My lovely book group recently read "Endurance," a book about the famous 1914 Antarctic exploration that became a two year ordeal of survival. This adventure in reading has made me wonder where all of the explorers have gone.
Maybe you have heard of the famous exploration by Sir Ernest Shackleton. Each page is more incredible than the last. This group of explorers set out in 1914 to explore Antarctica. Two years later, they make their way home, having had one incredible obstacle after another. In a nutshell, their ship is "shelled" by living ice like a walnut in a nut cracker (and then eaten), they literally live on floating ice, they venture to a small island (made of ice) via small lifeboats through the most treacherous ocean in the world. (Did I mention the temperature was usually below zero?) Wet, frozen, unable to stretch their body, these amazing men rarely complained, jumped when the captain said jump- whether it was killing a seal with no weapons or staying awake all night to be on guard. Sir Ernest knew no one was looking for them. After all, there was a war going on and no one else was crazy enough to venture into these ice-filled stormy waters. He knew that if they were to survive he would have to make a day by day plan and make it happen.
Two YEARS from launching, these men return to civilization. Might I say, no one died (one man lost his toes) or was seriously injured. Shackleton was heralded as a great leader and his leadership style has been studied and replicated.
The story is incredulous, it made me wonder multiple times if it could have really happened and I would have questioned it had there not been a photographer with them who documented almost all of the adventure, including the ice eating the ship.
Again, it made me wonder where are our modern day explorers? Have we babied the adventuresome spirit out of them? Have we fixed everything for our kids/co-workers/family and kept them in a safe bubble so that there wasn't enough room for adventure? Or maybe we have medicated them because they couldn't sit still for 7 hours. We have had so much of everything we want or desire that considering sacrificing a moment of pleasure for a greater goal is a rarity.
It might seem an odd seque to some, but this lack of "explorer" approach to life is no more evident than in how we approach food. (Myself included). We want to eat what we want to eat, in the moment. It's so romantic! That glass of wine with a meal makes it seem like something special. Those cookies, mochas, chocolates, etc. are well deserved. There are more "exceptions" than rules in our diet sometimes.
I have friends and acquaintances and family and clients who all could be rid of serious and not so serious health issues and yet the warrior in them doesn't apply to their diet.
Some of this is addiction. Yes - addiction. We all expect the alcoholic to just say no to alcohol their whole life but if you were asked to never, ever, have sugar again - could you do it? There is no difference. Addiction is addiction.
Ready to be an explorer in your own life and health?