I am an impatient person. I want to continually grow and be successful in everything I do – and everything I do I want to love doing. But when I hit a wall, and I’m outside my comfort zone, I drag my feet, procrastinate, avoid, and practically run and hide. Not practically, I do. And I abandon the whole idea of ‘doing what I love,’ and instead continue doing ‘what I know.’
Here’s what I’ve abandoned:
- Converting an old, rusty van into a cozy, off-grid home (sunsets and unadulterated freedom, included)
- Joining the Peace Corps and saving the rain forest
- Experiencing a front-row view as a photojournalist of events that would unquestionably reinvent my character
- Making homemade soaps for my guests at my bed and breakfast
Here’s what I am doing:
- Lying on the floor
I ditched my bed six nights ago.
I’ve been sleeping on the floor instead of sleeping in my bed. The first night was an accident, so it was cold, hard, and uncomfortable. But I woke up feeling good. The second night was by design. I was better prepared: flowered quilt, pillow, and further away from the coffee table.
Huddle up with me for a minute: in a weird way, I think moving to the floor reconnected me with my younger self—the one who wandered the world, comfort be damned. The one that understood you had to risk it to get the biscuit. And maybe it took 30 years, but this revolutionary energy has me like “I’m ready!” … I’m ready to risk myself to succeed.
I’ve reached a tipping point where the pain of not doing what I love has become more significant than confronting my fears. So I’m working on changing my habits and shifting the trajectory of my life. I’ve laid out a roadmap that should take me from stuck-in-yesterday to unstuck-and-taking-action-today. But the roadmap calls for patience. It requires time-management, reflection, and new habits.
I’m going bat-crazy.
The more time I spend on this “road,” the more likely I’ll get mid-way and make a U-turn. I know myself too well. While hard work is hard (and I welcome hard work), ‘steady-creating-new-habits’ work sounds boring.
Now I know what you’re thinking: only boring people get bored. But that’s not true. Research shows that when we feel bored, it’s because we have an impulsive mindset and are continually looking for new experiences. The world isn’t enough of a roller coaster—it’s chronically under-stimulating, and we know we can give more.
Nietzsche referred to boredom as the “unpleasant calm that precedes creative acts.” It seems paradoxical, but it’s an interesting idea that feeling bored now will make me less bored in the future—that it’s just a pause to make magic happen. And if I buy into this, then boredom isn’t really about what I do but how I do it. The question is, will I do it before I turn the car around?