Do you ever feel like life is just….boring?
I feel like that all the time. Some days I just wake up, and I don’t feel like doing anything. Everything I’ve got planned for the day just makes me go…bleh.
Isn’t that crazy?
The world is so exciting and vibrant, with so much to do that even ten lifetimes wouldn’t even be enough to do everything we want. But we’re bored.
How are we bored? Why are we bored?
It’s madness, but we are.
And I think maybe, this might be the reason:
We’re bored because…we’re living boring lives.
But it’s the truth.
Think about it. Most of us spend every day just drudging through a daily routine, and if you don’t make an effort to plan or pursue anything interesting, well, then of course your life is going to boring.
I remember back when I used to work as an accountant, I was bored every single day. Why? Because I was doing the same thing every single day. Sure, one day my client was a dentist, and the next day my client was a plumber, but it was all the same. We talked about their business, and then I punched numbers into the computer, and then out of the printer came this little booklet that the client would pay $10,000 for. Did that make me feel good? No. It didn’t. My boss was happy, for sure, but not me.
Because I wasn’t learning anything new. I wasn’t growing. Every time I talked to my boss, she would never ask, “Brendan, are you learning anything new today? Brendan, have you developed any new skills today?”
She would ask things like “Brendan, how many jobs have you finished today? Brendan, how many fees have you brought in today? Brendan, how much money have you made for me today?”
And needless to say, those were things I didn’t care about. But I was used to that, because all throughout my life, ever since I was a little kid, I’d been almost exclusively learning stuff I didn’t care about.
Long division? Covalent bonds? Trigonometry?
For the first 25 years of my life, I spent my days learning these things. I used to study them for hours, write notes on them, write reports about them, prepare speeches about them, stress about them before exams, and guess what?
I don’t care about any of them.
I’ve spent 90% of my life learning about things I couldn’t give two shits about. No wonder my life was boring.
It was only a few years ago when I decided that learning was actually fun. There is so much to know in the world, so much knowledge, yet almost all of us concentrate on the most boring things possible. But I’ve learned the world becomes a different place when you start soaking up knowledge that actually excites you.
When I started studying Spanish for the first time, I was electrified. It was so fascinating to me. For five weeks, I had class every day for four hours starting at 8am, and I never missed a single one. Not one.
Do you know how many classes I missed in university? Almost all of them. If my grades had been based on attendance, I would’ve failed every single paper.
Do you know how often I was late for work? Every day. Because I didn’t want to be there.
Do you know how many days I would’ve gone to maths class if I actually had a choice? Zero. Because maths is dumb.
Why do you think we need to have rules and laws and exams in place to force us to learn this stuff?
Because no one cares about them. And to get someone to learn something they don’t care about, you need to hold a gun to their head.
Do you think anyone forced Jimi Hendrix to learn the guitar?
Do you think anybody forced Michael Jordan to learn how to shoot a fadeaway?
No. Because they loved what they were learning.
That’s the difference.
I loved learning Spanish. Life was so interesting again. I realised that suddenly, there were now 1 billion more people in the world I could talk to. How many stories could we share? How many new friendships could be made? It blew my mind.
From then on, I developed an undying love for language. If I had the lifetimes, I would learn every language in the world.
Then, I studied Chinese for a year. By the end of it, I had another billion new people to talk to. I couldn’t get enough.
After that, I went to learn to fight in the Philippines. I’ve never been in a fight in my life, but for some reason, I felt this desire to learn how to break stuff. It was one of the best months of my life. I got hit in the face. I injured every part of my body. I got to stand in front of a bag and get as violent as I wanted. I spent my days with guys who beat people up for a living, and ironically, they were some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. I learned so much from that group of fighters, and felt like a completely different person afterwards.
I kept learning. I learned how to cook, how to make a website, how to ride a motorbike, how to make pizza.
And now, for the last three weeks or so, I’ve been learning to dance. Every day I head to the studio, and I learn how to connect my body with music. I’ve never learned a dance step in my life, but again, it’s breathed new life into me and given me eyes into a whole new world. Here in Ecuador, I wake up late, sit around and write, sometimes work out, sometimes cook, sometimes go sightseeing, but I never, ever miss dance class. I can’t wait to see what I’ll get taught in class that day.
Learning doesn’t stop when you finish school. In fact, I believe that’s exactly when it starts. You’re done with the bullshit then. No more exams, and lectures, and “required papers”. You can finally start learning whatever you want. And you must keep learning, because if you don’t, if you don’t keep acquiring new knowledge, what are you doing? If you’re not getting better every day, if you’re not expanding your experiences, why are you even still alive?
Let me ask you, when’s the last time you actually learned something you wanted to learn? Maybe you want to learn to sing? Or learn to tango? Or learn yoga, or French, or cooking, or painting? Maybe you wanted to learn to bake a chocolate tart? Or play the violin?
So why haven’t you started yet?
Isn’t it funny how we put off all the things we actually want to learn in life, but for some reason we have the time to go to work every day and learn how to write a fucking SUM IF statement on Excel.
So that’s my message for all of you today. Start learning something you’ve always wanted to learn. Excite your mind again. Feel that sparkle inside yourself when you learn something new and realise you’re a little bit closer to the person you want to be. Do it now. Buy the course or sign up for the class. You might find it’s exactly what your life has been missing.
P.S. Don’t forget to come back and tell me all about it!