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If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got

Rob, Senior Instructor at Aberdovey
If you do what you always do, you'll get what you've always got

Trying new things is the only way to discover our true capabilities. If we continue doing familiar, easy things, we can quickly expect to get bored, disheartened and stuck in a rut. Or, as I prefer, "If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got".

After seven years working in outdoor education, I've lost count of the amount of times I've shared this quote with groups of young people. Its short, its snappy, its versatile. And it entirely underpins the work that we do here.

It's both easy and tempting to take the same route to work every day. To meet up with the same friends every weekend, and hang out at the same familiar places. Because we know what to expect, how it will feel. It’s going to be okay. Not exciting, not memorable. Just okay.

But should we settle for that? Would it help us meet new people? Discover new places? Try new things? For that, we need to try something new. Drag ourselves out of our comfort zones, tear ourselves away from our phone screens, and get hands on with something we've never tried before. Okay, I agree, that could be kind of scary. It might feel a bit uncomfortable. What if we don't enjoy it?

But what if we do..?

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The Outward Bound Trust is basically a new experiences factory. I can't remember a course where someone hasn't tried at least one thing for the first time. Sometimes its summiting a mountain, abseiling down a rock face. Other times it's just making a bed. Honestly, it doesn't matter much. All of these things are met with a sense of accomplishment, a reaffirmation of their capabilities. And that's really powerful.

Because if you can climb that mountain, or kayak that river, what else might you be capable of? When you leave an Outward Bound® course and head home, you may never climb another mountain in your life. That’s fine. Because that experience won't ever go away. Sure, life will throw up other challenges. But you know how it feels to be challenged, you know what it takes to make it through a tough experience. You're stronger, more capable, more resilient. And that all starts simply by saying 'yes' to something new. Because if you do what you always did, you get what you always got.

Throughout each course we focus on taking participants 'out of the moment', and helping them reflect on what their new skills and experiences mean back at home and in school. Our participants will never get a GCSE in Jog and Dip, or a HND in abseiling. But that doesn’t mean that these experiences aren't equally as valuable. In fact, they are some of the most valuable things we can offer to young people. Genuine new experiences.

Further Reading

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Monday, 11th, February

No other European country tests young people at 16, so why do we?

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Friday, 08th, March

Outward Bound is definitely one of the most influential experiences I have had.

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7 Reasons not to go Outward Bound this s...

Wednesday, 25th, April

For those of you who aren't quite sure, umming and aahing...

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