I might want the challenge to climb Kilimanjaro. I get really excited about going, and start my programme for all the necessary preparation, but halfway up, I might begin to scream 'why the hell did I think this was a good idea?'! Perhaps I was naive, thinking I was aiming for a thrilling experience. In fact, halfway up, I'm facing more than just a physical challenge, I'm facing emotional and psychological difficulties. When I'm stuck in the middle of a mountain, there is no easy exit from my situation. Continuing up or going down, both present its challenges. Either way, I am in the middle of 'my stuff', and I'm going to have to deal with myself.
Whatever your crazy project, it might require all the apparent planning and preparation, but nothing can prepare you for the unexpected and perhaps that is what you are genuinely daring for yourself – taking yourself to the unknown. The best you can prepare for that is to know that at least!
Whether it's a mountain to climb or running a marathon for the first time ever, crazy projects like this can sometimes be triggered by an emotional event in life, like an illness or death in the family, or stage of life and wanting something to be radically different. But whatever the apparent reason is, it's worth considering the more profound implications of the process as a form of preparation. If I am drawn to the idea of climbing a mountain, it may be a new ambition, one full of trepidation too, but it wouldn't help me if I panicked halfway up and wished I hadn't started this.
Often, we set these kinds of challenges so that it does take us to those emotional places that otherwise we can't access in our everyday living or in our family and work relationships. Learning to negotiate a relationship with the mountain requires a dedicated concentration and serious respect for understanding its medium. Learning to run requires a dedication to staying tuned to your body and mind to overcome the mental and physical obstacles.
Another important consideration to factor in your plans is evaluation and reflection once the crazy project is over. Once on the other side of the experience, it is crucial to give time to make sense of your experience. Questions like, 'what was that all about, why did I want to do that, am I glad that I did, what regrets, if any, do I have, can I embrace being proud of myself, or am I being critical, would I do it again, if so, why; if not, why’?
Any crazy project is a challenge for personal and emotional growth and a desire for change. Consider that it's more than just an idea for a thrilling experience or maybe a move away from boredom. Because once you take steps to prepare for your plan, it will affect the people around you. Friends and family will see less of you, not only in time, but your emotional free attention is likely to be eaten up too. Consider these implications and have these discussions with those closest to you, as they also need to be in agreement with your goals too as they may need to re-evaluate their own life and routine to support you, the family and themselves.