In Timothy Ferriss' book, the Four-Hour Workweek on page 53 he tells the story of a situation in his life that scared the hell out of him and convinced him it was time for a lifestyle system reset: He felt like he was turning into another balding, fat man in a mid-life crisis red, convertible BMW.
Upon reading this page I had an "ah hah" moment. Damn. I've got the fat man part down. I'm not balding and apparently won't be any time soon. I do have a convertible. But it's a Chrysler Sebring that I got used for almost nothing and at one point in time, it had the word "Bitch" keyed into the passenger side door. (Maybe I should get my keys out and sketch "Life's A" on the rear quarter panel.)
So not only have I been living the boring life that Mr. Ferriss references in his book, my situation is worse.
He said the motivation to him was a close friend whose life was paralleling his though their cycles were different. When he was up, his pal was down. And as he said in the book, "Whenever one of us began to set our sights lower, lose faith, or 'accept reality,' the other would chime in via phone or email like an AA sponsor: 'Dude, are you turning into the bald fat man in the red BMW convertible?'"
He writes that whenever that thought came to mind, "The prospect was terrifying enough that we always got our asses and priorities back on track immediately." His point about life thereafter was that the "worst that could happen wasn't crashing and burning, it was accepting terminal boredom as a tolerable status quo."
In other words, "Boredom is the enemy, not some abstract 'failure.'"
This is how my life has become over the past few years. I've let go of dream chasing. I've settled in. I've hunkered down and let a lot of life pass me by. Yes, I've had some great trips thanks to my previous job, but there are so many other important things in life that I've let pass me by and it's time to fix that.
I'm setting some dreams into motion. I've been making a plan for what I'm going to accomplish in the next three months and over the next six. After that I'll recompute as beyond six months seems too far into the future to venture right out of the box.
What are my plans? Well, I'm still developing them, but I'll share them when it's appropriate. But I know one thing, my convertible is a good thing to have right now because every time I get into it, I'm reminded that there are good things coming and I'm thankful for having four wheels right now that will get me from here to there. Bilbo Baggins wrote about from here to there and back again. As I contemplate that thought, I think Mr. Ferriss' corollary would be, "Are you sure you want to go back again?"
Say goodbye to the fat man in the red BMW. He's leaving today. For good.