Hey guys, sorry for the late update today, wasn’t feeling very well, but I’m not going to leave you hanging! Today we’re going to talk a bit about a living philosophy I adopted a while back. We brushed on this a long time ago with The Philosophy of Donkey Kong, actually, but I feel it’s deserving of its own full-fledged posts, here on the new site. The idea is simple, and condensed into one sentence: Experiences over things.
A while back(going on years now), I was coming out of an abusive relationship. I was in a dark place, but also looking at a new beginning for my life. I adopted this new philosophy, because I wanted to have more than your average life. Your average person is concerned with keeping up with the Joneses. They want the latest shiny car, or electronic device, or whatever. I wanted to be more than average, though. I wanted to be legendary. I wanted to live boldly, and extraordinarily. Every day we have advertisements on the TV, online, in magazines, on billboards, EVERYWHERE, screaming at us about the things we need to buy to make ourselves complete. I reject that idea.
Now hold on a second, you might say, this blog is all about video games. What do you mean you “reject things.”
You make an excellent point, skeptical reader! I’m not talking about taking on Buddhist values here and getting rid of all material possessions. Don’t worry, I still buy the latest video games(when I can afford them), and I’m typing this up an a $400 laptop. But what I mean is, when given the choice, choose experiences. A new video game can be an experience, sure, but it’s moreso if you involve friends. This laptop provides an experience, in that it enables me to interact with all of you, which is awesome!
But at the same time, these are “weak” experiences. You know what’s a strong experience? Skydiving. Whitewater rafting. Going hiking in the grand canyon. Visiting Paris.
[important]A good measure of a strong experience is how many people become interested in your stories at a party/get together.[/important]
You don’t want to be that guy or gal that shows up to the party and spends the whole time talking about their new barbecue. That guy or gal is a jerk. On the flipside, however, inviting people over to a party on your new deck to christen your new barbecue? Now that’s a pretty good experience!
The thing is, sometimes experiences like this seem harder to come by than things. This can be true. But think about how many “things” you buy that you don’t need to. Instead of buying the latest game, borrow it from a friend, or better yet, play through it with them!(my brother and friends and I do all-nighter completions of new games sometimes). Skip the soy mocha latte on the way to work, get some coffee in bulk and learn how to brew yourself. Quit smoking, if you haven’t already. Pinching pennies and using coupons isn’t very glamorous, and it requires patience, but think about how little you’ll care about that when you’re on a catwalk in the Amazon jungle.
Chris Guillebeau over at The Art of Non-Conformity has a lot of travel tips and tricks if you’re interested in that kind of thing. But remember, experiences don’t have to be huge and extravagant vacations. It can be a trip to a local forest for an early morning hike(some of my best stories come from hikes at dawn). Or get into urban exploration with some friends(you can find AWESOME stuff this way).
You only have so long in this life. Get out and live it. In life, we can choose to be normal, or we can choose to be legendary. I know which one I’d pick, and I hope you’ll join me on the path of awesome.
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace