Not long ago I headed to Arizona with my best girlfriends. These four women and I met in college, became fast friends, and have done a trip together every year since. We are on our 27th trip this May. While in Arizona we decided to do a desert tour with Desert Dog in Fountain Hills. On the morning of we grabbed our Starbucks and sunscreen and headed our for our three hour tour….‘a three hour tour.’ (who get’s this reference??)

Upon arriving at the site, we were greeted by a cigar-chewing swarthy character garbed in camouflage. He was surrounded by a fleet of what could only be described as caricatures of your cartoon vision of dune buggies. I was, let’s say, a wee anxious. He threw some helmets at us, told us to tighten up our sports bras (literally) and off we went. There might have been a wave of a waiver but I don’t really recall. (gulp)

Off we went bouncing and bracing through carved out desert roads, and craggily river beds. Dust flew into our eyes and teeth and the wind whizzed past our ears. Then there was a noise. I could not identify it so I listened more closely. “What was that??”

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”

IT WAS ME. 

Yelling my bloody head off. Not yelling exactly, more like letting immense energy escape my body through my mouth in the form of the letter “E”. LeeAnn sat next to me in our ridiculous excuse for transportation. We could not wipe the stupid sandy grins off our faces. We bounced between terrified and elated. Our senses ran so acute I could see each particle of dust individually. The sun stretched her long yellow spikes out above us. LeeAnn’s blue T-shirt. My green shorts. Everything was brighter and clearer. We were having an “E”-Factor moment. 

After three, steering wheel-gripping hours, we arrived back at base. We took some photos. I looked at the photo LeeAnn took. My eyes were sparkly and my smile truly authentic. I realized in reviewing the photo and then looking up and seeing the same goofy smiles on all of the faces surrounding me that we ALL need more “E”-Factor in our life.

More adventure, more “yikes”, but, “let’s do it anyway!”

When I am feeling stagnant, unfulfilled or complacent I now realize it is a signal from my soul to get out and have an “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” day.

“E”-Factor is different for everyone, but you will know when you are in it. “E”-Factor moments take your breath away. You will be so excited you will surely yelp. Everything is brighter, sharper and more acute than our typical experience in our normal day to day.

Go get yourself some.

 

FIVE WAYS TO GET MORE “E”-FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE

  1. Schedule adventurous events just outside your comfort zone. For some it might be swimming with sharks, for others a walk in nearby town they have never seen might be enough. Whatever it is, just plan it and do it. 
  2. Don’t let grass grow under you feet. Never allow too long between “E”-Factor moments in your life. Do not allow complacency to master over you. 
  3. Drag others along. Some folks have a harder time stepping out boldly. “E”-Factor moments are better when shared. Drag an unsuspecting friend into the fold. 
  4. Stay safe but not too safe. Danger is okay. Risk is okay. It is what allows us to take chances in real life! If you experience that “oh, I can ride a horse when I thought I couldn’t” then maybe you might just apply for that job that seems out of your reach. 
  5. Document. Take photos so you can reflect back and say, “I freaking did that. I am awesome and I can do lots of things I didn’t think I can.” Great for those moments in life when your are timid or unsure of your path. 

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When was the last time you had an “E”-Factor moment in your life? It is time to schedule one isn’t it? Maybe it is as simple as a hike to a breathtaking vista or maybe it is bigger. Do you need to jump out of a plane? Go for it!

 

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