White Water Rafting in the River Nile
White water rafting is one of the most humbling, yet exciting recreational sport. Won’t lie: it was never on my “have-to-do” list. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have such a list. Anyway, that happened and I’m yet to recover from the adrenaline rush. That should make up for being tear-gassed on New Year’s Eve, yikes! Apparently, Ugandan police found it appropriate to disperse guys as they waited for midnight fireworks. That officially marks my third crappy New Year’s Eve – in a row!
So back to white water rafting. I did that few days before the end of the year. I was supposed to make important life decisions, and what would be better than plunging into the unknown! Besides having a mind clear enough to decide wisely, here are some other lessons I learned:
Lessons learned from white water rafting
You need to scout before you know what you lies ahead.
Take your time to understand the repercussions of your decision. Most of them cannot be undone and will affect you for the rest of your life. Now, most decisions will determine whether or not you lead a happy life. Considering a different career? Torn on whether or not to stick in a relationship? Don’t rush and don’t settle. Happiness is everything and everything gets clearer with time. Investigate and explore then resolve whether you’re willing to live with what lies around the bend.
The sun shines brighter than a bulb.
There is nothing contemplating outdoors cannot solve. Your judgement might be clouded and your emotions all flared up, but all that changes when you go outside.
You are stronger than you can imagine.
It is impossible to understand the possibilities unless you’re willing to leave your comfort zone. Push yourself to the limits, and everything unimaginable will be yours to possess. By the way, this applies to every facet of our lives.
Your company will make or break you.
This may sound cliché but that’s what it is. Keep hanging around with people who are comfortable in poverty, you will learn poor men habits. Be friends with guys who are always trying to improve their lives, you will lead a life almost as fulfilling. We were required to make some choices regarding the level of challenge. My team had people who believed in going hard or going home. We went hard and after everything, it was the best feeling ever. Chill with friends who make hard choices. Their counterparts who let the wind determine their fate will lead you to destruction.
Hard times expose character.
You will never know people unless they are tested in one way or the other. Sometimes you will be miserably let down whereas other times you will be pleasantly surprised.
You are responsible for creating permanent happiness.
No one can gift happiness to you. It is also impossible to “find it”. You should generate happiness at every moment, until it becomes a habit. It is not something you “accidentally bump into”. Stay happy when you keep doing the things you enjoy.
You have to work hard to be proud.
There are few things I find as gratifying as spending money I earned, enjoying a trip I planned… There is something about working hard and self-pride. Don’t allow yourself get used to having people do everything for you. We all have the innate capabilities to achieve. There is greater value in stuff you’ve worked hard for, no matter how “small”.
You learn more from failure than success.
Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go like you had planned. Instead, learn. Failure makes you wiser. This is not to mean that one should intentionally make mistakes. Well, unless you’re troubleshooting!
Fear is our greatest undoing.
The reason most of us won’t live up to our potential is fear. The unknown may have that effect, but it is necessary to hope for the best and dive in. Go approach that manager, run the marathon, plan a solo trip. Do what you’ve always feared. Fear is cancerous – flee it.
Everything is temporary.
No matter how “stable” something seems, it will come to an end. That’s why you should live the moment. Do not give up if you’re currently going through a storm that too will end. White water rafting may have appeared impossible to conquer, but once you refuse to allow the waves stop you, you emerge victorious. As long as your eyes remain fixed to the end goal, everything will come to an end.
There will always be someone who has your back.
Sometimes it is not obvious, but if you’re keen enough you will see it. Trust them. However, caution is necessary because it is better off not to trust or rely on some people.
Cheers to taking on the waves!