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Without challenge there can be no meaningful growth

Adventure thinking is about bringing an expedition mindset to everyday life challenges, stages and situations.

It’s a state of mind and methodology for making the impossible possible. Its turns big dreams into reality, challenges what’s normal, and turns the unimaginable into the doable. It allows you to take on the unknown and risky with confidence. Adventure thinking means you won’t die with FOMO. Its foundation is the belief that we are all adventurous.

My wife, Lauren and I coined this term in the lead up to our 102 day, 1800km unsupported walk across the Australian Outback with our one year old daughter Morgan (yep you heard that right…one year old daughter – click here for a video).

Over the past 17 years I have been lucky to have made a life and career out of adventure and have been applying this expedition mindset to some pretty big journeys. From the first kayak across the Tasman Sea, to 3 months down in Antarctica completing the first unsupported return South Pole expedition and most recently the Outback expedition.

Some really Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

But if you rewind 18 years to year 12 in school I was the last person you’d think was likely to named one of Australia’s Top 50 explorers of all time or have two Guinness World Records under his belt.

In my teens, I suffered from a massive lack of confidence and let others, and societal expectations, chart my own path. Study hard, go to University, get a good job, settle down, buy a house, have 2.3 kids and get them to repeat the process.

Follow the predetermined path. PLAY IT SAFE.

It was adventure that saved me from a life of mediocrity. It is the Adventure Thinking mindset that’s helping me settle down differently.

In a fast paced, modern world, companies and individuals vie for that ‘unique edge and offering’ that will set them apart from crowd. An edge that is impossible to find whilst treading the most traditional path. To find it, one needs to blaze their own trail.

Adventure is an activity with an unknown outcome. It is intensely personal.

Adventure is about pushing human boundaries in all areas of life and is not exclusive to a mountaintop or Antarctica. It can be on the sporting field, in theatre, in business, in whatever you as an individual or organisation are passionate about. It’s a function of your desires, experience, situation and environment and its meant to push your limits.

Our growth and development in life is directly correlated to the challenges that we face. It is only when we push against the boundaries of what we are capable of, do we realise that we have room to grow. It’s not until we challenge the impossible that it can become the status quo.

Adventure and these world first expeditions have taught me a myriad of lessons from the importance of risk mitigation, collaboration, being present, the need for resilience and adaptability, amongst others but the greatest lesson that it has taught me is that we, as humans are infinitely capable of so much more than we think we are.

We just need to give ourselves the opportunity.

6 tips on how to apply an Adventure Thinking to everyday life

  • Stay curious – Invite exploration. Adopt a growth mindset. Try something new, stay open, observe, keep learning.
  • It’s not failure, it’s information. If you learn something from things that go wrong, it’s not actually a bad thing.
  • Don’t be scared, be aware. Acknowledge that fear and excitement are very similar feelings. Let them sharpen your senses and decision making.
  • Find and follow your passion and purpose. Do what makes you feel alive.
  • Be like water. Adapt to the situation you’re in.
  • Trust in yourself and your team. It’s only impossible until its possible.

Justin Jones - otherwise affectionately known as Jonesy, is Australia's pre-eminent modern day Explorer, keynote speaker, adventure thinker and storyteller.

Over the past 17 years he has made a career of undertaking huge, epic, record setting expeditions around the world and sharing these on the stage and the screen.

From the depths of a blizzard in Antarctica, to the terror of 10 metre waves towering above in a storm at sea and the suffocating heat in the heart of the Outback. He currently holds two Guinness World Record and a place as one of Australia's 50 Greatest Explorers of all time.

A massive thank you to you both for all your assistance from selecting to co-ordinating the speakers for our annual ProLoan conference. Feedback was that this year’s speakers where the best they had EVER heard at ANY event. So this is pretty amazing, because they do go to a lot of sessions like these.

Director of Network Relationships - Proloan (aust) pty ltd

Again this year you and your team have been fantastic and extremely helpful.  In regards to you Sharm, you have been an absolute star and phenomenal help with our speakers and presenters, a great communicator, wealth of knowledge and so prompt with responding and looking at ways to cater to our needs.

Event Manager Fitness Australia

I would recommend, without hesitation, the services of Jane Rowland Smith and Ovations. Jane answered a last minute call to arrange a guest speaker for our principals. Nothing was too much effort, all was arranged within hours, and went very smoothly. The guest speaker was exactly what we required and our brief was followed. Thank you Jane and the team at Ovations.

Executive Director of Schools Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

All aspects of the process has always gone seamlessly with Ovations and we will continue to seek your assistance for the awards in the coming years.

Thank you again, your help has meant that our Awards are very professional and extremely well received by our members and guests.

Executive Assistant BSCAA NSW Division

Jane, I personally want to thank you for all of your support, advice, patience and all round kindness that you have given me over the last 3 or so years.  This event would not have been as successful without the valuable MC’s you have recommended and the support you provided me when it all just seemed too hard

Shona Dilley – Smart School Awards, Department of Education
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