Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Life: A Most Interesting Adventure

People tell me I have a most interesting life or that I am a most interesting person.

My friends, you are so hard on yourselves...perhaps you have an interesting life and you just don't know it. Step back and appreciate what you have.

From the mouth of Socrates,"The unexamined life is not worth living."

What constitutes an interesting life? Do we care if OTHER people think it’s interesting? Do we care if WE think it’s interesting? Does it just have to be different?

For me, it boils down to having a life that is exciting to live. Spontaneity is what excites me (among other things that are less than appropriate for blogging).

Every day when I wake up I’m excited about my new day. I know, from experience, that I can’t possibly predict what will happen that day. By the end of the day, I may be in another city, I may have met a new best friend, I may have found a new hobby, or I may have completely altered the course of my life.

This course of uncertainty obviously isn’t the definition of an interesting life, but it’s a sure way to have an interesting life. Interesting things happen to me with enough frequently that I am not in the least bit surprised when one comes around. Spontaneity is interesting to're way of making your life interesting will almost definately be different.

Another reason my life seems interesting is because most people DON’T have interesting lives. It’s the contrast of the average. We are conditioned from BIRTH to be boring. Parents have one mission: to ensure the survival of their children. Not to ensure the outlandish success and happiness of their children, but their mere survival.

I had a near perfect childhood. My parents were married, loving, supportive, had enough money to put nutritious food on the table, had reasonable but strict rules, and made their children their top priority. By any metric, I had a fantastic childhood.

However, if I had followed all of my parents’ advice, I would lead a boring life. Interesting doesn’t ensure survival; caution does. Unfortunately, caution also prevents an interesting life from unfolding.

Most people reading this don’t follow their parents’ advice anymore. I mean most of are over 12 yrs old; you probably don’t get much advice anymore. However, your parents have drilled into your subconscious that you need to be cautious and careful.

You don’t. I repeat, YOU DON'T!

There are three main kinds of risks I feel necessary to take in order to keep my life interesting to me. Here they are, in order of importance:

1. Social risks. Social risks have ZERO cost to them. Go talk to someone new. Say what’s on your mind. The only risk you make is the risk of being insanely popular and making new friends. Pretty frightening!

2.Financial risks. It’s pretty well established that the only way to make money is to risk your own money. Getting a job doesn’t count - it’s not real money. If you’re a smart person (and if you read my blog, you probably are), you will NEVER be broke for a long period of time. I haven't met any incredibely smart homeless people. Put your money where your mouth is. If you have a great idea, DO IT. You may lose money once or twice, but eventually, your risk should pay off. If you lose money, remember money isnt everything and interestingly enough, the most boring people I know have lots of cash.

3. The last type of risk you should take are physical risks. Those who know me well, know that I have risked my physical health more than a few times. I would like to remind you all, that I have survived all of those experiences. Thanks to our parents, we GREATLY overestimate our chances of getting hurt. Occasional pain is worth having an interesting life.

So, let's all try to have an interesting life.... If all else fails, think : “What Would Brooke Do?” That sounds so DANGEROUS!

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