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    Are you an adventurer?

    Are you an adventurer?

    We’re all in the habit of playing adventuresome characters in our games. But I mean are YOU as an individual an adventurer? Living a “life of adventure” sounds fun to me! I’m continuously inspired when I read about adventures that my family and friends have as well. A lot of those friends come from right here at ENWorld and one of their adventures inspired the topic for my first column.

    They told me several months ago, “We’re moving to Germany for work and staying there for three years.” Now that is a leap of faith! An adventure complete with castles and ruins and new cities and exotic languages. Keeping up with their adventure as it unfolds has me taking a look at my own adventures in life.*

    I lead a pretty active lifestyle. I like the outdoors and have done a lot of camping and canoeing and hiking. I enjoy travel and seeing new places almost as much as I do meeting new people. I SCUBA dive and love the water. All of those things feel like adventure to me. Getting away from my hobbit hole and out into the world has that feel to it. But, as a famous adventurer once said, "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

    I stepped out my front door a couple years ago and came to a sudden realization that I was in the wrong business. And unfortunately I owned the business! I had only two real choices: Keep doing the thing I knew I shouldn’t be doing or start doing something that I should be doing. Pretty simple.

    Thanks to a great friend of mine, who happened to be somebody I met here at ENWorld, I dug deep into my strengths and aptitudes. He told me bluntly that it was no wonder my previous business (a videography company) was grinding along in slow motion. It harnessed virtually NONE of the things I was best at. I was built to talk and share and exchange ideas and strategize, of which there is approximately zero while you’re sitting behind a video camera. I was built to be a coach. Specifically I became a life and relationship coach.

    That is where the adventure really began. Putting aside a company I’d been running for seven years and setting out in a completely new direction seemed flat-out crazy. I remember very clearly a conversation I had with my wife’s uncle during the early days of my journey. I told him that I wanted to do work I loved. He replied, “Well I know what I love: Sex and golf. I just haven’t been able to find anybody who will pay me to do those things. So work is what I do to provide the money I need to live and do the things I love.”

    It was a fair point (although I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s not paying for sex). But I had been doing boring work to fund the better parts of my life for years and it just wasn’t working for me anymore. I wanted a life where I never again had to sigh and say wistfully, “Time to go to work.”

    Just like any adventure, it has not been easy. It’s taken a lot of serious thought and planning. It has taken hours of effort, much of which was outside my zone of comfort or previous experience. I have failed and gotten back up and failed again until I got things right. I have been afraid and then done stuff anyway. People have told me “No.” I have questioned my sanity (and had it questioned by others) more than a couple times.

    But every single day I wake up knowing that I made the best decision. To have my work day full of helping people find answers to the most important questions in their life and relationships is a calling for me. And I LOVE answering it.

    However, a funny thing happened along the way: I discovered that a whole lot of my coaching reminded me of gaming. All that strategy and conquering and overcoming fear and resistance...doesn’t that sound familiar? Being a gamer and a GM for 30 years has honed skills I barely even knew I had.

    Moreover, I discovered a lot of my early clients were gamers. This wasn’t coincidence. Gaming was a community of people where I already had friends and was already trusted. They took a chance on me helping them, and I think I did a pretty good job for them. So they referred me to their friends. And a bunch of those people were gamers too.

    I’ve come to adore how I can make a “check for traps” or “player/GM style conflict” reference in the middle of a lot of my coaching sessions as a kind of shorthand. It makes things easier and it makes them fun. And trust me, easy and fun are two of the things that we need in abundance in order to live the best way we can.

    I’ve begun to actively catalog all the ways that lessons I’ve learned in gaming can be applied to life, helping people, and the huge adventure that I’m on. That’s what this Experience Points column will be all about. Each week I’ll be discussing my observations on how I’ve applied gaming’s lessons to my life and work. It will be fun for me to write, but the reason I truly wanted to share these ideas with my big family here at ENWorld is that I want to hear your stories.

    So tell me about your crazy adventures! When did you take a leap of faith or delve into the unknown? When were you afraid and then decided that you were going to do it anyway? When did you enter the dungeon and know you were going to come out the other side with more experience?

    * If you'd like to follow the adventures of ENWorld's The Universe and Queen Dopplepoppolis then you can find them at: and

    P.S. Thanks to my great friend and coaching client, Kiznit, for this wicked artwork that captures the spirit of dungeon adventure!
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    Last edited by Rel; Wednesday, 31st October, 2012 at 07:19 PM.

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