That’s what I think three or four times a month.
To be honest, the thought of quitting whatever I’m doing in my life has been on my mind as long as I remember. When I was in high school, I wanted to quit and just find a job. When I played basketball, I wanted to quit.
When I started a business, I wanted to quit and get a job. When I got a job, I wanted to quit and get back to my business.
I can go on and on until I reach the present. I know, it sounds like an existential crisis that people in the first world only have. But that’s not what’s going on.
You’ll never find me crying about stuff like missing out on parties, not being able to get my hands on a ‘one-of-a-kind’ t-shirt (you hype beasts out there), or a dead battery.
But no matter how much I love what I do, the thoughts of quitting and just walking away show up in my mind every time things get hard. And in the past, those thoughts cost me many nights of sleep.
Some say life is like chess, running a marathon, or playing a video game. I like those simplified looks on life because it’s already complicated enough.
But even though those ideas are fun, they don’t provide a practical strategy to base your life on. Sure, you must be smart, strategic, try to accelerate your learning, get results, and be consistent at the same time. We get it.
But what do you do when things don’t work out?
About three years ago, I wasn’t satisfied with my life and career. It’s difficult to explain why. To be honest, I didn’t understand why at the time. I just didn’t know what I was doing.
I just did what others expected me to do. Or, things that conventional wisdom tell you to do. I went to college, got two degrees, started a business, but I thought I also needed to work for a multinational firm, live in a big city, buy expensive stuff, and drive a cool car.
Socrates, considered as one of the founders of Western philosophy, was once named the wisest man on earth by the Oracle of Delphi. When Socrates heard that the oracle had made such a comment, he believed that the statement was wrong.
Socrates said: “ I know one thing: that I know nothing.”
You might be a wise person, but still, you know nothing. You can learn from everything and everyone. Over the years, I’ve been blessed to have great mentors, teachers, family, friends, that taught me about life.
We might learn things quickly, but we often forget things at the same rate — and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the things we’ve learned.
Here are 25 of those reminders that others taught me. Illustrated by Maren Katelaan.
Over the past three years, I’ve moved house close to a dozen times. Most people experience moving house as a stressful event. Initially, I was no different. But I’ve learned to love it for one reason: It forced me to think about my possessions.
Too much stuff makes moving and living complex. And I like the opposite.
When I moved to London from The Netherlands in 2014, it was the first time I took the time to get rid of almost everything I owned.
Life is complex. One day you’re happy, working on your daily tasks, and the next day you wake up, thinking: “What the fuck should I do with my life?”
Am I right? We’ve all been there. When one of my readers responded to an article last week, I asked her: “How’s it going?”
She said: “Am doing well. Been interesting times figuring out which direction to go to next in my life journey.”
Last week I talked to a friend who was in the same position. And everyone will face the same challenge one way or the other over the course of a long career.
I’ve been there many times as well. No one is immune to being confused. Let’s face it — there are literally a million things you can do with your life.
Today I received the 4765th email from a reader who said they are bored and stuck at work. And, almost all people I know, answer this when I ask how’s work? “Not bad.”
Not bad? You might as well say, “I’m bored. Stuck. And not challenged.”
In today’s economy, job burn-out is not the biggest problem. People are more likely to get bored instead of working so hard that they get a nervous breakdown.
People are also more likely to get an emotional crisis because they are bored out of their minds. Sounds familiar? If this is you, you must be careful if:
Last year I decided to make a list of the most important life lessons I had learned until then. I had no idea that two million people would read that article.
The article is a reader’s favorite. And I still get emails about the article almost every week. So I thought I’d create an audio version of it, narrated by me.
After the audio article, I talk about how and why I wrote the article. So if you’re interested in behind the scenes, stick around until after the audio article.
If you want to read along, you can find the post below the audio. Enjoy!
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