You’ve got 20 minutes to change your life in 100 ways. Go.
This is the premise of an exercise I tried once, when I was feeling stuck in life. I wasn’t sure what was amiss, but the routine I had fallen into was not satisfying the inner voice in me that insisted there was something else out there for me. (See also: Change Your Life With Storytelling)
After trying (forcefully) to understand what was going on, reading self-help books, filling out aptitude tests, and working with business and life coaches, I was given a suggestion that became a catalyst for some pretty big personal changes.
Here is how you can change your life in 20 minutes, step by step:
- Clear all distractions. Turn off the phone, the TV, the computer. Lock your door, and go to a quiet place.
- Sit down comfortably at a desk or table, with a blank piece of paper and a pen in front of you.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes.
- Go. Write down 100 things you want to do. Or careers you want to have. Or people you would like to meet. The sky is the limit.
- Don’t be realistic. Dream big. Write down the craziest things you can think of, as well as the things that you don’t even think bear mentioning because they are so simple. Write it all down.
- Work quickly. 20 minutes isn’t very long, and you have 100 items to get through, if you can. Don’t think about whether or not to write down an idea — just write. Write everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make sense. Just keep on writing, and don’t stop until that timer goes off.
Something happens after about 10 or 15 minutes if you employ the exercise to its full potential. You stop caring about what specifically the ideas are, and you start to release an inner creativity that may have been locked away for a while. In an effort to get through 100 things in 20 minutes, you start to write outlandish things down that you aren’t even really sure you want, but that are ideas that came to you nonetheless.
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