How to Throw Your Life Away: A Guide In 350 Words

Top Secret ProjectSometimes when I tell people what I’m about, they don’t really get it. They seem to think that by not working frantically and hunting for a “real job” while I’m young, I’m throwing my life away.

Needless to say, I disagree.

A job earns you money. With money, you can buy the essentials — a roof over your head, food, and a few other basic items. You can also buy “shiny stuff” — fast cars, big houses, and fancy clothes.

But what if you’re willing to forgo the shiny stuff? By living simply, your money buys you more of the essentials, and you’re able to spend less time working jobs you’d rather not bother yourself with.

This makes perfect sense to me, yet it’s an idea that’s lost on most members of our society. I’m always mystified when I hear people complaining about their jobs, who then turn around and spend most of their disposable income on shiny stuff. It’s as though they never sit down and consider whether or not those unnecessary items are truly worth their time and labor.

At least in my case, I see two options:

  • Work towards my own goals and avoid buying shiny things
  • Works towards someone else’s goals and reward myself with shiny things

Given that choice, I’d much rather work towards my own intrinsic goals.

Do I see this as throwing my life away? Absolutely not. Conversely, to throw my life away would be to chase after shiny stuff. Because those hours spent earning money by working towards others’ ends add up, and eventually I’d be left with no time or energy to pursue my own goals.

And if I’m wrong about all of this? What if my young, 20-something mind is too naive to see the grave mistake I’m making?

Frankly, I’m not too concerned. Because I’d rather throw my life away now, than avoid chasing my dreams until I don’t have a life left to throw away.

The header photo is related to a top secret project I’m working on. I’ll be making an announcement about it in about a month — stay tuned!

Henry Olsen

Writer, adventurer, and humble servant of the universe since 1986.