For the first 3.5 years after college, while working as a desk jockey, I was that person that just settled. My job was "good enough". It was fulfilling "enough". I relied on other parts of my life for enjoyment and generally had a "good life". What was slowly turning me into a boring, lifeless white-collar worker wasn't that I getting sick of the recurring tasks at my job, it was that I was afraid to do anything different. I was afraid to try anything else that disrupted the pattern and stability of my life.
When we settle in life, we die just a little bit everyday. This is the worst way to live.
"Most who avoid quitting their jobs entertain the thought that their course will improve with time or increases in income. This seems valid and is a tempting hallucination when a job is boring or uninspiring instead of pure hell. Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization." - Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Workweek
Let's say you got laid off. (You never know, sh** happens.) You might be scared to death that you can't provide for yourself or your family. Fear is what will motivate you to get off your butt and make your life better.
When you have a comfortable job though, there is no paralyzing uncertainty about when your next paycheck will come. It is easy to just accept being mediocre and live a life that is boring. How do you make your more exciting? Read on and I'll tell you.
5 Steps to Say Goodbye to a Boring Life
1. Imagine the worst-case scenario
Really think about what the worst thing that could possibly happen is. Would you have to move back home with your parents or live in a van down by the river? Would you have to find a dead-end job doing something that you think is "below you"? (If that is a yes, you need to lose your sense of entitlement.)
Once you have that scenario in mind, realize that there is only a slim chance that it will every happen, but that it can also go in the opposite, more positive direction.
2. If you lost your job today, what would you do to make a living?
So many people don't have a back-up plan. Don't let that be you.
Make a list of everything you are even slightly interested in doing for a living. Then, take that list and start learning the basic skills involved with each of them. By doing this you will see whether or not they are actually for you or not.
3. Do more of what you love and less of what you hate
This may sound simple, but really take a look at your life and all of the things you do. Do you tell yourself that you don't have enough time to do the things that really make you feel alive? Do you have activities that you are involved in that you do just because you are "supposed to" (job included)?
The equation is: want to do's + have to do's = your day. Start making more time for the want to do's and you will be happier.
4. Start making money doing something on the side
Take something that you are already good at and find someone to teach. You'd be surprised what people will pay people to teach them to do when they could just as easily teach themselves. The accountability of having someone to teach them is what people are usually paying for, not the skills of the teacher.
After you have your first client, find another. Then start charging for your services. Create a self-guided product that people can use themselves to learn.
5. Pick a date to make a huge change in your life
Without picking a certain day on the calendar to make a major shift in your life it is simple to easily fall back into what you were doing before. When I left my day job two weeks ago I purposely timed moving from Seattle and embarking on our three month road trip to shock my life into change.
If my wife and I stayed in Seattle we would have easily kept pushing off the escape from my cubicle every month. By setting a date that we were leaving, with both my work and our apartment complex, we held ourselves accountable to the change.
Living in fear is the worst way to live. By creating a mindset that embraces the fear of the unknown and harnesses the fear to put you into action, there is nothing that can stop you.
What are you afraid of? What are your fears keeping you from doing?
(If you know someone that is settling in life, you can call them out on it. Be the friend that challenges others to be the best they can be. Share this article with them and change their lives for the better.)
image via Flickr