You thought I was crazy
Admit it, you thought I was crazy, didn't you?
I heard what you said about
me when I quit my six-figure job to pursue my passions.
You thought I was crazy when I said I was
going to be a full-time fiction writer.
He'll never make it, and He'll
be back in a few months, and God he
is stupid! That's what you said,
You thought I was crazy when I got rid of all
my junk and became a minimalist.
What the hell is a minimalist? Why would anyone want to get rid of all
that stuff? Who the hell doesn't own a TV? And I think he's going through some
sort of quarter-life crisis.
You thought I was crazy when
I started a website with my best friend to help other people live a life of
freedom. You said, It sounds like a
gimmick, and they sure do look gay in
those pictures together, don't they?
You thought I was crazy when
I completely changed my diet and started exercising like it was a religion.
You even thought I was crazy
when I started donating a lot more of my time to charities like soup kitchens
and building homes for the poor. You couldn't understand why this would be
important to me.
But wait. What if there's something wrong with
Perhaps I am crazy
Fine, call me crazy. If
living a more meaningful life- one that is filled with happiness and passion
and freedom- is crazy, then I am utterly insane.
But let's be honest for a
moment- you wish you could do it too. You said so. Even if you didn't say it to
me directly, your body language said it for you. I can see it in you- in your
eyes and the expression on your face. Other people can see it in you too. They
can see through you.
You wish that you could quit
your soul crushing job. You wish that you could pursue your passions. You wish
that you could get rid of the stress in your life. You wish that you didn't
give so much meaning to your possessions. You wish that you could reclaim your
time and live a life of conscious freedom.
The truth is that you could
do any of those things, and you know that you could, but you won't. At least
not until you, as Julien Smith likes to say, stop acting like a fucking
You want it to be one way,
but it's the other way
I remember watching this great
acclaimed HBO TV series The Wire. The character, Marlo Stanfield, is
a drug dealer, and a disgusting, reprehensible human being. But he has one incredibly powerful virtue: he knows
exactly what he wants in life, and he is willing to walk the walk to get it.
In the scene, a rent-a-cop
confronts Marlo outside the store, and after a moment of tension, Marlo calmly
reminds him that 'you want it to be one way, but it's the other way.'
You want to be the one with the power. But you're
You want it to be one way-
you want to be happy, free, and have the right to pursue your passions and live
a more meaningful life- but it's the other way. You choose to live the life
that you're living, and don't change even though you think you want to.
So you hate what you do- you
hate your job or your physical health or your debt or your depression or your
life in general- and I'm crazy?
You can't be serious.
I'm living a more meaningful
life now. I'm pursuing my passions (writing both fiction and non-fiction). I'm
in the best shape of my life. I'm more free than you. I'm more passionate than
you. I'm growing as an individual. And I'm contributing to other people in a
more meaningful way.
And you're doing what? You're
just talking. Make change a must
It's not too late to stop
talking and get up off your ass. Do something.
Take action. Turn off the
Shutdown your computer. Get
out there and act.
Or you could just sit back
and do nothing. You can just keep being you, content in the vast pool of
And you can continue down
your current path if you'd like, and if you work really, really hard you can
end up there-six figure job, all the stuff you can imagine-which on the surface
didn't look too bad. Hell, I looked really successful too.
But displaying status
symbols is simple. They're trophies-but I wasn't actually successful at all. I
had luxury cars and a house with more bedrooms than inhabitants, a bunch of
gadgets I hardly used, clothes I didn't wear, and all the trappings that our
heavily-mediated culture tells us that we should have (and a nice size debt to
accompany those 'accomplishments'). But I wasn't happy at all, which is perhaps
the true measure of success.
The people who envied my
life didn't see the other side, they didn't see the life behind the curtain. I
did a good job of masking my fear, my debt, my anxiety, my stress, my
loneliness, my guilt, my depression. I displayed a impressive facade, revealing
only what I thought the world wanted me to reveal.
Worst of all, my life was
void of any real meaning, and it felt as if I was flying in ever-diminishing
Not too long ago, I was you.
I was that guy: Joshua Fields Millburn, the unhappy young executive. But then I
did three things to change my life:
the decision to change my life.
that change a must instead of a should.
I'm not saying that it's
easy, and sometimes you'll be terrified by the changes you're making, but it's
so much better than the alternative. It's so much better than walking with the
It's not too late for you.
Make the decision to change, make it a must, and take action. You deserve to be
happy. You deserve a better life.
But if you refuse to change, then perhaps you deserve the life that you already