Summer is the season when people leave gainful employment and stuffy classrooms to embark on adventures they have been dreaming of for months, maybe even years. For some it’s set, a week at the lake, cottage or camp, filled with experiences and images that will be shared again and again for generations. For others it’s more open-ended, they are starting a new chapter in their lives and don’t even know how the first sentence will end.
Thinking about both of those scenarios makes me smile. In the first one I envision a young family playing in a mountain lake. It’s a summer filled with firsts for their young child, the first time to make S’mores, ride in a sailboat and to swim without water wings. In the second scenario I envision the same little person years later. She swam competitively in school, can manage the sailboat by herself and is longing for a new adventure far beyond the mountain lake. She’s a little scared but nonetheless committed. From her studies she knows a bit of the language and history of the place she’s bound for and thanks to the net she’s found a few cheap sleeps and interesting things to do and see. But what allows her to go beyond her comfort zone and step into the void cannot be found in books, it’s found within her and has been growing there for years – it’s self-confidence. Self-confidence is that invisible force that allows a person to go beyond fear, doubt and logic to transform a dream into a work.
Self-confidence is one of the most important traits a person can have and should not be confused with conceit, arrogance or egotism, characteristics seen in many people to compensate for their lack of self-confidence. Self-confidence is the inner strength that allows us to do things that are naturally difficult for us. It empowers us to push through those walls of discomfort to reach the goals and standards we’ve set for ourselves.
The history of the American West is filled with stories of pioneers, Native Americans and explorers that demonstrated unimaginable self-confidence and courage. Their motivations may not have always been pure but their deeds and the country they discovered is amazing. If you feel a little overwhelmed by the challenge of starting a new chapter in your life put yourself in the boots of Lewis and Clark where if things went as planned you would be uncomfortable and if they didn’t you would never return. The truth is most of us are capable of doing a lot more than we think. Sadly I don’t have the secret on how to raise a self-confident child but the good news is self-confidence can continue to grow throughout ones life. That means this summer could be a critical time in your growth and development no matter what your age. Maybe you should start planning your summer vacation today and if you haven’t explored the America West give it some consideration. Happy travels!
Here is a short video of a bicycle ride Sue and I did from Portland Oregon to Flagstaff Arizona in 2012. The states pictured are Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. Much of what you will see was part of the Oregon, Lewis and Clark and the Mormon Trails. I hope you enjoy our photos and John Denver’s music.
Hi Tom and Sue,
I really enjoyed the video of your bike trip. That was a great John Denver songwhat was the title? Do you have more bicycle trips planned for this year? Hope all is well. Lisa
From: brickthomas’s Blog Reply-To: brickthomas’s Blog Date: Friday, April 18, 2014 2:26 PM To: Lisa Hann Subject: [New post] An Important Trait of Travelers and Explorers
WordPress.com brickthomas posted: ” Summer is the season when people leave gainful employment and stuffy classrooms to embark on adventures they have been dreaming of for months, maybe even years. For some it¹s set, a week at the lake, cottage or camp, filled with experiences and images”
Tom…..beautiful blog. Now with our twin grand babies on the way, it makes me think of how I can help them develop self confidence. It’s nice that you reminded people that it’s never too late to keep developing these good traits. Beautiful shots too! Buen Camimo! Val
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Thanks Val.Two grand babies! Your grand babies will be fine when it comes to self confidence. They’ll probably pop out with poles and hiking boots ready to explore the world. 🙂
Beautiful thoughts, so well put. Many thanks.
Thank you Annie.
Our hats are off to you two travelers. You have had so many wonderful adventures. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your travels. Art & Elizabeth
Thanks! I think we all need to live vicariously through other people. It gives us a different perspective. Matter of fact, who the heck is Brick Thomas anyway?
Great post Thomas!
Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Happy Easter.
Thank you for this great post, Brick. I especially enjoyed the happy and expansive video of your bike adventure.
My pleasure, Jet. Thanks for taking the time to check it out.
Tom, I like how you evoke the spirit of the West in relation to building self-confidence. It took a lot of character (and characters) to explore and reveal to the world one of the planet’s last frontiers. Talk about self-confidence! To this day the Old West represents much of what were the strongest, the best and the most adventuresome qualities of the American spirit. Your bicycle adventures are indicative of those qualities. Thanks for sharing the story and images. – Mike
Thanks Mike. It is an amazing placed with some amazing tales.