054 | Are you IN the Arena?

Family adventure arena
Advancing bold and brave family adventure and lifestyle goals in 2022. Cultivate an adventure tribe to help support your journey.

Join the Waitlist for In the Arena Mastermind or Adventure Tribe Community:  https://ordinarysherpa.com/arena

A Weekend of mini-adventures and spontaneous experiences

  • Friday night lights: learned how to create google maps guide.  It was a quick and dirty experiment to convert several screenshots of addresses into saved spots that we could later drive to on our route to see the best Christmas lights.  We even managed to explore a new brown sign (for more information on brown signs listen to episode 041 | Adventure Potential of Brown Signs) which was hosting the Festival of Lights.  A donation based walk through Christmas lights experience…which also happened to be selling THE BEST caramel apple cider I have ever had in my life!  
  • The whole experience reminded me of when the kids were little. I’d have everyone get their PJ’s on, I’d give them their Golden Tickets and we’d ride the Polar Express.  We hadn’t done this in a few years so it was a fun experience for my little monster and a bit of a nostalgic nod for my older 2.  I will say I really appreciate the old school approach to Christmas lights, while it’s fun to have the kits all synchronized to music, the ones that actually string individual lights from the flag pole to make the Christmas tree and then synchronize each strand received much more of our respect than the LED images and designs. Overall I’m such a sucker for light shows so I probably rated it a little higher on the Joy Audit.  We think we may have even discovered where Clark Griswold lives.  The siding and the roof were solid with light strands, it was interesting.  
  • The kids all had their piano recitals and since we were all dressed up, not in pajamas we grabbed a family picture.  When we got home at 8 PM we were still feeling pretty festive so we made a batch of Christmas cookies and watched a Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert on YouTube.  A spontaneous experience and it felt fun to stay up late and lounge together in our living room.  We seldom sit down as a family to watch movies so this felt special.
  • Sunday we slept in and woke up to snow.  My oldest son carved a Cross Country Ski trail through the woods with the dog and our younger two played on the playground.  When they came in we had hot cocoa and I decided to pull out some yarn and make a stocking hat ornament with them that I had found and thought it would be fun.  While making the ornaments it started snowing again and I realized, while my kids played outside I stayed inside all day and I needed to get out of the cheap seats and into the arena.  We ended the weekend with the entire family putting on our snow gear and cross country skiing on a path in the woods.  I have been reading about the social and emotional benefits of fresh air so especially as the cold weather hits, we are trying to be more intentional about spending 2 hours outside everyday.  I’m noticing that it’s already having a noticeable impact.  

This leads me to the theme for this episode. Are you IN the arena?  

One of the pivotal moments for me in my parenting and adventure journey was listening to Brene Brown on a podcast.  She shared her discovery of the Teddy Roosevelt The Man in the Arena quote and how it led to her writing Daring Greatly.  A little backdrop on the quote.  I have long been a fan of Teddy Roosevelt and this summer visited Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota which led to additional learning and curiosity. The Man in the Arena quote is from a speech that Teddy Roosevelt gave in Paris in 1910 called Citizenship in a Republic.  Roosevelt was addressing the roles of citizenship and called out the voices of cynicism dissuades many from doing great things  (Source: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/63389/roosevelts-man-arena among others)

The quote states:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives val-e-antly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I remember hearing this recited on the podcast as I drove home from work one day. I was living life on drift and thought “oh crap, I’m not in the arena.”  The truth was not many in my circle, my network had the same parenting adventure desires that I had.  Yet I listened to their worries, their concerns and need for safety and stability kept me in the cheap seats.  The cheap seats of the dreamers and the talkers.  The doers of deeds are in the arena getting dirty.  

As I traversed down the trail of being a parent who is willing to adventure and take risks it often felt lonely, that the voices of the critics were loud.  When I set out on this podcast I had an intention to find others who were ahead of me on this trail.  Who were already in the arena or were willing to join me in the arena and share triumphs or failures while daring greatly.  I have participated in numerous parenting groups, I’ve joined masterminds and signed up for online courses, and while those were great in building a more diverse set of experiences and connections, by and large the adventure parenting arena still feels pretty lonely with quite a few eager but timid souls sitting in the seats waiting and watching.  

There is a chapter in my upcoming book about building and creating an adventure tribe or a circle of trusted adventure advisors which was inspired by Pat Flynn and reinforced by John Lee Doumas if you are familiar with any of their work.  Pat suggests when he was launching his business that he needed a different trusted circle of advisors that were not merely friends, but rather skilled advisors he trusted much like his financial advisor, legal counsel who were vested in his personal and professional goals. People who could test him still came from a caring place and had his best interests in mind.  Who could connect with him in the pits when things weren’t going well and share honest feedback not just try to make him feel good, but actually improve.  The advice I took from John Lee Doumas was to find a mentor who is one year ahead of where you want to be and invest in them, learn from them, do whatever you can to get access to their content.  Surround yourself with people who have more experience than you. I think it was Shane Sams who said, your goal is to be the dumbest person in the room and just soak up and learn from others, you want to be in the room where it happens (feel free to break out in Hamilton song if you haven’t already)

 When I encounter a problem is A) Find a solution B) Create a solution C) Let the problem go.  We have some pretty Brave and Bold adventure family goals that we are embarking on in 2022 that I am not willing to let go of.  I have yet to find a solution after several years of searching so I think that leads to answer B) Create a Solution. I have been searching for a community where I can learn from others on this adventure journey, who are in the arena.  Who don’t merely talk about their goals and dreams but get marred with dust and blood taking action. They spend their time and energy on a worthy cause trying to design a life they want to live.  I have found a few families who do this well and I want to bring them to the community, to do deep dives and masterminds so we can interact and bring their experiences and lessons learned to the arena.  Where we don’t merely have to sit in the cheap seats. A reference to my teaching in-service days, I’m not interested in offering “a sit n’ get” experience, but rather get in the arena.  Try different suits of armor on, get dirty, fall down, go forward with great enthusiasm knowing that there are 20+ other adventurous parents in the arena with you.  I want to bring you the members of my trusted advisor circle who help me through mindset, and money, setting expectations, working through self-doubt and fear; while also helping you build yours in the process.  I want the arena to not only inspire and support you but also keep you accountable.  

I have also heard from my everyday adventure challenge cohorts, the simplicity is great AND Several of them have big bold ideas that need more depth, more planning support, more insights and if they had someone to help them predict and navigate the Black Swan events they would gladly sign up for this experience.  Some examples of “in the Arena” experiences that I know people in the Ordinary Sherpa community are working towards: 

  • Take a 6 week vacation in the summer
  • Take a slow travel road trip in an RV around North America
  • Hike the patagonia trail
  • Take a mini-retirement or gap year 
  • Take a luxury trip using only travel rewards
  • Rent out their house and be location independent
  • Write a book
  • Launch a blog/podcast brand
  • Live on a sailboat
  • Start a homestead
  • Attain dual-citizenship 

All of these are worthwhile lifestyle experiences that can be achieved within the next 6-12 months.  I will admit while none of the adventure goals above are mine.  But we do have a bold family adventure goal for 2022.  The kind that has me both excited and scared at the same time.  Having a tribe of advisors and curious supporters willing to embark on a Bold and Brave in 2022 feels good. SO here is the official announcement of the In the Arena membership that will launch in January 2022.  I am keeping it a closed group with  about 20-30 people max in it and I know many don’t listen to these podcasts the week they come out so I wanted to give you the time to think about it and consider applying.   If you are intrigued and simply want to be on the waitlist or know more details head over to ordinarysherpa.com/arena

All that does is put your name on maybe/want more information list, when you sign up you will receive more information and a link to an application.  I will be scheduling a call with every applicant and treating this experience like an adventure lifestyle mastermind to help you achieve your lifestyle and adventure family goals in 2022.  

I am kind of excited about the arena, but I also want to be really clear that it’s not just about the service offering.  THe arean can exist wherever you want it to exist and sometimes it really is the simple things like I experienced this weekend.  SItting in the house watching my kids play outside.  Outside and play are critical to every human being, not just kids.  I want you to notice, where are you sitting in the cheap seats and when are you in the arena getting dirty.  Because regardless if the result is victory or failure, at least you are taking a step towards action.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Brown Signs are not merely locations for 3-seasons, explore what simple opportunities might exist at nearby brown signs regardless of the temperatures outside.  
  2. Life is a sequence of unpredictable events that can either become moments that pass us by or experiences to take hold of. Are you more likely to sit in the cheap seats watching others enjoy the adventure or are you willing to get in the arena and do the thing?
  3. What feels bold and brave for you in 2022?  Was your adventure goal listed?  There are many in the Ordinary Sherpa community embarking on new and uncomfortable adventures.
  4. Finding an adventure advisor circle or tribe who can inspire and challenge you to work towards your adventure family goals are hard to find.  Friends and family might not be the right members for those seats.  
  5. Who is one-year ahead of you on the journey.  There is no reason to start from scratch or create something new.  Identifying those you admire or who you think are living the lifestyle you want to live is step one, building a relationship with them is step two.  
  6. Embarking on a bold and brave adventure goal can feel lonely and include many simultaneous feelings.  If you want to join a community of other adventure families designing and achieving adventure and lifestyle goals you might want to join the list and stay in the loop on the In the Arena Mastermind and Adventure Tribe experience.  To join the waiting list and get additional information head to Ordinarysherpa.com/arena.  
  7. Notice everyday…are you in the arena or cheap seats?  Natural sunlight, fresh air and outdoor play has dramatic effects on every human beings well-being.  Adventure and outdoor play isn’t just for kids.  I hope to see a 7 YO version of you adventuring this week.  (Tag @ordinarysherpa on Instagram if you do!)

May this episode inspire you to take a step in the arena and know what matters is not the outcome, but that you are IN the ARENA.

Until next time we are over here rooting you on.  I can’t wait to see and hear what little adventures you are doing, and what bold and brave experiences you are designing for 2022.  Keep that adventurous and festive spirit :)

Where to Listen

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