When I was twelve, my version of an exciting life was sleeping backward with my head at the foot of the bed.
Eighteen years later and thankfully that’s no longer the main source of my excitement. Instead of resorting to stodgy nighttime shenanigans, I’ve embraced several habits that have led to what I consider a fairly exciting life. (At least I enjoy the hell out of it).
The interesting thing is that most of these habits aren’t all that exciting by themselves. But ironically, it’s the least exciting habits that lead to the most exciting life.
Here are those 6 habits.
I know. Right out of the gates I hit you with this habit that comes across boring as all heck. But trust me, fewer things will lead to a more exciting life than a consistent reading habit, especially volume reading one or more books per month.
Reading grants a lifetime of knowledge neatly packed into a few hundred pages of text. When you read, you learn. The more you learn, the more you know. And the more you know, the more you want to put that knowledge into action and try new things.
At least that’s how it works for me.
A few years ago, I picked up a simple how-to book about starting a blog. I don’t even remember the name of it. But fast forward to today and I have now written hundreds of thousands of words, reached thousands of people, and have had plenty of interesting conversations as a result.
All that from just one book.
Plus, as long as you’re not a know-it-all, reading makes you a well-rounded individual, which not only makes you better at Jeopardy, it makes you more interesting. And interesting people always lead more exciting lives.
Number two’s not looking much sexier than number one, but bear with me.
Though exercise might not sound very exciting to you, it’s actually one of the best ways to live a more thrilling and happy life.
1. Exercise can make you stronger so that physically you can do things you couldn’t do before
Forget about opening the jar of pickles to impress your lady, how about carrying her all the way home from the bar like her knight in shining armor?
Manly feats aside, you’ll have an easier time doing more activities that bring you joy because you’ll have the strength and endurance to keep up.
2. Exercise is a keystone habit
This means that by exercising, you often feel compelled to do other productive, healthy things. Any one of those other activities could lead to a new opportunity, friendship, relationship, or partnership that might change your life for the better.
3. You’ll be better looking
As shallow as it is to say, the world tends to be easier and more exciting for better-looking people. Think:
- Getting pulled over by a cop
- Coming off as more approachable and relatable during your interview
- Attracting more interest at the bar or other public places (if you’re into that sort of thing)
4. It could help spark a once in a lifetime opportunity
Often times your world is changed by one small interaction:
- Being in the “right” mood and mustering up the courage to talk to the girl you’ve been locking eyes with all night.
- Bumping into an old friend on the street and asking him for coffee, which is in contrast to your typically introverted self. This coffee “date” could lead to a number of new opportunities.
- Exercise tends you bring you places you normally wouldn’t go: hikes, mountains, obstacle races, you name it. You never know who you’ll meet on these adventures.
The good news is that by exercising, this “life hack” is available to everyone with the willpower to stick with it.
Practice 20 Seconds of Courage
Not long ago, I wrote an article on my site that talked about this simple, yet somewhat scary practice. I called it “20 seconds of insane courage”.
Basically, in the movie We Bought a Zoo, Matt Damon, while talking to his son about girls, tells him:
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally, 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
If you want to live a more exciting life, it all starts by taking a leap of faith. Taking that one first little jump towards whatever it is you want to do.
Trust me, I know that leap is scary.
When you want to start writing your novel, or begin writing down lyrics to a song, or auditioning for a part, or whatever it is you want, you’ll notice that fear stands up to stop you.
It gets right in your face and says, “Hey, you sure you really want to do this, buddy?”
This fear is trying to prevent you from living the life you desire. It wants you to stay still — to remain comfortable. But excitement and joy don’t usually accompany comfortable.
So when fear makes his move, all you have to do is stand your ground and show twenty seconds of insane courage — maybe not even twenty, but more like five — to simply start and let momentum carry you from there.
How much more exciting would your life be if you actually started and followed through on all the things you wanted to do?
It starts with 20 seconds of courage.
Try New Hobbies
I try to pick up at least a handful of new hobbies every year. These hobbies keep life rather exciting, and they make you a more interesting person to talk to. Some of the ones I experimented with last year were:
- Brewing kombucha
- Making my own bone broth
- Obstacle course races
Though hobbies are hardly considered habits, the act of periodically trying new hobbies can certainly be one. New hobbies lead to new experiences and new things you never knew you liked. Worst-case, you absolutely hate the hobby and have a pretty good story to tell anyway.
Then you move on to the next one.
Plus, if you get into some really exhilarating hobbies — think bungee jumping, skydiving, or wingsuit flying — then your excitement could be off the charts.
Just don’t tell your parents that you got that advice from me.
Nothing adds more spice into your life than being able to make whatever you want, whenever you want, and then enjoy the hell out of both making and eating it.
Cooking is lowkey one of my favorite daily activities. I love trying new, healthy recipes and adding my own flavors to them. Not to mention Hillshire Farm’s incredible hot sausage (found at my local Wal-Mart), which I add into almost any meal to make it 5x more delicious.
Instead of wondering, “where to eat?”, you can wonder, “what can I make?” And the fact of the matter is you can make pretty much anything.
Plus, you will impress your friends, family, potential partners, and anyone else who steps foot into your kitchen to enjoy one of your wonderful creations.
Say ‘Yes’ to Your Fetish
This last one I admit I don’t do, but that’s only because I don’t think I have any fetishes (at least none that I’ve found yet). This makes me a little sad since I feel like most people tend to have at least one weird fetish.
If I did have a fetish, I’d like to think that after 30 years of life I would be rocking that thing like a pair of tube socks on a Tuesday night at the margarita bar.
I say this because I read an awesome article by Jessica Wildfire the other night about exactly this — saying ‘yes’ to your fetishes. I couldn’t agree more with her take, and it only made me sad that I haven’t yet discovered any fetishes of my own.
If you do have a fetish and try to hide or pretend like it doesn’t exist, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to enjoy something deeply special to you. Plus, you’re not living out whatever fantasy you’re dying to have, which means you’re missing out on some serious excitement.
Further, perhaps your partner has a fetish and is too shy or scared to bring it up. Asking them about it and keeping an open mind could be the perfect way to jazz up your sex life, while potentially making them feel so much better about themselves.
Even though I’m still waiting on the moment when I realize that I fantasize about having sex robots, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and live your fantasies for me.
Do what you want. Live unchained. Fuck the furry. Who cares — you’ll be better off for it. (Just don’t do anything illegal or creepy.)
I know. Technically, these aren’t the most exciting habits. However, should you choose to adopt them anyways, I promise you that they will lead to a more sustainably exciting life than any others like the typical skydiving, bungee jumping, etc.
True excitement and happiness come from adding spice into your daily life. Nobody likes to go through the same old motions day after day, which is why these habits are perfect for mixing things up and adding just the right amount of variety.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Get out there and give one (or a few) a shot. You never know where it might take you.