What You Should NOT Do With Your Life
I have a very simple process for finding work that I love.
1. Do a bunch of different jobs.
2. Quit the jobs that are boring and suck life from my bones.
3. Keep doing the work that is left over.
Notice that this method of “finding your calling” is all about elimination. You do a bunch of different things, and you just STOP doing things that you don’t like. What is left over? Things that you DO like. A basic mathematical equation of this phenomenon looks something like this:
(All possible work) – (the work that is boring) = (Work that is NOT boring)
I am a great quitter. I am one of the best quitters in the entire world. If there is ever a Quitters Hall of Fame, I will be a first ballot candidate. I have 23,821 different projects that I have begun that I never intend to finish. You know why I quit doing these things? Because they sucked out life and failed to light me on fire. And being a quitter has made me very happy because I quit everything that is boring and that sucks life out of me, which means that everything that is left over is something that lights me with a roaring blaze of intensity. When is the last time you have done work that makes your fingers tingle? For me, it was approximately 0.13 seconds ago, when I wrote that last sentence.
I remember when I was in college, I spent so much time trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. Well, that was a complete waste of time. It is much easier to figure out what you should NOT be doing in life.
All things that result in an energy-sucking, life-draining emptiness at the bottom of your stomach are things you shouldn’t be doing. Even worse than this emptiness, however, is the plain, dreary shallowness of quiet desperation. Both of these experiences are absolutely dreadful and should be avoided at all costs.
Then, once you have eliminated those things that are either empty or (even worse) shallow, all that remains is wild adventure and life-choices that will fill you with joy. If you are like me, there will be multiple options to choose from, and then the fun really begins. Instead of sitting around wondering what to do with your life, you will be overwhelmed at how many amazing things there are to do and you will want to spend your entire day working because your “work” is actually like playing.
Everyday is about elimination. I continue to eliminate the things that are boring, and I continue to do the things that get me excited. Of course, I constantly have to try new things, learning new trades and dropping others. I add new tasks and new experiences, evaluating their potency and seeing how they make my fingers tingle. I stop doing the things that make my fingers go limp with boredom, and I keep doing the things that make them pop with sparks.
The map of my life is covered with red marks that say “DO NOT RETURN!” However, there are countless other roads that are filled with markers that read “AMAZING EXPERIENCE” to which I can return at any moment.