind would seek out, and it becomes romantic only when one is safely at home.”

If adventure is only a romantic word for trouble, then it follows that you can see trouble as an adventure. In other words, trouble isn’t a reality; it’s a judgment. And “adventure” would be an equally valid judgment.

I was once in an argument with my wife, for example, that was getting too heated, so I took a break, went down to the library to calm down, and thought about what L’Amour said. And I asked myself, “How is this fight like an adventure?”

“Well,” I replied to myself, “I’m doing something I don’t do very often — hanging out at the library. And doing something I don’t normally do must be one of the prerequisites for an experience I can call an adventure.”

Musing over this question, I thought, “The fight itself is like a jungle. Can we find our way through it to the River of Love? I think so. But we may get temporarily lost in the tangled valley of Being Right. We may sink in the quicksand of Hurt Feelings. We may miss the shortcut of Forgiveness and have to take the long way around.

“There are predators to look out for: We can get eaten alive by Dredging Up Past Injustices. The Unwillingness to Exercise Self-Control is somewhat like a swarm of mosquitoes that can inject us with malaria and make us sick for a long time, slowing down our progress through the jungle.

“We must somehow get across the chasm of our differences. One of us can cross it alone or we can meet half way.”

And after thinking about it this way, I went home and talked to Klassy with a different attitude. A better attitude. Try it. When you run into trouble, ask yourself: “How is this like an adventure?”


Ask yourself, “How is this like an adventure?”

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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