Three ways to push the boundaries of who you can be
Every two years, I fall flat on my face — on purpose.
I’ll work my way to getting fired from a job or even quit just for the hell of it. I’ll end a romantic relationship when things probably could have been repaired. I’ll change the way I earn money from various side hustles. I’ll go from suit jackets to hoodies to see if I feel any different.
None of the changes are necessary, or even the “best” decisions per se, but each change keeps me from getting bored and helps me live a different way.
Until recently, I never dissected the reason why I reinvent myself on a regular basis. Then I came across a quote from the writer Derek Sivers: “The way to live is to regularly reinvent yourself.”
Of course, there can be value in sticking with something that’s hard or no longer exciting, but we tend to focus too much on remaining true to one lifelong self. Sivers argues that we should change our preferences, opinions, and usual responses. He writes on his website, “I usually try the opposite of whatever I did before.” As he explains, doing what you’ve always done is bad for your brain. Personal reinvention is necessary to stay interesting to yourself. Because if you’re bored of who you are, then you’re unlikely to inspire positivity in others. Here are a few ways to reinvent yourself right now:
Change jobs for the hell of it
Jobs get boring. It’s why there are so many people using LinkedIn to switch jobs all the time. An existing employer has already got used to you being part of the furniture, so they hedge their bets that you won’t leave. They know that new experiences are challenging and figure you won’t want to take the risk. New companies, on the other hand, feel lucky to have you join and there’s greater potential for you to create the position you envision.
Change where you live
When you change your city, all of your familiar surroundings disappear. You have to find new coffee shops, take different roads, talk to new neighbors, meet new dogs, walk in different parks. A town can feel like prison if you overstay your welcome. It’s nice to live in different places and experience new cultures. With work from home being the new norm, you no longer have to be tied to an inner-city suburb so you can be close to a physical office where you clock in and clock out each day. Offices are part of the industrial age. We’re in a new era.
Ditch your current habits
Sticking with habits is great — until you find better ones. When I get bored with life, I rewrite my habits in a notepad file titled “ideal day.” To help me return to the present, I used to meditate and go to the gym. Now I walk and read books. Throw away your habits like you’d annual clean. Return to the habits you miss.
Publish entirely different content on social media
Social media is self-expression. It helps you arrange your thinking if nothing else. As you journey through life there are opportunities to tweak what you do online. I started solely sharing ideas about self-improvement. Later I added lessons from various side hustles. At one point, I realized the time I spent working for a bank held a lot of experience people wanted to know about. I then used social media to make a complex topic like finance simple for average people who didn’t study economics at Harvard.
Push the boundaries of topics you share online. As you create content about a new topic, you grow from the learnings.