Category Archives: Adventure

Dream BIG!

Thirty-six years ago it was launched with a clear cut four-year mission. August 25, 2012, was the day that history was made. And in a very BIG way!

NASA recently confirmed the Voyager 1 spacecraft has become the first human-made object to exit the solar system and enter interstellar space. Ironically, this craft was launched the same year as Star Wars was released!

It carries 1977 technology including an 8-track tape recorder and computers with less processing power than an iPhone, yet it continues to surpass all expectations. It is apparently 18.8 billion kilometres from Earth and expected to continue transmitting data until 2025. Voyager 1’s original mission focused upon Saturn however it’s now opening up a window to a whole new realm of exploration.

Sometimes we can think having a go at something is not really worthwhile. After all, the likely outcome that we see may not seem that significant.

Could it possibly be that what we think will happen could just be the starting point?

What we set in motion today could have a significantly longer-lasting and wider-ranging impact than imaginable today. What we see today as possible is based upon our current knowledge, experience and attitude. What we cannot see is the mighty unknown and, in many cases, this should the very reason for stepping out of the known.

The scientists back in the 1970’s saw value in the Saturn mission so they persevered. Little did they know that history would be made in such spectacular fashion more than 30 years after the planned mission wrapped up.

Where could your plans take you?

LET HOPE RISE

How courageous is your decision making?

My hairdresser (barber would sound more ‘manly’ wouldn’t it?!) shared with me an amazing personal tale of individual courage and adventure. A first generation Australian, her parents migrated from Italy in the 1950’s. Her father came first, alone, to establish the new life for his bride and family. His wife, then 21 years old, waited expectantly in rural Italy raising their 2 young children before she too endured a 2 month sea journey to join her husband, leaving behind ALL of her family.

This couple did not have the benefit of Skype to stay in touch, nor could they check on their destination beforehand via google earth. There were no glossy brochures depicting life in this far-off land nor did they have any YouTube or Wikipedia sites to review. This family, like many others of that era, made a decision to seek a “better” life based on words written in letters by those who had gone before them and hearsay.

We often balk at making a decision that has little consequence because we don’t have sufficient information. We may delay choosing a course of action because we don’t have all the facts. Whilst making informed decisions is important, are we missing opportunities because we’re lacking courage?

Compare the courage of the decision made by my hairdresser’s parents and their determination to make it a success with how we embrace change even in the smallest of things. Are we as courageous as we should be?

LET HOPE RISE.

Photo: Royalty free image purchased via 123RF Stock Photos

Surely the name gives it away…

It had been around 15 years since I last trekked this mountain. That was my first time and the in ensuing years I know now my memory of the challenge had subsided disproportionately to my memory of the reward.

About 1.2km (about 3/4 mile) into the trek, we (my 12-year-old son and myself) came across “Emergency Helicopter Point 1”. As comforting as it was knowing that plans for our rescue had been made in advance, it was slightly alarming that this could in fact be required.  I did particularly notice that it was not simply called “Emergency Helicopter Point” but did in fact have a number assigned to it. There were a further 3 such points up the mountain!

A feature of this trek is that after exerting yourself for almost an hour and half, the final challenge to boldly proclaim you have conquered the mountain is a 300 metre rock scramble to reach the summit. My 15-year-old memory was confident this was shorter and easier than the reality confronting me!

Alas, we reached the summit, rewarding ourselves with fresh fruit and Milo bars from my backpack, knowing that as enticing as the 360 degree views were, we did indeed have to descend at some point, preferably before nightfall and certainly before I became too familiar with an emergency helicopter point!

90 minutes later, we had safely returned to our starting point, holding tight the facts of our victory – 9km strenuous hiking rising 720 metres in altitude, accomplished in just under 3 1/2 hours.

It was then I saw a sign reminding me of why I should have been better prepared – after all, this was Mount Warning!

LET HOPE RISE

What fatherhood and rocket science have in common

Being a dad is the greatest opportunity and responsibility I have. The ability to shape the lives of my boys, empowering them to become influential young men of purpose, is equal parts opportunity and responsibility. I do think, though, sometimes us dads overcomplicate things just a tad.

I am dad to four boys, the oldest nearing teenagehood (is this even a word?). I readily admit I am no expert but I know what has worked well for our family over the past 12 years, a foundation which I believe will serve us well into the teenage years and beyond.

Anyone who knows me well can attest to my fondness of the saying “it’s not rocket science” and I boldly attach this to fatherhood. Yes, it is often confusing, very often challenging, but it is NOT rocket science! As dads, time is a critical factor – spending time with our kids collectively and individually enables a relationship to be built beyond the normal father / child routine post-work. This designated time enables us to connect with our kids and to then invest appropriately and strategically.

Take for example a recent planned opportunity I had to spend a day with son #3, our 4-year-old adventurer. An avid collector of timber, rocks and miscellaneous things from nature, a movie date, whilst enjoyable, would not create a super memory for either of us. Instead, our day was spent in a local park testing the laws of physics via a flying fox before exploring along the banks of a nearby creek. Testimony to the success of this day is our car now being burdened with a branch, some rope, a length of vine and a myriad of rocks, all collected on our adventure and brought home to show mum!

The easy route of a movie and lunch at McDonalds is useful and can certainly be fun, but it shouldn’t be the standard “adventure”.  As dads, we need to know our kids and cultivate their unique talents and interests. After all, fatherhood is not rocket science!

LET HOPE RISE

Photo: Royalty free image purchased via 123RF Stock Photos