Two weeks ago I finally graduated from college. I'd been waiting for that moment for months, if not years. In fact, I used to do a countdown of how many days I still had until graduation.
And boy, it sure felt good when I was done. I still remember the joy that I had as I was proofreading my bachelor thesis for the very last time.
In this state of a mind-numbing euphoria I came up with what I thought was a great title for my work: "Why Nothing Matters As Much As You Think It Does." Of course, the grader of my thesis didn't like it too much. After all, my thesis was in Economics.
OK, I'm getting side-tracked now...
But I think you get the point. I was as happy as I could be when I was finally done with studying. I never liked doing pointless work that took up a significant portion of my time just to meet some arbitrary graduation requirements.
And now I was done with it forever.
The thing I didn't expect was that removing a large chunk of pointless, annoying work from my life wouldn't automatically make me a happier or more fulfilled.
Sure, the studying was gone, and that was awesome. But what the hell was I supposed to do with that free time and energy that I now had?
Tim Ferris was right. Eliminating negative or pointless tasks from one's life doesn't automatically lead to more meaningful activities. Instead it leaves a void in your life. One that won't get filled unless you consciously choose to do so.
After graduating I was still getting some work done while also having some fun. My iPhoneography blog has been doing well, and I spent time working out, going to the beach, reading, meeting up with friends and doing other worthwhile activities.
For the last two weeks I was doing just fine if compared to how I used to spend my time in college. But it was a total disaster in comparison to what I could have done with all the extra time that I now have on my hands.
Something has to change. And today is the best day to make those changes happen. I hope the fact that I'm updating this blog for the first time in almost a month will convince you (and me) that this time I'm serious.
Now, this doesn't mean that I'll be working 24/7. I'm far too lazy for that. And besides, why would I want to spend the rest of my life working? There are so many better things to do with our limited time in this world than just working.
What I do mean, however, is that none of my time should ever be wasted. All of it should be spent on one of the following three categories: productive high-impact work, learning and improving myself, and having the time of my life.
No more busywork. No more pointless tweaking of blog that nobody but me will notice. No more lying on the couch out of boredom or exhaustion. No more surfing the web 'cause there's nothing else to do. There's always something better to do.
Now, will I actually be perfect at any of this?
Of course not.
I have a long history of writing posts like this, and yet I've never been perfect at following my own advice. In fact, there's no way anyone could spend his waking hours without wasting some time, and I know I won't be an exception.
However, that won't stop my from trying. At the end of the day, it's the strength of our resolve that determines to what extent we'll succeed at anything, and this time I'm dead serious.
I sometimes think of my life as a runaway truck going downhill faster and faster, with nobody there to control it. Of course, there's no way I can stop the truck, and I already know what's going to happen in the end. It's the destiny we all share.
But if I'm brave enough, I can step in and take control of the truck. I know I'm going to fatally crash in the end, but I can at least make sure I get the most out of this crazy ride.
And you could do the same.
I just wanted to stop by and acknowledge that I read this post man. And I give you kudos for graduating. Something I've never done. I really love how you ended this. It spoke volumes about life as a whole.
"I sometimes think of my life as a runaway truck going downhill faster and faster, with nobody there to control it. Of course, there's no way I can stop the truck, and I already know what's going to happen in the end. It's the destiny we all share.
But if I'm brave enough, I can step in and take control of the truck. I know I'm going to fatally crash in the end, but I can at least make sure I get the most out of this crazy ride."
Often times I think life seems out of control and always going faster and faster by the minute. In the end you have to grab ahold and decide which way that truck is going to go even if it costs a great deal of what other people think it is important.
Thanks for Sharing you college experience, i can share it at Tisdale University for students because it will be good to share other's experience with them.
Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog! As this is one of my first posts here I'd like to introduce myself and explain why I've called this blog No Status Quo.
My name is Emil and I'm a 21-year old student from Latvia. I've spent the last three years of my life studying in the United States and the Netherlands. I'm studying economics, psychology and mathematics. A strange combination, I know. I'm currently in my last semester, and I'm really looking forward to graduation.
Why? Well, I have some great plans after finishing college. But first let me start by explaining what I don't want to be doing after I graduate.
I no longer want to study at a university because all the world's knowledge is freely available on the Internet. If the world's greatest universities offer their lectures for free, why would I waste my time and money studying at an average institution? Sure, I might not get any credentials for what I learn online, but I want to live a life in which I'm rewarded for knowledge and hard work, not formal credentials.
Question from a reader -
One thing that I'm wondering, and figured that I should send before I go to sleep and forget it... For certain kinds of tasks (having discussions about more abstract goal things, writing emails to friends, commenting on LW, etc.) I'm really motivated, and need to be restrained from doing them.
With other tasks, I'm nowhere near as motivated, and have trouble starting them. Since I'm still a student, not doing this kind of work just isn't an option.
In the long term, I'm hoping to just do more of the things I'm motivated for, and fewer of the ones I'm not. I'm willing to buckle down and do work in subjects that I'm less motivated for if I see how it clearly relates to my goals (last year I spent a few hours trying to work out the geometry kinks for a robot part -- it was a mess).
Right now, I'm just reminding myself that its really not hard once I start it, and that it goes quickly if I just do it.