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Sometimes in life we get complacent. We lose our sense of adventure and wonder that as kids used to be exhilarating. Every day was a challenge in and of itself. As kids we didn’t use to lay in bed, contemplating getting up for the day before it was going to be yet another exhausting 8 hours at the office. While we might not have loved school, there was always an air of the unknown and excitement around each corner. What if a new student moved into town? What if we got to play chaos (a cooler version of dodgeball) during P.E class? The possibilities were only limited by our never-ending imagination.
But then we grew up. We let these two words dictate our freedom and zest towards life, “real world”. Those poisonous words have brainwashed an entire generation to believe that struggling through each and every day is somehow a rite of passage. “We’ve all been there, just wait it out 40 more years until retirement like we did.”
Screw that. The “real world” may not be a sugar-coated topping (thanks for that Morpheus), but it sure is hell doesn’t have to be boring, unfulfilling and mundane. Why should the heightened amount of adventure we experience have to be the new season of (insert name of show) being released on Netflix?
We all have to make a conscious choice in our lives, relationships, and work– do we choose the “real world” or do we create something better for ourselves. Do we take some kind of bold risks where our friends and family call us crazy? Or do we do what everyone else is doing and settle for the less than average job (after all, we should feel fortunate, right)?
For all those of you who answered that you want to be a can’t-hack-it pantywaist who wears their mama’s bra, raise your hand (I’m on fire this morning with 90’s references). For you my friend, I created a short guide to make sure you stick to your boring ways and never lose sight of all the little picture things that don’t really matter.
- Quit learning. Reading will expand your mind and challenge conventional thinking you were raised with. Do it at your own risk. Reading too many autobiographies of success stories might actually inspire you to get up and do something with your life– run away… run as fast as you can.
- Take yourself too seriously. Make sure you have the glossiest business card, most professional looking email signature, and you should DEFINITELY write your LinkedIn bio in 3rd person (this part is key).
- Forget to enjoy the process of working towards a goal. Nobody will ever take you seriously if you look like you’re enjoying your work. Best to keep the emotions buried beneath, way beneath. You can have fun in ten years, or maybe twenty- yes, twenty.
- Don’t allow yourself to make mistakes. As Barney would say on How I Met Your Mother, corporate America doesn’t want you to actually do anything. They just want you to make it look like you’re doing something. Actually doing something is what gets you fired. It’s best to not make this mistake, thanks for the wisdom Barney.
- Surround yourself with people who don’t challenge you. This strategy is best carried out by hanging out with friends you’ve had since high school who still go to the same parties and talk the same way. Make sure to not try to venture too far outside your safe friend group, people on the outside are heathens.
- Do things for the wrong reasons. Nobody will be your friend if you don’t make a lot of money and have a prestigious job. It’s best to make a lot of money while you’re young and forget about all of the “core values” you were raised with. Make money, then life will be better.
- Settle. This one is important. Make sure you don’t try to ruin a good thing. When life hands you apples, you don’t dare ask for applesauce. You eat the apples and be happy that life handed you anything at all, you ungrateful little…
- Make yourself so busy you don’t have time to think or relax. Whew, this one might sound exhausting but trust me it will be exhilarating. Plus, all of your friends will know how important you are when you never have time to hang out with them. Make sure that everyone knows how busy you are. When someone asks how you’ve been you should always answer the exact same, “Busy. I’ve been SO busy.” This will allow everyone to know just how important you are. Maybe even update your Facebook status a couple times a week to reflect your business (just so the point gets across).
- Never go on adventures. If anyone ever asks you to go do something you’ve never done before, don’t go. This is most likely a conspiracy plot or your friend has started doing drugs and wants to indoctrinate you into their cult. Never go on adventures. Don’t drink the red Kool-Aid. Just stay at home.
- See risk-taking as for only the brave. Risk-taking is only for people who have nothing to lose. It will only work out for the lucky few, so it’s best to not venture down this road at all.
- Only wait until “you are 100%” ready before doing something. Timing is everything. So don’t jump into big decisions like having kids, marriage, or quitting your job until you feel 100%, without a doubt ready for it. You will always feel certainty over these types of decisions. If you don’t feel the certainty, just stick with where you are.
Living a boring life is truly an art form. Surround yourself with like-minded people and they will never try to change you. People who galavant off and take risks, those are the ones whose friends try to change them. You don’t have to worry about a thing. It’s likely you’ll be safe and sound from people telling you that you’re doing it all wrong.
Keep it simple. Color between the lines and always remember this is “the real world” you chose to live in.
Fantastic. I really enjoyed this one Heath!
He is literally talking about me =))
[…] still hear my inner cynic snickering at such a new agey suggestion. I mean, who’s here to walk the road well traveled? I want to be that person. It’s all just a little too convenient, right? Sign up for the life […]
Hey, what a breath of fresh air! I left a teaching (kindergarten!) job of 31 years to run for state representative 4 years ago, and have been so thankful that I have had the adventure. I appreciate the perspective and irony in your writing. My wife and I bought a 5th wheel and truck a few months ago, and are looking forward to traveling starting next month, then for longer trips come summer. My wife teaches 2nd grade at a private school. We look forward to reading more of your stuff! Blessings, Bob
That’s awesome, Bob! See you on the road 🙂
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