Liverpool Street Train Station on a Saturday morning at 5am is an interesting place.
There are people sleeping, commuting and stumbling home from the previous night in East London.
And then there was me, stood in skinny jeans with an undersized backpack, bursting with my worldly possessions.
I felt uncomfortable, sad, lonely, scared, like I had left something behind…
But I loved it because I was free.
This was the moment where the reality of what I had just done over that past 5 months became apparent:
- Left my high paying corporate consulting job
- Split up with my girlfriend
- Got rid of 90% of my personal possessions
- Booked a one way flight to Norway
In this blog post I will outline the 5 reasons why these were the best decisions I had ever made and why you should consider doing the same.
5 Reasons To Quit Your Boring Life
1. Jobs Are No Longer Secure
First there were hunter gathers, then the agricultural revolution introduced farming and then the industrial revolution introduced jobs. And it was both profitable and secure for “mom and pop” business owners to go and work in the factories.
Now we are entering into a new revolution, and whether you like to call it the Sharing or Collaboration or Knowledge Economy, I don’t really mind. However, what I do know is that with the introduction of the Internet, jobs are not necessarily as secure as they once were.
The power is being shifted from the corporations formed by the industrial revolution to the individual, the entrepreneur and in my opinion this should alter the skills and vocation you choose to invest in: being an employee, or being an entrepreneur.
2. Travel Is Good For You
If you ask any regular traveller what they think the benefits of travel are, you will be hard pressed to find a tangible answer…
Instead, we must let go of the “cause – effect” model and trust in ambiguity.
After 5 continents and 17% of the world (as Been tells me, sounds rubbish but I have done 54% of Europe ;)), I still cannot place my finger on the benefits of travel, but I know they exist. I could litter this section of the post with generic statements such as:
- It opens your eyes to the way other people live
- It broadens you as a person
- It enables you to have a richer life experience
But I won’t…
Instead, I would like you to look inside and remember the thoughts going through your mind on the plane home from your last extended holiday/trip.
That is why you should travel.
3. Have Less. Do More. Be More.
“Do you really need that 5th pair of trainers?”
“Yes, these are my ‘day out shopping with my bro’s’ shoes, completely different to my evening trainers, or weekend outdoor boots”.
Yes, this conversation really happened.
Did you ever hear the story of the frog that died in the bowl of boiling water because it didn’t notice the temperature increase?
This is my explanation for how I managed to build up my vast collection of clothes; I had no idea that I didn’t need them.
To summarize, things do not only clutter your physical space but also your mental space and space in your calendar. You would be surprised at how much time you can reclaim by throwing away half of your possessions.
By Having Less you have more time to Do More and Be More.
4. Time To Build Value Providing Skills
Ultimately, the security of your income depends upon one thing and one thing only: The amount of value you are able to provide that other people are prepared to exchange money for.
As an entrepreneur, if you are not providing value that people will pay for, you are punished (you go out of business).
I have found from personal experience, especially in large corporate structures, that it is possible to still receive value (in the form of a salary) without producing the equivalent value with the time that you are spending.
This is a problem as…
“The longer the market goes without having a correction, the larger the correction will be when it happens.” – Taylor Pearson
And as we discussed in the first point in this article, the likelihood of a “correction” occurring (you losing your job) is going up.
Thus, instead of browsing Buzzfeed during your daily team call or staring into blank space during your 45 minute, twice daily commute, why not reclaim that time and spend it building value and cultivating skills that actually bring security, not an illusion of the same.
5. To Enjoy The Present Moment
After all of this is done, the million dollars you earn, the 5 children you have, the charity you start and the house you build, what will be left after 1 year, 10 years or 100 years?
One of my favourite Shakespeare quotes (actually, the only Shakespeare quote I know) is:
“The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.” ~ William Shakespeare
He’s basically saying that everything you ever own eventually dissolves to nothing. Now I believe that an understanding of this quote can be taken in two different ways:
- There is no point in doing anything as the result will disappear – maybe not so helpful
- Enjoy the process of doing as the result will disappear – forces you to enjoy the moment
And a great Hindu scripture re-assuringly echoes the second and more uplifting understanding:
“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.” ~ The Bhargavad Gita
Therefore, in order not to be disappointed we must focus on enjoying the moment, as opposed to dreaming of a future result that will only dissolve.
And personally, I find it much easier to enjoy sitting here:
Overlooking a city on the other side of the world in which I just arrived as opposed to when sat congested in my Chevrolet on the interstate heading into the office.
In summary, my biggest motivation for taking my life and really striving for what I wanted is whether my kids will be able to look back on my life and think:
“My dad was a legend, he really did what he needed to do”.
Or would they just be thankful that I remained in the box and taught them to do the same?
Which would you prefer?
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