A few weeks ago, I woke up and realized something;
My life is fucking boring.
Now don’t get me wrong – I like my life. It’s a nice life. I’m healthy, I have a well-paying job that I enjoy, I have good friends, and a lovely girlfriend. I have everything I need, and most things I want. On paper, my life is pretty awesome.
But it’s also really, really ordinary.
I’m not creating great things. I don’t go on nearly as many adventures as I would like. I don’t passionately dedicate my time and energy to some awe-inspiring project that I believe in with all my heart. Hell, save for a short, 5-day trip to Britain, I haven’t even left the country in years.
That is certainly not what 18-year-old me would have called an exciting life. It’s a long way from the globetrotting, world-changing, startup-founding trailblazer I always imagined myself becoming.
So what the hell happened? How did I go from being an ambitious teenager who had travelled half the globe and dreamed of conquering the world, to a 23-year-old average Joe with a steady job and a collection of Ikea furniture?
Where did it all turn so boring?
This got me thinking. Obviously, no one ever chooses a boring life. We don’t grow up telling ourselves “one day, I’ll have a decent job that I tolerate enough to get me through the week so I can spend the weekend playing videogames in my mediocre apartment in a mediocre place I don’t much care for living in.”
We don’t wake up one day and actively make the decision to stop shooting for our dreams. It just kind of happens.
Well, after wrestling with this issue for about a month, I think I’ve found the answer to how boredom crawled into my life. And, more importantly, I think I’ve also found the answer to how I’m going to change shit up and turn this ordinary life around.
The Causes of Boredom
After a lot of thinking, I believe I’ve managed to identify the root of my problems; fear and reasonable choices.
See, we never actively make boring choices for the sake of being boring. But whenever we’re not actively steering our lives in a direction of our own choosing, we have a tendency to stick to safe, reasonable choices that reduce risk and increase security in our lives. That’s not entirely our fault, but it’s what we naturally seem to strive towards.
At least that’s what happened to me; I let autopilot take over, and it steered my life neatly into safe (and boring) territory.
It all began sometime after I returned to Sweden (my home country) after a prolonged backpacking trip shortly before my 20th birthday. As I got picked up at the airport, sitting in the back of my dad’s car, I remember wondering what my next great adventure would be. Would I keep on traveling, crossing Asia and South America off the list? Or maybe I would launch a brilliant new startup? Or why not start that awesome blog I’d always dreamed about?
No matter what it was, it was going to be epic. That much I knew.
And then… well, those things just kind of never happened. I moved back into my childhood room – temporarily of course, just until my next big adventure began – and when a friend offered to hook me up with an interview for a decent job, I figured it would be smart to replenish my traveling fund. Just while I figured things out, of course.
Then, I got a pay raise. I got good at the job, and made friends there. It got harder to leave. I got used to the comfortable life of having a steady, reliable routine. And every day that passed, those desires of traveling the world and starting a revolutionary business seemed more and more like naïve childhood dreams.
My priorities shifted. I started thinking like a reasonable adult. How I had to find a way of supporting myself for the rest of my life. How I should go to university and get a degree while I was still young. How it was time to start a career and “grow up” before it was too late.
So I stopped traveling. I studied at the university. I started working more. I put away more of my salary into savings. I made all the right, reasonable decisions.
And before I knew it, it was 2017 – and my life was everything I had dreaded as a teenager.
Looking back now, it’s easy to see why it all went the way it did. I was scared – scared that I wouldn’t be able to support myself in the future. Scared that I was lagging behind all my friends. Scared that if I didn’t get my shit together, I’d be a failure in the eyes of others. And so I kept on making the safe, reasonable choices everyone else were making – and that were guaranteed to give me the security I was so worried about.
Unfortunately, security and reasonable choices aren’t exactly ingredients in an exciting life.
Now don’t get me wrong here. All those reasonable choices paid off – at least according to conventional standards. I’ve got security. I’ve got a job. I’ve got money in the bank.
But while I do appreciate all of these things, they’ve not exactly what I wanted to get out of life. They’re the result of a million safe – but ultimately boring – choices. They’re the result of a life ruled by fear.
The result of a boring life.
Doing Something Great
And this is where we run into a problem.
See, what I’ve always wanted out of life is to look back at something great – something truly amazing – and be able to say with pride that I made that. And with the life I’m currently living, that is not very likely to happen.
So, it’s time for a change. It’s time to step away from the safe and reasonable choices I’ve been relying on for so long, and take some risks. And seeing how this is the perfect time in my life to fuck up, I should really get out there and test my wings. And probably fail. A lot.
After making this decision, I found myself left with two options; either I dust off the old backpack and go travelling again, or I start a business. Either one of these seemed like they would bring back the excitement that I felt was lacking from my life.
And after some deliberation, I decided to go with the second option; it’s time to start a business.
Which is why, for the last month or so, I’ve been hard at work putting together the foundation for my very first business venture. And honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited about something!
That said, as I’m writing this, the business is just about ready to be unveiled to the eyes of the world. So keep an eye out for the more or less subtle announcement post coming up on the blog in the next few days – it’s going to be an exciting one!
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