You know I haven’t talked about the outdoors much this summer and fall. It’s not because I gave up on being outside. Oh no, I can’t do that I like the fresh air way too much. Yet I have been pursuing my calling more intently this year now that is it clearer than it has ever been. I have been trying to understand why men think and act the way we do. How do we get ourselves caught up in the snares and binds we find ourselves in? So yeah, I focused a lot on the emotions and thought loops that we men often put ourselves into.
That obsession got me away from talking about the outdoors as much as I would like. I realized that and so I am seeing about making some changes. So back to talking about a certain topic each month and exploring that topic as much as I can up to and including how the outdoors is worked into that topic. Therefore, since we have been talking about purpose I wanted to show you how the outdoors can help you with your purpose or how it will help you continue your journey with your calling if you believe you have found your calling in life.
Can the outdoors help with you finding your purpose? If so, how can it help? What if the outdoors was able to help you stay on your path? That is what I want to explore today.
How the outdoors can help you find purpose
There is a chance that you are still trying to find out what your path is. That is the case of thousands of people each day. Many men are discovering that they are not where they envisioned themselves to be at this current time in their lives. This is where they start to feel stuck and proceed to find their personal journey into what their calling in life is.
As time goes on men, find out that finding, their calling isn’t a quick endeavor. They are not able to find their purpose right off the bat. It takes time and a good deal of self-discovery. So many times men so what they think they have to do without thinking of the reason why. Yet once they start asking that question, they almost can’t stop exploring the different possibilities. So when it comes to finding your, “Why”, the outdoors is an excellent teacher and provider of help. Not really, answers but those can also show up for you when you are outdoors.
Find Your Calling by using the Quiet
You never realize how noisy it is until you get outside and you are away from all the other people. You find that humans can a loud bunch. Not just the noise we make but also the devices that are around us. How fast do you answer your phone when you hear a notification chime in? Then many people like to have the television on if for any reason because it makes noise.
Do you ever wonder why some people have a hard time with the quiet? Some folks claim they can’t meditate because of it. The quiet forces you to be with your thoughts. Which for many people can be a scary event. Yet you have to be with your thoughts eventually. It can be uncomfortable true but if you can face those unwanted, and uncomfortable thoughts, you are able to process the other thoughts that are backing up because you were refusing to look at the perceived scary thought. Then again, those uncomfortable thoughts you are resisting could be the clue to your path. You have to accept that those thoughts are going to be possibly rough to contend with but on the other side, you just may have the needed answers.
Therefore, get outdoors to leave your phone and other electronics in the car. Take a tent, a fishing rod, and some water. In addition, go a mile or so away. Yeah, that is only 5280 feet. If you are able to get that far into the woods, you will be away from the noise of traffic and other people. You may first wonder why your ears are ringing. Mine do when I go to the family home in Central Texas. The first night, my ears will ring because the silence is so tremendous. The days after you don’t notice the silence as much but wow you get a lot of thinking done. The noises you do hear in the summer are the cicadas, grasshoppers, and crickets. At night, you are given the great symphony of frog’s crickets, katydid’s, and other nighttime creatures with the creek playing the percussion.
Yet those “noises” help point your thoughts to the task at hand. You can’t just let your mind run on autopilot you realize that you are thinking. With that thinking, you are able to point your thoughts to what your purpose is. You can actively ask powerful quality questions to yourself and your mind will answer them. Don’t be afraid of the silence. Your thoughts will not kill you. They may make you cry or even possibly make your heart race yet you will not die from your thoughts. In fact, your thoughts will make you stronger.
Distraction free, thinking
Now with the quiet and if you are out in the woods you will have little to no distractions. With that, you are able to have some distraction freethinking. Now you will still find things that will draw your attention away from the task at hand, like a wayward chipmunk, or a deer that has decided to grace your experience with its presence. Yet those distractions aren’t pressing. They don’t demand your full attention. They are more like a muse whispering in your ear. They are likely able to allow you to find a philosophical point of thought.
It tests your resolve
How do you know when you make a decision? The answer is most of the time you aren’t 100% sure. Yeah, you may have a good idea but you aren’t 100%. That becomes evident as the task gets a little harder. All of a sudden, you may be questioning if you made the right decision. Maybe you didn’t get it absolutely right. There is a very good chance that you aren’t cut out for this new adventure you chose for yourself. These and more thoughts of imposter syndrome can and do kick in.
Nature has her own ways of teaching you how to stay the course. Maybe at night, a storm pops up. How are you going to face that? Are you going to pack up and go home? Maybe you will just adjust your camp and position yourself somewhere that you can weather the storm. You will often be faced with unexpected challenges when you are out hiking in the woods. These forks in the road often give you two choices do the hard work or go home. Is going home even an option for you?
Get outdoors and spending time in nature helps you understand that yeah in the grand scheme of things you are a weak fragile creature compared to other mammals in the world. Yet you have one thing that they do not. That is a brain with the ability to think creatively. That creative thinking helps you find your “why”. Why even spend the time out in the dirt and wind? Because you are looking for something and that dirt and wind could very possibly hold the key to your path.
Nature Gets You Uncomfortable
Being outdoors also isn’t all sunshine and lollypops. There is the effort it takes to get to where you are camping. It can be right beside your car or it could be a few miles away. Even if it is, a campsite at the KOA there are times that camping can make you very uncomfortable. One it could be hot or you could set your tent up in a patch of stinging nettle.
The interesting things about the uncomfortable times are that they become the most memorable. Often you really do look back on that time your tent was blown into the tree and you laugh with your friends. The tough times are what make you. They help you build fortitude, resolve, strength, and many other benefits. This particular lesson is one that nature does effortlessly. So do you want to have the resolve to be able to press on when things get tough? Then you want to get outdoors and know that you are truly strong enough to follow your calling.
How the outdoors helps you stay on the path
Perhaps you have found your purpose. Yet you find that you are straying from your path more than you want. Nature and the outdoors can help you find a way to stay true to your calling.
Gives you time to reflect
Reflecting on where you have been and where you are going is an important activity to do from time to time. It is good to review what you have done. You want to see what you have accomplished. Are you on target to completing your goal? What did you fail to accomplish? We may have made out goal but how could we have accomplished our goal quicker or in an easier fashion? You want to find out what you did well. While also acknowledging what you didn’t do so well. If you are able to answer these questions, you are better off knowing how you can improve yourself on the next challenge.
You learn not to rush
Nature forces you to slow down. That is one of the key points to the 3-day effect. You start slowing down and you start seeing more and more details that you never would have thought to notice before. Thanks to the microwave society of everything, being is a huge rush. Yet there is knowledge and strength when you are able to slow down and focus on the fine details around you.
You often find out that you get more done when you slow down. When you try to rush, you end up having to do the same task a couple of times. Like when you overload a chip with guacamole, the chip often breaks and you have to send in a rescue chip only to have that chip fail also. Slowing down may seem like to take longer and it does at first but it is faster in the long game.
You can’t rush cooking. It does no good to rush fishing, no matter how hungry you may feel. You can’t rush nature. She won’t have it. Therefore, you have to slow down when you are outdoors
Nature gives you a needed change of pace
With the slowing down nature also gives you a much-needed change of pace. We are used to hustling. Now it may not be the Gary Vaynerchuk version of hustle but we are on a mission each and every day. That mission may be as simple as leaving the cave finding something killing it and dragging it home (aka. A job). Then again, the mission maybe 30 different things that have to be done in one day. What you need to get done before the sun sets is up to you but we know we have to do something and that something can often leave us ragged and worn out.
When we men are worn out, we are not ourselves we lose sight of our objectives. The best way to regain our path to our calling is by changing the pace. Especially when you slow down, as I mentioned before you get more done when you take your time and don’t rush.
It helps you think
As before the outdoors, being quiet and an excellent opportunity to be by yourself is great for those times you want to think. You possibly won’t have any cell signal so you won’t have social media to distract you. Nor will you have to worry about any emails or other matters that you perceive as being pressing as you are trying to gather evidence of what your life’s calling actually is. You won’t have anybody asking you what you thought of a game. You can be in deep think mode and marvel in the flow as you focus in on your path.
Now you may want to say you don’t have to get outdoors to find your path and you are right. You don’t have to but it does help. Cultures have been sending their men out on their own into the wilderness in countless rites of passage. Often they come back with a better knowledge of who they are. You don’t have to be sent out into the woods for 4 weeks with nothing but a rusty butter knife. Yet, you can get outdoors and into nature and learn more about who you are and why you are that person. Find this information is more important to your cause than sitting behind a computer monitor wishing you were somewhere else.
The choice to change is entirely on you. If you are unhappy, make the needed changes. You are not as stuck as you believe. You just need to find out who you really are and make the needed changes to walk the path you have been meant to walk.
If you want help finding your path, or help to take the steps needed to achieve the goals you wish to complete. Then I do have a mastermind that is right up your alley. Then again, if you want a taste of what I am talking about in this blog post, I have a live event that is coming up in May 2020 called the Camp and Coach. Yeah, I know the name is lame but the event is serious. If you come, along you will be with 11 other men and we will be spending 4 days outdoors getting your mind on the right track and helping each other become a better man on the other side. Join me for this incredible and life-changing event.