How Tim Ferriss saved me from a dull life

As I said earlier in a french post, I felt numb. Not physically numb, rather my ability to dream was on hold, my mind was circling around and my passion had faded away. I had done it. I had finally reached what I had been fighting for during 17 years. What was there left for me to do? Live the dream until I died? That would be at least 50 years of the same routine. Dream life or not, I couldn’t bear that thought.

Imagine my surprise, to realise that although I had all I ever wanted I was bored. If I combined my work time, that made for 7 days/month, about 60 hours. But I had to wait for other people to give me assignments. I never knew when I would have to work and because of that I forced myself to stay reachable at all times. I sat in front of my computer every single day, waiting for an email to drop in with my new work. What’s the use of freedom if you make nothing of it? When the email finally reached me I would work a few hours and send my work, then wait for the next step. Once, the wait lasted 1 month, 1 month during which I mainly just sat at my desk, waiting. Ok, I drafted a few personal projects but my mind wasn’t focused. I was always ready to shift my attention to the I’m-sure-it’ll-come-soon assignment. Not very efficient, is it?

Before, when I was feeling uncomfortable with my life I always told myself things would be much much better once I’d be a pro writer. That’s the only thing I wanted and that’s what I was fighting for every single day. But now that I was there I didn’t know what to do, what to turn to. Everything seemed unreachable and unintersting. If become a writer didn’t solve the boredom issue, how could anything else? Was I a spoiled child who’d never be satisfied with anything or was it the human condition to experience boredom throughout one’s life? Whatever the answer I couldn’t live with it.

Here I was, contemplating my fate of numbness, reading books I didn’t care for, surfing sites I held no interest for and listening to music that couldn’t get my mind out of that state. I needed something else. I wondered if maybe moving away, beginning a new life in some other place of the world… that could be a solution. I wouldn’t be bored if I had to learn a new language, build a new network and a new work experience. Would that be an acceptable alternative? Being a noob my whole life? I assumed it would take me 2 years to make my way in a new culture. Let’s say I could feel the novelty of the experience another year? Would that mean moving again to some other place every 3 years? Even with 5 years spans it all just appeared to me as the perspective of yet another routine. Which was exactly what I was searching for a way out of.

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How to change your life paradigm

 

The situation looked irremediable. I was doomed to a routiny life. That’s when I found out about Tim Ferriss’s The Four hour workweek. I don’t remember how, I just remember that I read a few reviews on various blogs, mostly about economics. Most of these blogs displayed large extracts of the book and that’s what convinced me to buy it. I read it in one big gulp and immediately was convinced that what it offered was not at all a way to make easy money but a whole new paradigm, something I was myself trying to define and adopt in my life. Tim is 5 years older than me and he was 5 years ahead of me in his life design. What a chance for me: a shortcut was offered. Some other guy had tried stuff, he had gone through the suffering and the astonishment, the fear of emptiness and he had emerged even more alive on the other side. Just what I needed.

I immediately decided to listen to myself and to him at the same time. I didn’t want routine and I didn’t want boredom? Then why would I want to force myself into categories I didn’t care about? Why stay a screenwriter? Why did I only project myself in other cities doing the same job? Truth is I was afraid. My big motto in life is never to let fear stop me from doing things and I failed at applying it. I was afraid to lose what I had fought for, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get my comfort back, I was afraid of lots of stupid things. I was getting old. Not age-old but mind-old. That’s the worse.

It was time I kicked myself in the butt and forced myself into new experiences. It’s been years since I want to build a company, I have no skills in economics, I suck at budgetting and when I play boardgames I never know how to manage my resources. I can learn. I can even hire people who are comfortable with it and can teach me while doing the job for me. That’s new experiences, new learnings, a new art de vivre. Now I know how to fill the 3 weeks I have left every month. I don’t need to waste this time, I can use it to grow.