A question today:
What are you doing that’s exciting?
Or rewarding, satisfying, fulfilling, invigorating, or whatever you want out of life?
Is your life purely reactive, in that you only have time and resources to do what other people tell you to do, to pay rent, etc? If so, maybe you have no choice.
Or do you have time for other things? Do you watch TV, play games online, etc? If so, then you have time to do other things. Then you have a choice of what to do.
Do you choose exciting things to do? Or rewarding? Or anything like that? Nobody can stop you. Except yourself, I guess. But you can’t blame anyone else for you not choosing exciting, awesome, rewarding, satisfying, or whatever else you want out of life things to do. Well, I guess you can blame them—some people you can’t stop from blaming or doing whatever they can from taking responsibility, but you probably aren’t one of them if you’re reading this blog—but not reasonably.
I wrote yesterday that most people I spend time with love what they do, but I see a lot of people, including among them, who don’t take the initiative to make their lives exciting, fulfilling, or whatever they want out of life. If you don’t make your life exciting, who will?
Some of my most exciting things are free, take no time, or cost less than nothing and give me time, like cooking from scratch or creating projects people pay me for. Burpees, frankly, are exciting. Cold showers are invigorating. They cost nothing and contribute to everything else I do. Training for the marathon cost me nothing. The marathon itself cost about $200 to register, which, spread over the months training took is very little, and I could have registered for one in another city to drop that cost if I wanted, or just run four laps of Central Park any time I wanted. Swimming across the Hudson cost nothing and only took a few hours.
If anyone else makes their life exciting, and it doesn’t take time, money, or other resources that you don’t have, why can’t you?
Sorry to talk about cost and time. The point of this post isn’t to talk about those things, only to suggest that for anyone reading this blog external constraints don’t explain why you aren’t doing exciting things. If you are doing exciting things, the point is to celebrate them. I’d love to hear what they are. My big things are working on the online course, writing the book, teaching my courses and seminars, and working on a big, high-level project at NYU, to name a few things. For me they are all change-the-world, help-people-improve-their-lives, implement-big-things-I-care-about activities. They all emerged out of projects I worked on, sometimes years ago, that took few resources but explored and developed things I liked.
Hmm… come to think of it, I’ve meant to write about how to get a job without trying that describes how to create exciting projects that get you out of bed in the morning enthusiastically. I’ll try to get to it sooner. If that post sounds interesting to you, let me know. I’ve held back writing it because I know it will take me a while to write, but it’s a good post. I’ve put it into practice with a few clients and students and they love it.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees