While on a writing break, I’m taking the time to share some of my favorites from the More to Come archives. Ideas. Relationships. Adventure. — which is used in a portion of the following piece — was originally posted on June 26, 2017.
I love to read. Avon — the small snail in Avi’s children’s fable The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant) — also reads every day. He is a kindred spirit. Books tell him “All about the things that creatures did when they went on adventures.” Having never been on an adventure, Avon decides that he needs adventures in order to be happy. When a passing newt hears his sigh, he encourages Avon to “go out and seek some adventures.”
Avon replies that he doesn’t know how.
“Remember lad,” said the newt, “if it’s going to be tomorrow, it might as well be today. And if it is today, it could have been yesterday. If it was yesterday, then you’re over and done with it, and can write your own book. Think about that.”
This delightful children’s book takes the reader through the multiple adventures — and occasionally snappy wordplay — of Avon and his friend Edward, the ant. They explore parts of their world, such as the end of the branch where Avon lives, that they had never visited before. They meet many different creatures. And they decide that even tiny adventures can broaden one’s worldview.
We are too often tied to our own branch, trapped in our own limited perspective.
If I were restricted to three words in any commencement speech, they would be: Ideas, Relationships, and Adventure. Ideas are the basis for change, for re-invention, for, yes, intellectual capital. Relationships have to do with outstanding people working in harmony and openness, where everyone feels empowered, where all members feel included and at the center of things, where they feel competent and significant. And Adventure has to do with risk, with a bias towards action, with curiosity and courage.
The challenge for organizations and their leaders is, as Bennis states it, to “create the social architecture where ideas, relationships, and adventure can flourish.” That isn’t easy, especially in light of challenges facing us today, but those who “choose to succeed must have the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures.”
Think about how this idea fits in with the fable of the snail and the ant. Avon had the idea that he wanted to travel and see the world. Avon and Edward built a good relationship. They had success and failure, but they stuck to it. Together they had adventures untold (for a snail and an ant).
So don’t just sit there and read about others. Create your own adventures. Explore!
More to come…
NOTE: Here are other posts on More to Come examining the joy and wonder of adventure.