Novelty – how to live a life to remember

We often get caught up in trying to achieve great work where the key is consistency, putting the work in day by day and becoming 1% better. However, this also leads to a rather uneventful life, where it’s easy to burn-out. To ensure you don’t sacrifice youth, you should include high-quality, novel experiences sporadically in your life to spice it up

The below essay was part of my #ship30for30 journey. The post was greatly inspired by an interview with Collin Waldoch on the Indie Hackers podcast where he talks about his journey to launch a weekly quiz for companies which now makes 250k USD ARR. Think there’s a lot more unpacking to do in this than 250 words does justice.

When you speak to people about COVID there is always that one group of people that has been bored out of their minds. Days have blended together and routines have taken over their life. A year that was by all accounts globally historical – was completely unmemorable at the individual level after the first month.

Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it

Joshua Foer

Consistency vs. novelty moments

What becomes apparent is the lack of newness.

When working towards achieving goals in life, consistency is key. Here you build routines and habits to maximize for efficiency and simplicity. This includes fitness, diet, producing great work. Everything where iterations and deliberate practice moves you forward.

However, when you constantly do the same things in the same order, the days ends up becoming indistinguishable from each other. If you instead do new things, seek out new places, the variety acts as a mental separator. With new experiences, the novelty acts as an anchor for your memories.

Therefore, if you want a life worth living, you should seek out new experiences to hook memories when not in “efficiency mode” . This is everything from exotic vacations, day trips with the family to new coffee shops.

Joshua Foer wrote “creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.” What is the value of a long life if it only felt short and uneventful? To live a life worth remembering, we should all prioritize new experiences so even a short life becomes memorable.

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