How to Enjoy Life (The Illogical Way)

How to Enjoy Life - Woman on Porch at Beach

Life isn’t logical. There’s no way you can predict what’s going to happen. Well, at least not if you’re like most humans. Who knows, that might change in the future, but for now we’re stuck.

There are better ways to live your life than let your mind control every single move you make.

Think about all those things you’ve wanted to do, but never did, because you thought they were silly. Have you noticed how that approach is slowly sucking the enjoyment out of your life?

There are better options.

Following Your Procrastination

Recently I read a really, really good article over at Steve Pavlina’s blog on How to Fall in Love with Procrastination. I find it interesting how often Steve’s articles are synchronistic with what I’m experiencing.

In the last two months I’ve immersed myself in language learning, specifically Spanish. I’m a forward thinking person, and I have a tendency to want to get things done as soon as possible.

This leads to doing tasks that aren’t fun. In language learning that would be studying grammar, word lists and what have you.

Instead of doing that I’ve started watching TV-series and movies in Spanish. I’ve also started listening to Spanish podcasts, reading Spanish books and chatting with Spanish natives.

The problem with only doing something to reach a goal is that there will always be more goals to reach.

Blogging has taken a back-seat, because I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor. I’ve spent the last few years building up passive income streams online so I can live a life of freedom and do what I want.

Don’t worry though. I will keep blogging and sharing my experiences. When I say blogging has taken a back-seat, that just means that I’m not guest posting or doing anything other than writing my own posts.

As I’ve let go more and more, I’ve realized that I can take breaks. I can take a day off and watch 12-hours of Lost in Spanish (I know, I have problems, but hey, at least I’m learning Spanish! ;))

How Much Fun Are You Having?

It doesn’t matter if I’m learning a language, learning to paint or just sitting and talking to somebody. There are always lessons to be learned.

In the last few months of immersing myself in language learning I’ve grown more patient and started focusing on having fun instead of working myself to death.

Learning another language has helped my English as well. I’ve become more aware of intonation and pronunciation. I’ve started looking at speaking as a way to practice languages as well as connect with others.

I used to look at everything as a means to an end. I was always looking to reach my latest goal.

As time passed, I’ve come to realize that enjoying the current moment is more important than reaching any goal. If I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, then why keep going?

There’s a big obstacle to all this though, and it will hold you back if you let it, and it’s this: What you feel like doing won’t always make logical sense.

The truth is that you never know if your short dabble in learning Spanish will lead to something else. Maybe you’ll meet someone who knows someone and things start rolling from there.

Are You Aware of the Adventure?

I work best when I can immerse myself in something for an extended period of time. For example, I immersed myself in blogging for 6 months and did almost nothing else during that time. Now I’m easing up on it and experimenting with something else.

I’ve learned to follow my heart and trust the process. I’ve been following my own path for over half a decade. I’ve trained myself to listen to my heart, even if it sometimes doesn’t make sense.

I’ve received many e-mails from people asking me advice on what they should do with their life. The answer is always the same: follow your heart.

We’ve been taught to look for validation, but when you realize that all you have to do is listen to that thing in your chest, everything becomes much more fun.

You start looking forward to what’s going to happen. I have no idea what I’ll be doing in six months. I’m excited to see what I come up with, where I end up and what I’ll be doing.

[Note: It’s been over a year since I wrote this post, and I’m in Finland right now, enjoying the cold, family, and friends I have here.]

I Just Love What I Do …

The last few years of playing poker, I just held on, because I was afraid of letting go. It was familiar and it was the only way I knew how to make a living.

My heart was telling me to play around with websites, but my mind was full of fear.

“It can’t be done! You can’t do it” my mind said to me.

In early 2009, I finally let go. I started building websites and I did what I felt like I wanted to do.

I worked day and night on my early websites, because I loved it. Many have commented on my work ethic, but I don’t see myself as an incredibly hard worker, I just love what I do.

The income from my websites and this blog are what allow me to take months off to study Spanish, take a swim in the pool and walks with the missus.

This is what life is about. Life is about freedom. Life is about doing what you truly feel like doing, even if it doesn’t make any sense at all. Life is about being a child and doing whatever you want.

Have you ever wanted to learn a language, but never felt like you could?

There’s a reason you feel drawn to do the things you want to do. If you don’t start following your excitement today, when will you?

Stop pushing away the things that bring fulfillment, enjoyment and happiness to your life. Start following your hunches and start playing.

You may be scared out of your mind, and that’s okay.

If you want a concrete framework on how to start doing what you love and enjoy life more, you may want to check out my course, Passionate Living. I’m biased, of course, since it’s my course, but the feedback I’ve gotten from participants is great.

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Comments

  1. Hey Henri,

    I think the same: if you feel excitement for something, there’s a reason for it. The energy I feel now comes from building my online business, and it feels awe-some. Follow your bliss is my daily mantra, and I inhale it like the air.
    Good luck with you Spanish – if you practice like that, you will learn it at the speed of light…or faster !

    • I agree completely. There’s a reason behind why you’re attracted to something, and besides, it’s much more fun to do what you like anyway ;)

  2. This is what life is about. Life is about freedom. Life is about doing what you truly feel like doing, even if it doesn’t make any sense at all. Life is about being a child and doing whatever you want.

    Really great post Henri and the above statement I quoted from your post is so true, life is very simple if we take it to be. You don’t necessarily need to follow others and because others are saying it is right does not make it so, just follow your mind.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

  3. dilip karkare says:

    Henri,

    You are absolutely right. If you remain logical then you just live. Living “out of box’ or living by “breaking the frames” is the only way of enjoy your life. After all, why should live by someone else’s standard?

  4. Steve’s articles are synchronistic for me too, he’s a pretty amazing guy. I got a lot out of the procrastination article too. :)

    • Steve’s blog is the only blog I’ve been consistently reading for the last four years. It rocks!

  5. Sarah St John says:

    What seems illogical now may make perfect logical sense later. I often wonder how many adventures and opportunities are missed because of doing the logical or “right” thing. Listen to your brain, but follow your heart, because if you don’t follow your heart it gets more difficult to hear what it’s trying to tell you. The logical brain buzz drowns it out and fear squeezes the life out of it. Nice post. Thanks!

  6. ‘Follow your heart,’ is such powerful advice. Really, if I was God, I’d make it the first and last commandment.

  7. Nice post Henri. I think most of us who comment in each other’s blogs go through what you went through which is to be completely immersed in blogging and nothing else. This is okay to do but we have to remember to explore other things out there that can give us fullfillment, enjoyment, and happiness. Like you with your addiction with poker, I had an addiction to a science fiction game called Starcraft: Brood War when I was younger and played many hours each day. I realized that I didn’t want to spend my life doing just one thing. I’m glad that blogging has opened me up to the many different possibilities out there. I’m also glad that you are taking some time off to learn Spanish… but wait, aren’t you already fluent in Spanish?

    • Heya Hulbert,

      I was never addicted to poker. I was a professional poker player, so my problem was that I grew to dislike the game, but I had to play because it was the only way I knew how to make money.

      I’m nowhere near fluent in Spanish. I’ve never really had the motivation the study the language, until now!

  8. Henri this is a great post, thank you.
    Now i´m learning english with your blog, Meaning and english i think is a good deal.

    Kisses from Galicia.

    • That’s great! You’ll definitely learn English fast by reading it. Reading and watching show your brain how the language works. After awhile you’ll get a feel for English and be rocking!

  9. Hey Henri,

    Fantastic post! I think a lot of people get lost in doing what they’re “supposed to” and begin to feel guilty when pursuing their own interests, especially when those interests aren’t productive in a societal sense. I think it is so important to find enjoyment in every thing you do and if you aren’t, it’s time to re-evaluate your situation and what you are doing. It makes my heart sing when I see other people trying to reach out and touch those who are a little lost in their lives. This community is so strong and I have high hopes for what we can achieve as a whole. I personally believe that if everyone did what they wanted, the world would be a significantly better place.

    Good luck with your Spanish, man!

    • Yes sir! That feeling of guilt is strong with me and has always been, but as I’ve started relaxing, I’ve started feeling great about just doing what I want to do.

  10. Mark Lewis says:

    That’s a great idea to learn how to speak Spanish! Culture immersion always works best. I’ve been fortunate to travel and I was kicking myself in the butt while I was in Spain; why didn’t I try harder and take it more seriously in high school!?

    Fast forward 10 years and I tried learning Spanish again by using one of those online courses. It was just too much pushed on me and not enough desire to get through each chapter.

    I think I’m going to take your idea and apply it to Netflix titles with subtitles. I wonder if subtitles will help or hurt… cheers!

    • What I’ve found personally is that subtitles hurt my progress. When I use subtitles I get lazy and read them, but when I get rid of them, I have to look at the context and let the language sink into my brain.

  11. Joshua Noerr says:

    Henri,
    I am one of those folks that needs to be aware of my time and what I am doing at all times. Otherwise, I will constantly be striving for one hundred percent productivity.

    Not only is this not possible (and only produces tail chasing and frustration), but also completely unnecessary. I have been allowing myself to just relax and enjoy myself in other activities. Great post, and I wish you continued success with your Spanish learning.

    • I am exactly the same, so I can relate, Joshua. If I’m not careful, I start comparing myself to the best in the world and work myself to death. Relaxation is essential!

  12. Hi Henry,
    I’ve found that the true joy in life is being totally absorbed in our passion. I call it being “Marvelously Obsessed.” There is a spiritual wisdom that comes with the Marvelous Obsession of striving for excellence (not perfection) — you realize the sovereignty of your mind, and the subserviency of your life conditions.

    Many people think I’m whacky for deciding to become an author & blogger at age 62. I’m a multi-millionaire from real estate development and restaurants and could go to a tropic island and watch the tide come and go. I’ve decided to create a brand new epoch in my life. Like you have already discovered yourself; life is about continually creating grander and grander versions of ourself.

    • “Marvelously Obsessed” … now that’s a term I like. I work best when I can get obsessed about one topic and focus on it 100%, just like I am doing with language learning right now.

      You sound like a very wise man, Rob! The dream of retiring to a nice beach and sipping drinks is largely false, and when someone really wants it, they really don’t need millions to do it anyway.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Henri,
    This was a great post. I completely agree with you. You call it following your heart and I call it trusting your intuition.

    • Thank you, Angela! Yes, we all have our own terms for the same things. Go with your gut, intuition or heart. It’s all good ;)

  14. Henri: What a great post and thanks for the wisdom and motivation. Life really is all about doing what you really want to do. I thought what you said was so important … enjoying the current moment is more important than reaching any goal. It is easy to fall into the trap of just pushing toward a goal and you overlook the beauty in the process and miss out on what you should be enjoying. Thanks for this great post and the motivation to follow your heart. There really is nothing better.

    • Love what you do and the rest will take care of itself. Sometimes we have a few obstacles in the way, such as having to go to a job/school, but if you’re passionate and patient enough; unexpected opportunities will usually appear.

  15. I think we are a fairly driven society with goals and obsessions. Sometimes it is good to “just be”. I believe each job or career gives us new experience and insight to build from. I have had some crazy twists and turns in my career and don’t regret too much. We don’t have to hold one career for the rest of our lives. Sometimes it is only for a season and then it is time to take what we have learned and do something else.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Erin. That’s exactly the realization I’ve had during my short time here on earth :)

  16. I really like the way you interweave relaxation, enjoyment, and following your heart in this post. Simply beautiful. Thank you.

  17. Henri, It feels so good to be here.

    I love how you clearly and honestly share and it sticks so well. So often as a feeler, I have to train myself to simplify and it takes so long to get used to that simple process. I think because I get lost in the logical process.

    I do miss out on play more than want to. I am often driven by goals. Thank you for this photo you posted, which is actually on my dream board and brought a huge smile to my face, very symbolic for me!

    Also, thank you for the heart nudge for me to get out and play more! Sometimes when I am not feeling something, I do step back and decide according to where my passion is. Then I start again. I still push myself too hard though, working on lightening up there.

    I like this advice you shared, while all of it was helpful: enjoying the current moment is more important than reaching any goal. If I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, then why keep going?

    Thank you, and have a great weekend! I appreciate you in my network.
    xx~Jenn

    • I know a few feelers myself and they tend to be very introverted, but in the end we all have to ask ourselves the same questions, so I’m glad you’ve realized what’s important.

      I fall into the same trap time and time again, but for me it’s just a part of the process. We’re all human. We’re all in the same boat, so no worries!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jenn!

  18. Rich Russell says:

    I believe that there is some kind of logic to life. It’s just that we can’t always see it. Sometimes, life takes a turn and it seems like the worst thing that could possibly have happened. It is only when you look back later that you see the possibilities that event opened up for you.

    Everything counts. Everything contributes to moving us towards somewhere. Maybe we don’t need to know where that is. Just be aware of those little nudges the Universe gives us and be willing to take a chance on them.

    Thanks Henri. This post came along at just the right time for me.

    Rich

  19. Hi Henri
    Good to see you following your heart. Have you come across Benny Lewis? He’s another heart follower. Karol Gajda interviewed him. Check out his website. http://www.FluentIn3Months.com

    :)

    • Yes I have come across Benny. He’s an awesome dude, and his Language Hacking Guide is really, really good!

  20. I make sure to do at least one extremely fun thing every day of my life regardless of what others might think.

    If it’s fun for me then I do it.

    At least that way if nothing else I did all day I really enjoyed, my one thing will be something I enjoyed.

  21. Hola, mi amigo, Henri. Soy Alex de China.

    First of all, it’s really great to find your website and I am quite enjoyable of reading your life experience. I love your life style and your attitudes to life. Actually, I also have been thinking about my life style, the way how I live.

    I have been working at this company for 9 months since I graduated from university. During these 9 months, I gradually realized that I am not so keen of sitting in the office day by day. I mean I am still young, full of passion, and have a lot of expectations of good life. I don’t want to spend my life in such a boring, kind of meaningless way.

    I think a young life should be on the road, not sitting in the office like an old man. So I set my next station at south America.I want to find a job or even work as a volunteer there. I know that is the way that I can get rid of the life I am having now.

    I Just want to know a world that totally different from mine and meet different kind of people there. Hopefully I can fullfill my life by helping them by my abilities. That’s why I planed to spend 2 years learning spanish by myself 5 months ago.For me, Life is not just about earning money by working as a so called white collar worker.

    I am more concern about the meaning of life than earning the chilcken feed for myself. I am young,and I am eager to be on the road to try something new and different of the world. I hope I can be at south America after 18 months.

    About spanish learning, I didn’t start from the gramma or lists of words neither.listening to Spanish podcasts is my major way of learning spanish. So it will be very appreciated if you could write more articles about your way of learning spanish and share with us where we can get more spanish learning material online.

    Thank you very much. It’s nice writing to you. Looking forward to you reply.
    Sincerely Alex

    • Hey Alex!

      I personally like to learn the basics of a language first. Such as common verbs, colors, numbers, greetings and so on. When I’ve done that I switch to almost only input. First from watching TV and movies, and later switching to podcasts and reading books.

      The reason I start with TV is because you can see what happens. Even if you don’t understand it right away, your brain will be picking up the patterns of the language. I will write a post about this in the future in greater detail.

      Thanks for commenting and keep rocking!

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