In the waning sunlight of a busy Saturday afternoon, I checked the last task off my to-do list. With twilight closing in, and predictable patterns clawing at me to turn on netflix or hulu, I decided to, instead, bank some life profit. Specifically, in the form of a sunset hike up to Angel's Rest in the Gorge. Check out the timelapse video to get a sense of the evening.
Taking on this excursion meant a rush pack job and hiking down in the dark. (Of course I took the ten essentials and knew the trail well). I think that just added to the novelty.
Life profit. It's a phrase that gets thrown around the GutMonkey HQ a lot these days. The theory posits that people remember novel experiences, and "compress" repetitive tasks. Here's a TED Talk about it. (Feel free to take this presenter with a grain of salt, but the message rings through).
We invite people outside of their comfort zones with every activity we offer. We use sea kayaking expeditions, ropes courses, and mousetraps. We even find ways to use a large paper pad and easel to create a novel experience.
We do this in an effort to design a metaphor for people to take back home after the experience. This fancy kind of metaphor is called "Isomorphic," and you can read more about that from an Outward Bound professional named Stephen Bacon... mmm, bacon...
The real trick of it all comes with the take-away. How do we take something home with us after a really impactful experience? Have you ever come home from an epic vacation, camping trip, or week at summer camp, and you want to download the whole experience on the first unfortunate person you see? Intense experience can come in all shapes and sizes. Whether they were exciting, reflective, fun, thoughtful, or whatever - if it was chock full of "A-HA!" and "Eureka!" moments, chances are you learned something. And, if you learned something, how are you going to bring that back to your world outside of that experience?
Here's a way to keep that novelty and excitement in your wonderful everyday life after that Big A-HA Adventure. Go for a Micro-Adventure. Outside Magazine just published a great article on the art of tiny experiences to shake up the routine.
Remember, the change doesn't need to be earth-shattering to gain Life Profit. Just like a savings account, you can add a little at a time. It can be as simple as a little walk to catch the sunset.