Hello everybody. My name is Julie and I'm seventeen. I come from Europe so English is not my mother language. However, now I'm in Japan. From others point of view, my life is interesting. I've visited more that 25 countries in Europe, Afrika, America and Asia. I tried skydiving, bungee jumping, diving, highest roller castle in the world, free fly in a wind tunel, small planes and dangerous things like getting into car with my sister who was learning how to drive, or testing food she cooked. And what did I do this morning? I googled:
" Life that would be interesting." I'm sure that as I grow there will be more things to tie me down- college, getting money, finding an apartment. In short,I'm in Japan and I still feel like my life is boring as hell. I' m about o climb Mt.Fuji, but I think that even if I climbed Mt. Everest it wouldn't bring me an inch closer to satisfaction.
Everything that I have done made me happy, but only for a short period of time. I have done nothing that others could profit from, something that other would remember. So, does enybody know what should I do? I can't figure it out.
I'm not sure we really know enough to give good advice, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I think that your problem may not be what you're actually doing, but your level of appreciation for it. What is interesting to you is less of a function of what you're actually doing than it is how you react to it. Climbing Mount Fuji isn't just a hike up a dirty old mountain. Think about how lucky you are to be alive, how lucky you are to be in Japan, who else has climbed Fuji for the millions of years it's been around, etc. When you're climbing, be present in the moment (as hippie as that sounds) and just enjoy the view that can't be had anywhere else in the world, the camraderie of the strange and friendly Japanese people climbing with you, etc. Maybe bring a big bag and pick up a bunch of trash on the way to have a positive contribution to the mountain.
My other piece of advice is to pick something and go deep on it. I've also been in cycles where I do a bunch of really interesting but superficial stuff, and it sounds way more interesting to other people than it actually feels. What really drives an interesting life, I've found, is picking a few things and really exploring them. The complexity of life is really interesting.
Last, I know you've heard this a million times, but you're young. You have plenty of time to figure it all out, and just by exposing yourself to as many things as you are is a really excellent start to finding some passion in life. It may hit ten years from now or tomorrow... there's really no way too know.
I think you've answered your own question in saying that you've done nothing that others could profit from.
Meaning, like value, isn't inherent outside of us. It's something that we create or build. And so I have a simple suggestion. Do something that matters to someone else. It doesn't have to be a big gesture. Just something small, and create a shared moment of meaning.
I personally find it very rewarding to contribute what little skills and resources I have to others. Sometimes I get value in return out of it, sometimes it's for free, but either way it's very fun for me. Maybe it will work for you too. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Looks like maybe you'll find satisfaction outside of 'cheap thrills', if that's how you see them. Skydiving, bungee jumping, diving, etc - sounds like checking off a list of one-time or few-time activities - they're great if you appreciate them, but you leave the activity almost just the same as you came, with nothing really permanent gained. Perhaps there's a lack of a sense of progress in your life - you keep moving from place to place, but you're not quite going anywhere.
My personal thought would be to try pursuing mastery in some field - something that will provide lasting satisfaction. If you want to do something that others can profit from, remember you for, then you'll have to do something great. And something great is almost always done through persistence and sustained effort. And when you reach mastery and create impact through that mastery, you can look back at the path you've taken, the work you've done, and marvel at the progression of your life and the ultimate payoff of your toil. There's no satisfaction without blood sweat and tears is my take on it. Good luck!
Lost my original post - anyway - Lester Levenson had a similar problem. He had mastered the external world but felt a deep emptiness within. He later, through talking with himself, found that happiness was when he was loving. Maybe if you integrated others into your life you'd feel happier. We can only become so happy satisfying ourselves - the rest of it comes when we put a smile on others' faces. They don't need to necessarily profit from you either. Just being yourself and sharing your enthusiasm and lust for life is often enough to inspire others such as how Tynan does with his site.
The bad news is that there is not one single external thing, adventure, place, mountain, position in life, degree, house, NOTHING external to you that will make you happy. You have already traveled to 25 countries. Visiting country 26 will be no different than country 75 or 125. Where ever you go there you are. Same old you. You suffer from existential angst. Your answer is only in you.
Just over a year ago I was in this same place. It's a short and touristy row of shops leading up to a temple in Asakusa, Japan. Last time I was here it was my first time in Japan, which meant that I was so enthralled with being there that I didn't realize what a tourist trap it was.
Now I'm here again and I see the place in a different light. I've lived in Japan for almost two months now as part of my year long trip around the world.
As I look up at the paper lanterns dangling above the street I have a thought.
(I should add pictures to this one day once I get a better connection)
As of writing I'm just finishing up a three day visit to Thailand waiting for the airport transfer at the Glow Pratanum hotel in Pratanum, Bangkok, Thailand. I had a wonderful time and did the usual tourist things for my very first visit like the street marketplace, night market, floating market, ride the elephants, visit Wat Pho and the reclining Buddha, etc... I also got to stop by Siam Paragon and it was indeed one of the cleanest and best malls I've seen yet.
Reflecting on the trip all the good stuff about did consist of the things 'between the lines' per se. Riding the motorcycle taxi's at breakneck speeds weaving thru full on traffic while LED lights pulsate from all over the place was a one of a kind Asian experience I will never forget. Haggling for computer parts at the electronics market (which dwarfs out any electronics store I've ever seen) was also pretty epic for me as they had just about everything I have ever dreamed of and more. Thailand's style of shopping seems to differ from what I'm used to as the buildings are grouped by what they sell - one building will be all clothes, one all electronics, one all jewelry/accessories etc... All in all this seemed like a lot more of a foreign experience than many of the other trips I've taken to the Philippines, cruising to Mexico/Caribbean, Canada, etc... I also got pretty good at converting prices by increments of 30's or 300's to derive 1/10$ US and other such fun.
One thing I found very interesting was how many westerners and europeans were walking the streets of Thailand as well. The only other diverse international city I've ever been to really is Las Vegas where you can often hear 5-6 languages taking a short walk down the strip. I remember just about EVERYONE raving about Thailand about 10 years ago and how great of a place it was. I wonder now then if I am getting the same experiences as these people or if I've just come in really late to the party. Similar to visiting the Philippine island of Boracay (supposedly one of the world's best beaches) change and commercialize heavily between my last visit around 2006 and 2013 I wonder if I'm just getting the regurgitated bits of travel. Boracay used to be a private beach paradise and now you know they've tipped over the deep end when you see not one but 2 Lonely Planet store outlets in the markets with full on cement and steel resorts popping up left and right. I miss getting my Coke in a plastic bag with a straw for 10 pesos rather than paying 50 now for a canned equivalent just like everywhere else in the western world.
Well anyway I take solace in knowing that at least I got to experience some of that badassness as Thailand's last Westerner. I honestly think this is the best trip I've taken in my life yet though I have high expectations for Japan and Korea if I ever visit. Europe tbh at this point seems boring and expensive. Israel would be fun just for the massive religious lore. If Thailand was this good 10 years down the line then I wonder how orgasmic it was for the early runners. Even the CLICHE stuff was fun (which was lke 5% of the country)! The hotel was truly 5 star and the people are the most accomodating I've ever met. All of those who believe in the so-called 'golden rule' about treating others should take notes on these folks. At the McDonalds for example I noticed I did not have my hamburger 20 mins after purchase since I vegged out for a moment. Not expecting much I went back down and showed them the reciept and in short order they got me another hamburger no questions asked. There was no way to prove that I didn't just eat the first burger then come down slumming around for free seconds.