What prevents us from breaking out of the daily grind or status quo? For most it boils down to the fear of the unknown – questions like “what will happen if I leave my job, move to a new place, leave the vicinity of friends and family and the routine life I’ve built?” The key to combating this fear is to embrace the joy of the unexpected.
Certainty manifests as comfort, and as soon as we lose a sense of certainty it is our natural response to feel uncomfortable. As human beings we try as hard as possible to minimize these feelings of discomfort, which is why most of us rely so heavily on the standard blueprint for how to live our lives. This usually looks something like going to day school, then to a university or college, graduating and joining the workforce with a 9-5 job, or heading off to secondary schooling to specialize in a field such as medicine or law. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this structured way of life, there is no reason for it to feel like your only option in terms of how to live.
Imagine a life where when someone asks you what you do, your response is “I travel”. Instead of working to take breaks for short bursts of travel like most of us do, you could flip the idea completely on its head – travel and take breaks for short bursts of work. In this scenario, work functions as a means for allowing you to continue down the exciting path of uncertainty and adventure. This is just one scenario of how to embrace the unexpected in your life, and it may not be for you. However, I encourage you to try and apply this philosophy to your life in any way possible, even if it doesn’t mean quitting your job and leaving the country. Instead of binge watching Netflix every night after work, sign up for a cooking class, or pilates, or go for a walk in the park. You never know what could happen by switching up your routine, and the more you do it the more you’ll be excited by the endless variety of outcomes you can experience.
After all, nothing in life will ever excite you if you are already certain of the outcome, and who wants to live a boring life? It’s the same reason you don’t watch the same episode of game of thrones over and over again. You anxiously await for the next episode because you are unsure of the outcome, making the show all the more enticing. Your life could be your new favorite TV show, shocking and surprising you at every turn (hopefully not in the same ways as GOT, but you get the picture). Doesn’t this type of life sound much more rewarding than the monotonous routine most of us have created for ourselves?
Hopefully the posts you find here on The Pretirement will help push you to make the decision to embrace the unexpected and find the thrill in uncertainty. If leaving your job to travel the world sounds like something you absolutely would love to do, this blog will provide you with the inspiration, tools, and tips to effectively ‘pretire’ just like we did! The first step is changing your mindset from fearing the unknown to embracing the unexpected, and most importantly finding joy and excitement in process of doing this.