The Way of Adventure
An Unconventional Online Course for Young People


Let’s dwell for a moment on the idea of intention.

intention – noun
in·ten·tion \in-ˈten(t)-shən\
: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose

This definition doesn’t do the word justice. Why? Because you can have a plan, aim, or purpose — and it might really be someone else’s, not yours at all.

Our intentions are not always our own. Our thoughts and actions are shaped by the messages we receive from family, friends, and society at large (e.g. movies, TV, Internet).

Many of these messages are inescapable, because we are raised by parents, community, and culture that we do not choose. The messages are baked into us.

But as soon as gain the capacity to think for ourselves, to question our ingrained beliefs, and to choose our friends and community—we gain the ability to have authentic intentions.

To lead a life of adventure — a life that you actually control — requires that you first examine your beliefs and motivations, determine where they came from, and choose which to keep and which to reject.

This is a huge topic. Luckily, many great minds have thought about it already.

The best short book on the subject is Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation (Amazon / public library) by Edward Deci, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.

Watch this video summarizes the book’s major concepts (click here to open in a new window):

There’s a lot to digest here, and a lot of concepts to which we’ll return later. But for now, our big question remains:

How do you live a life of authentic intentions?

In this answer lies the key to adventure.