The start of 2015 would mark over ten years, in which I hadn't traveled out of the country; the last time was when I was around 14 visiting family in the West Indies. I've had some travel opportunities come up but felt complacent in staying domestic, travel soon became a fear. I spent much of my younger years building my inner world (mentally), able to keep myself entertained and I would eventually develop a very strong level of self-awareness, discipline/self-control, and independence through this inward focus. Another thing I've noticed that came from living in my head for many years was a strengthened level of intuition and ability to visualize complex and abstract concepts/system in my mind and think far out into the future. But enough of justifying my loner tendencies. As I got older I began to understand how important travel is for personal growth and understanding other people's culture and perspective. Something I've started to do to get me out of my comfort zone and expose me to more opportunities for personal growth has been employing the “barbell strategy”, which I was inspired by from reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book Antifragile.
Taleb describes the “barbell strategy” as “a dual attitude of playing it safe in some areas and taking a lot of small risks in others, hence achieving antifragility.” Playing it safe reduces the potential downside of volatility and taking small risks exposes you to the potentially massive gains from the same chaos.- The Art of Manliness
The way I've been applying the barbell strategy is mapping out things I do a lot or I'm comfortable with on the left side (safe) and finding opportunities for growth in my fear on the right side (risk), that I become aware of and work to overcome through a series of Fear Setting exercises. With the Barbell approach, you seek to move away from the center or average, and you manage your extremes through equilibrium, by spreading the weight at the opposite ends of each other. I have been applying this approach to my personality as a means of personal growth, getting out of my comfort zone by doing things I am not accustomed to doing as long as they are not harmful to me or someone else. Traveling was a fear and I needed to take action on and I began to fish for opportunities to test my ability to overcome this fear. One Friday night, I posted on Facebook that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and travel a bit more.[ During my time in Iceland, I would fulfill my promised to the client, working last night part-time, going on adventures with the group during the day. Over the course of the weeklong trip we would go and see some of Iceland's best landmarks:
A photo posted by Juvoni Beckford (@juvoni) on Apr 5, 2015 at 5:34am PDT
[A video posted by Juvoni Beckford (@juvoni) on Apr 5, 2015 at 5:19am PDT
A photo posted by Juvoni Beckford (@juvoni) on Apr 1, 2015 at 7:43pm PDT
#geysir #Iceland #waterexplosion A video posted by Juvoni Beckford (@juvoni) on Apr 5, 2015 at 9:00am PDT
[A photo posted by Juvoni Beckford (@juvoni) on Apr 6, 2015 at 7:17am PDT
Our organizer, Michael, managed to bring together 16 amazing people, many of whom, I would go on to build very friendships with. These friendships would eventually lead to some personal changes for me that would help me become more open. My primary life's mission before this trip was to become the strongest version of myself in Mind, Body, and Spirit. After the trip, I've added a 4th area Tribe. The people you surround yourself with WILL have a profound change on your life and who you become as a person. It was some random events that enabled me to be a part of this trip, but I still had to get over a core fear that I had of going out into the unknown.[ collisions of awesomeness, we should aim to fill our life with more of these. Iceland was such a beautiful place and I'm glad I took a chance and went. It's possible to drive around the whole island. And the people are very friendly! I would love to write more about my experience, but some stories have intermissions. Until the next adventure! How could I not end the trip by sliding down an Ice Mountain.
Part 1: I don't always climb down a frozen mountain , but when I do, I slide down them epically.#Þingvellir, Northern #Iceland #epic #epicmusic #slidedownmountain #frozenslide #actionsport A video posted by Juvoni Beckford (@juvoni) on Apr 10, 2015 at 4:28pm PDT
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.