The past couple of year have, objectively, been better for me than earlier ones. So why don’t they feel as good as some of them?
For me, 2014 felt like the best of my recent years, even though objectively, my accomplishments in 2016 and 2017 surpassed it. Why then, did 2014 feel like a better year and one I look back more fondly on?
The answer I can give is that 2014 was my breakout year compared to what I was doing before. It was the genesis of my present life.
How many times has it been that you’ve begun something that starts out as huge and exciting, but then becomes routine? What starts out with spontaneity and innovation becomes formulaic and scripted. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s a natural consequence of a routine that works. It just feels less fun than it did when you started.
A year full of new experiences before they crystallize into routines will feel more fun than a year of otherwise productive, but routine, behaviors. The start of a journey to a lofty destination feels more exciting than the midpoint. And since the journey to glory never ends until you die, the start of a process to that end will always be the most exciting.
To recapture some of the magic of 2014 (even if that magic was objectively, only psychological), I know I’ll need to begin different processes in 2018. I’ll have to go to different stomping grounds. I’ll have to create new methods of making money. I’ll have to do major work on major projects (so I can feel like I came far), rather than incremental work.
2014 was an innovative year for me. 2015, 2016, and 2017 were ultimately adaptive ones that built on the process begun in 2014.
To feel the rush of a powerful, groundbreaking year, you need to…break ground. Break new ground somewhere as long as it’s consistent with your grand plan. Go to new venues to approach girls. Start new kinds of workouts and see if they can accelerate your gains. See if you can construct a novel revenue stream on top of your routine ones.
In short, be innovative and seek new experiences while still sticking to your same productive plan. If you can make a choice, make the new, novel one.
You don’t need to do this. If it’s a waste of time, you shouldn’t. But if you want to recapture some sort of magic feeling that you once had and have now lost, this is the best way.
Get off to a head start in 2018 by reading Stumped and thinking in new ways, which will in turn make you act in new ways.