“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
– Morpheus, The Matrix
Neo risked everything by choosing to confront whatever lay outside the boundaries of his comfort zone and was all the better for it. Every day in our careers, we are faced with similar decisions—do we choose to act conservatively for definite success or do we risk it all on the chance that we could break new ground and increase our business output?
It is easy to find ourselves in the shadow of the hulking mountain that is risk or, more accurately, the fear of failure when that risk does not pay off. Workplace wellness schemes might suggest snacking on a mango and cardamom bliss ball, or, perhaps, saluting the sun. Yet with fear this big, raw snacks and salutations will not cut it.
Here are our top five adrenaline-inducing ways to develop some grit so that you can feel the fear and do it anyway, reaping the rewards of risk-taking both at work and in everyday life.
Born in the 1980s in Yosemite National Park when two young men decided that tightrope walking was passé, slacklining, also known as highlining or slacking, is as much a test of balance as it is of mind power and endurance. Picture a strap, as wide as the bridge of your foot, tied between two trees. With each step the ‘line’, slack—as the name describes—will sink and swing. Throw a canyon in the middle of the two trees and you’re set! You may even like to do a couple of ollies once you reach the middle—tricking—or just strike a downward dog for a bit of hovering zen.
2. DEEP WATER SOLOING
Remember the dream about falling off a cliff into the ocean? Tackle your fear in reality with this popular climbing activity, also known as Psicobloc (psycho bouldering). Climbers, equipped only with bouldering shoes, scale sea cliffs as high up as they dare. Once their limit is reached, they steal a glance at the water below to check for jellyfish, look at the horizon and jump, sailing through the air and into the blue below.
Insta Motivation: @psicocomp
3. AERIAL ARTS
This fusion of art and strength, which began as early as the Minoan-Ancient Greek era, is experiencing a renaissance in gyms worldwide. Silks, pole, and trapeze give you wings. If you are struggling to see the big picture—flying through the air is sure to give you a new perspective. Master footlocks, drops and hip keys, and exercise your confidence and creativity.
Insta Motivation: @cdignes
4. TECTONIC PLATE PLUNGE
There is no better way to meditate than snorkeling or scuba diving between two continents: bright green troll hair algae swaying below your feet and (if you are lucky) the Northern Lights above you. The Silfra Fissure, located in Iceland’s Thingvellir Lake, in Þingvellir National Park is the gap between the continents of North America and Eurasia. The water is filtered through porous underground lava, sometimes for 100 years before seeping into the lake, meaning that the crack boasts unrivaled water visibility (100m plus). An immersion here will humble and quieten your inner monologue, allowing for deep reflection—a relief from the frenetic buzz of nine-to-five.
Insta Motivation: @dive.is
5. EXTREME IRONING
Extreme ironing is an extreme sport in which people take ironing boards to remote locations and iron items of clothing. Proudly announcing this to the office on Monday could elicit some giggles but success in this sport (officially recognized in 1999) demands skill, strength and more than a little bit of moxie. Pinned as combining “the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt”, extreme ironing takes work-life balance to the next level. Also brilliant for a team under stress; grab your whole accounts squad and take on the Guinness World Record for most people extreme ironing underwater—currently 173.
Where: Anywhere you like – from your own backyard to the bottom of the ocean.
Insta Motivation: Too counterculture to have a solid Instagram presence…yet.
P.S: All the activities described are extreme sports and should be treated as such. Safety precautions should always be taken and beginners should only attempt in the presence of trained professionals.