Stop Acting your Age and Embrace Your Inner Misfit
Photo Credit: Daniel Zedda via Compfight
“We don’t often allow ourselves to be surprised as adults. Our unwillingness or inability to be wowed is exactly the problem—we equate being surprised with being unprepared and naive” - Patti Digh
If it doesn’t light your eyes up then why the heck are you doing it? I know you can’t just quit your job tomorrow. But I think we all need something in our lives that lights our eyes up. We need that thing that allows us to be surprised, laugh with joy, or just quietly smile with amusement.
- It could be your kids. I have to admit watching other peoples kids get mischievous puts a smile on my face. I feel for the parents. But I also see signs of brilliance. There’s something magical about kids acting silly.
- For me it’s waves. To be honest, before surfing I can’t remember anything that lit my eyes up. If it did, it was certainly not natural.
Build something with your own two hands
It seems silly that we start out in kindergarten building things and making things. As we get older we become skilled at regurgitating things. Maybe we should reverse the curriculum. I’ve made less money in the last 3 years than I have in my whole life. I’ve also felt strangely more fulfilled because it’s money made as a byproduct of things I’ve created with my own two hands, my fingers tapping on the keyboard. The 99 cent book on Amazon with 45 5 star reviews…… yeah I made that. It’s the coolest thing in the world to to create something. What would happen if we returned to our kindergarten roots as seniors in high school?
Embrace Your Wanderlust
I’ve been traveling my entire life. It’s in my blood. When my parents get annoyed that I don’t seem to want to settle I jokingly say “you spent half my childhood dragging me around the world, so you only have yourselves to blame.” Go somewhere. You can even make an international adventure out of exploring your home town. Eat cuisines from around the world for a week.
Make a Mess or Break Something
I promise you it won’t be the end of the world if you make a mess in your kitchen. At worst you might have to do some cleaning. At best you might discover a new hobby. Just don’t cook in my mom’s kitchen and forget to clean up.
Breaking thing is underrated. When kids break toys it’s because they’re pushing limits. They want to see what’s actually possible. As adults we don’t do this nearly enough. We’re so afraid of everything that could go wrong that sometimes we don’t even use the shiny new stuff we buy. It’s a bit like buying a brand new surfboard and not wanting to use it because it might get wet.
Try Something that Might Not Work
When I asked Seth Godin how he approaches projects, he told me that something he often says to himself is “This might not work.” Everything that you’ve never done before might not work. But that’s exactly what makes it interesting. When I started this blog it was something that might not have worked. There are still people who hate my writing. However, it does works for some people.
You remember that old saying “start acting your age”? I’m going to give you the opposite advice. Stop acting your age, even if it’s just for a week.
- If you’re 60 go out clubbing one night. Trust me you’ll be the star of the night club.
- If you’re 20 go play bingo. If you’re young and female you’ll get it on by harmless old men. It might actually be fun.
- If you’re somewhere in between act like a teenager. Take a date to miniature golf or one of those ridiculous things that high school kids do in the movies.
One of my friends told me that I dress more like a teenager now than ever before. That happens to corporate misfits. Hoodies, boardshorts, backpacks and surfboards kind of rule my world. So embrace your inner misfit. I know you have one inside of you.
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