I wonder how many of you know exactly what you expect out of your lives? How many of you give standard answers like ‘‘I just want to be happy, I just want financial security, I just want my kids to grow up in a healthy family environment…”etc.
Just because the answer is standard it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it just needs to explore more. What makes you happy? How much money do you need to have financial security? What does it mean to have a healthy family environment? It’s fine to have a general outline of what you want to accomplish, but how exactly do you plan to get there?
It’s just a matter of perspective if you think you are too young or too old to follow your dreams. That warm, tingling feeling of being lost – after a while, it will consume you if you wander too long without any direction. Furthermore, we can’t let our brain get lazy. What happens to your body when you eat crap food and stop working out? It turns into pudding, doesn’t it?
The mind works the same way. If you don’t train it, it will get lazy. You won’t have a single original thought. You stop questioning what you hear from the TV and from others. You will just accept the mainstream opinions and repeat them like they were your own. It’s even worse when you change your point of view depending on the person you are talking to. Raise your hand if you are the person who arrives home after work and turns on the TV right away to have some background noise. What channels do you watch? Documentaries? Political debates? History and philosophy? Or talk shows and movies just for noise?
I know you have a rough day and you just want to switch off. Most of you could probably give me a very legitimate explanation why you need a stupid program to blast from the TV and who am I to tell you what you should do or not. But I can tell you what I did and how it helped me to get rid of the TV and what I replaced it with.
Enough of the noise
Although I mostly watched movies and nature documentaries when I still owned a TV 8 years ago, and I hated the fact that I wasn’t able to afford one when I first moved abroad, it was the best thing that happened to my mind. First I substituted TV with
the laptop, which at least got rid of most of the commercials, but I just carried on with my routine of watching TV shows while cooking or cleaning.
One day a really uncomfortable feeling hit me. I felt dumb. I felt like I was getting dumber every day. I started meeting bright minds and I could not hold an intellectual conversation. I mentioned a long time ago that these people got rid of me as fast as they met me. I was simply not capable of living up to their standards. People like me are energy vampires to people like them. I was a huge red flag for them. It was not surprising why. I had no experience or credible opinion about anything.
I can study online for free?
One day I discovered Coursera, a website where I could take introductory courses for free. This is where my passion and interest in psychology began. I started watching videos, filling out tests and chatting with my ‘‘classmates” about the study material. I felt brilliant. Sharp, clever. I could finally make a contribution to a high-level conversation. I could also apply the knowledge in my everyday life. Including with my readers. This was the first step towards kick-starting my brain and spending my free time usefully. What I fed my mind mattered. Instead of junk food like TV shows, I changed to a nutritious diet like books and courses on topics I never had an interest in before but now I was hooked.
As I learned more and more, I could enjoy a wider range of conversations with a new audience. When I started to study marketing, I discovered a new passion. I knew it was for me. Many job offers can be attributed to this experiment. My Seven Worlds is a true testament of the applied knowledge that I gained by myself in the comfort of my home for free. My Seven Worlds is my resume.
The machine is on fire
Once the machine started working I couldn’t stop it. The starvation for knowing more was overwhelming. Then I was introduced to spirituality and an entirely new world opened up. I got myself used to learning. And finally for the first time I loved it. It was nothing like school. I chose what I wanted to learn and to which degree I wished to know it. I felt bright and knowledgeable. This directly boosted my self-confidence. I became attractive for companies, intelligent people – and the world opened up to me.
It all started with turning off the TV. Music replaced the background noise. Now I feel sick when I hear a TV. I can’t stand it around me. I get annoyed by the commercials every 15 minutes and the stupid talk shows drive me crazy.
As my mind was being trained, the hunger for self-development, life goals. and search for passions was born. I badly wanted a direction.
I would never have thought that one day I would enjoy writing. That I would have a blog and would dream about becoming a scuba diving instructor. Me? No way, I don’t know how to write and I hate water…but the more I saw and experienced, the more my life cleared the path for me.
Let’s break it down:
- I didn’t like working in an office
- I didn’t like playing by others’ rules
- I didn’t like that I had to stay in the office even if I had nothing to do
- I didn’t like that I was indoor when weather was amazing
- I didn’t like dress codes
- I could never stay longer than 1.5 years with a company
What I wanted/loved:
- My own rules
- Flexible working environment
- No dress codes
- Proper earnings, if I work more, I earn more
- Speaking languages and interacting with other cultures
- I’m a very patient teacher and I love sharing my passions and knowledge
So I more or less outlined the type of career I imagined for myself. I thought about opening up a hostel, but then I would tie myself down to one location. All right, then maybe something online, but I don’t enjoy spending so much time on the computer and I don’t like working alone. Ok, so then what’s next? Then I fell in love with scuba diving and the realisation hit my like a brick. I love this! This is it! Checks all the boxes!
The most important part of the search was being able to draw an outline of what I was looking for. This helped me to turn down opportunities that would have distracted me from the true goal.
I wouldn’t have been able to get here without training my brain. I would never have asked myself what I wanted in my life. A lazy brain does not try to discover unknown territories, or get into deep subjects.
Of course even today I allow my mind to switch off completely and I watch two seasons of Family Guy in less than 4 days, but then after my brain is fried I get up, hitchhike somewhere, meet new people, organise meetings, write some articles and work on marketing. I’m so used to thinking all the time, my body can’t function if I don’t learn something new frequently.
I’ll be honest. It was terribly difficult to open a book for the first time and to sit down and fill in a test. I begged myself loudly: ‘‘Please Fanni turn off the series and watch a video about psychology, finish your homework, then you can eat a chocolate.”
When I succeeded in using the knowledge from the videos in real life for the first time – learning became infinitely easier. The machine started working. The hunger for learning was born.
Knowledge is power!
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