I can’t say that I’ve learned this lesson, but I am in the process of figuring out something profound in my life. Let me back up and mention that I’m ten days into a 16-day family road trip where we packed four kids (ages 7, 4, 2, and 4 months!) into the van and drove from Cali to Cleveland for a business/pleasure trip. I hear your groan of despair, believe me. That’s exactly the point, though. My wife was able to stay excited and positive about it as an adventure. I couldn’t, but I wanted to learn how she did it. The lesson I knew I’d be learning is simple – intentionally setting your attitude about something can dramatically change any situation.

You’re driving where with four kids?!

In the case of a road trip with little kids, a camping trip that gets rained on, or really anything outside of our normal day, life gives us a chance to decide whether we are going to lean into a situation and embrace it, or become negative and complain. It really is that simple. In our road trip example I have been doing my best to think of it as an adventure and simply accept that fact that we will have to stop every hour and a half to feed a baby, clean up carsick daughters (haven’t had to yet!), and stop to potty ten minutes after the last potty break. Focusing on the fact that we get to take our kids to see a dozen unexplored cities, make memories with old and new friends, and simply get to be and play together is an incredible adventure!

Why would you do that?!

So the moral of the story is that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is the attitude you chose to have. You can out-think, out-smart, and overcome a “negative nancy” outlook on situations if you try. It hasn’t worked 100% of the time for me, but I can tell you that the more I apply this intentionality, the more natural it becomes. An adventure is an adventure because you are pushing your limits. Try it today. Go get comfortable being uncomfortable for the sake of making better memories that will last forever. A good way to start this shift is to thank God for the blessings and people you have around you already, then look for the wonders He’s placed in our lives as if you were hunting Easter eggs. Once you figure it out, you will see that they are everywhere!

Let’s intentionally get out of ordeals by turning them into adventures. Let’s end average together.

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