I recently was interviewed by Tohami over at Transformational Motivation.
It’s only 16 minutes long, so it goes pretty quick if you get the time. However, I know It’s pretty hard for me to focus through some audio interviews, if thats also the case with you I’ve got a brief recap here of some of the important points:
What You’ll Learn:
- What Milk the Pigeon means and what it stands for
- Why I quit my job and moved to China
- Why I felt my life was meaningless, and what I did to change that
- Key traits of highly successful people, high achievers and quick learners
- Ways to kill a meaningless life
- How to kill the lost feeling
- Closing thoughts on living a successful, meaningful life
Some Important Parts of the Interview:
On Life Feeling Pointless
— People worldwide are experiencing a lack of purpose … we feel we’re stuck into one life phase or life path, trying to please your family, stuck into a corporate job you can’t escape from… Milk the Pigeon speaks to doing bigger things than you feel like you are right now”
— Basically my life felt pointless, that was the bottom line, and that is the bottom line with many people. We do jobs that are expected of us, but we don’t actually get any satisfaction out of them. I have my car, apartment, life, money,. but what do I do now? There is no enjoyment, nothing to strive for. And that feeling of life being pointless is what really got to me
— How I managed to find purpose in traveling: It wasn’t that I traveled that was important, it was just trying something new that got me on back on the path. Break the comfort zone and totally flip your world upside down. Just do something that terrifies you — something that has the potential for failure. And just do it – As scary as it is.
Traits of High Achievers and Fast Learners
— One of the key traits of high learners, high achievers and experts is that you always have to keep yourself in that state of uncertainty, keep yourself in the phase between where the task is too difficult or too easy and you’re a little stressed, where you keep improving. A lot of people once they get into that first job they lose the balance where they keep improving, and they lose the drive to learn more and develop. [Because of its importance in rapid learning] that’s the main reason why uncertainty should be your best friend.
On Ditching it All
— I thought going to China was going to instantly illuminate what I was supposed to do. But only slowly did the pieces fall together. Don’t think that dropping everything and going somewhere / anywhere will solve all your problems, and that’s a thing that a lot of youth can fall into because we don’t have many ties and can drop it all and go. Just be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re really going on an adventure and want to try something knew, or if you’re running from your problems.
— A lot of people have this idea of going out and trying to find our purpose. But most of the time we already know and don’t realize it. There are activities we get engrossed in and time flies by. One of my favorite authors – Dr. Csikszentmihalyi — has a book about people who enjoy jobs/lives that most people do not. And he talks about flow as being one of the most important parts of whether or not someone enjoys their life — things like constant challenge or absorption into the activity to the point where you forget about time — these are the key characteristics you want to look for when you want to figure out purpose-based activites. Find things (hobbies, work, people) that allow you to naturally enter Flow.
— I originally started writing about passion but I’m slowly realizing that it’s more about purpose – look for things that give life meaning to you.
Regarding the Lost Feeling
— The lost feeling is very closely tied with work for work’s sake — you’re working because you should be but it’s not really towards anything. It’s pointless. It’s just to pay your bills and exist. Basically the lost feeling comes from two things: from entering a new phase of life where you don’t know exactly what’s going on. In this case, the first time it happens is when college kids enter the real world. We get our jobs, our apartments, our cars, our …. stuff. And then we think “well, is that all there is?” And we’re disappointed because we don’t know what’s supposed to come next, it’s like we’ve been tricked out of life.
— There are two lost feelings: People who don’t know what they should do with their lives, and those who are already in a life where the basic needs are met but they aren’t feeling fulfilled. Both are ridiculously common in the modern world. Both are heavily tied to feelings of meaninglessness, like you’ve been tricked out of life.
— One of the most important things is know what you want from life — what will make me happy, what will define success, and then just go for it. Remember they go both ways: if you want a lot, you’re putting a high standard on your happiness. The same goes for your success.
Books/Ideas & Things We Talked About:
— Dr. Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow (in my opinion one of the most important books ever written)
— Some about my year and China and the dangers of dropping it all and going
— Why even if you’re basic needs are met you may not be happy (Work for Work’s sake, the Consume-Purchase Cycle)
— Two posts about flow: If Your Work Sucks, Learn About Flow
— My 3 part series on accelerated learning using the principles of Flow and Deliberate Practice: How to Learn Any Skill 2x as Fast in Half the Time
— Getting Un-Lost And Re-Writing History
— Notes on how to define your success and figure out what it means to you
Tohami’s site is awesome in general and addresses a lot of the big questions on Passion Vs. Paycheck.
Tohami’s site Transformational Motivation.
Again, you can check out the interview here. Some fun food for thought.
Image courtesy of Fanz