During the courses of our lives we go through a lot of transition periods. Transitions can be both stressful and awesome.
Marriages, graduations, new careers, new relationships, new destinations …
That last one is an interesting one for me and it prompted this article.
My second night in Bangkok I hung out with Sean Ogle of Location180.com (check it out, he rocks) and we were talking about how much we love our lives. Is that nerdy? ;)
But we were also talking about stresses involved with our work. That stress being, we love what we do, but when we’re in a travel period (transition period) and visiting a new city, it’s tough to get work done. And not working is stressful because it’s something we enjoy. It’s a funny cycle. :)
Tangent (you know how I love them): Sean is also a guitar player. Like me, he gets stressed if he can’t play a guitar for an extended period of time. One of the many reasons I built a guitar in India is because when I was traveling through Australia/New Zealand for 4 months it was stressful not having a guitar.
But I digress …
While in Bangkok (I’m in Chiang Mai now, love it!) I knew it was just for a short while so I put off work even though I had stuff to get done. On both Thursday and Friday I went to one of the Regus offices in the city (free access with my Amex Platinum Card) and did 1-2 hours of work. But the city was calling me so I answered.
What Are Stressful Transitions?
Stressful transitions are different for me and you. Mine are things like being on the road for an extended period of time vs staying put in a new place for an extended period of time.
Traveling around New Zealand in a bus for 30 days? Awesome! But stressful as all get out. (I think I’ve used that phrase twice within the past 2 weeks. When will it get out of my system? Nobody knows.)
Goa, India for 2 months? Besides the first few weeks of figuring out Internet access, not stressful.
The last 24 hours were a little bit stressful:
- 14 hour overnight train (thanks to the nice British family who let me take one of their bottom, roomier, berths in exchange for my crappier upper berth!) with a bunch of loud drunk punks.
- The one vegetarian dinner option on the train wasn’t available (they did have 10 meat options, so you know, really catering to all the Buddhists) so when I got to Chiang Mai I was starving.
- The first few apartments I looked at were out of the way and expensive. Walking from apartment to apartment in the 100F/38C heat was exhausting.
But then, awesomeness:
- I quickly found a great veg restaurant.
- I found a sweet apartment for $300/month (including Internet and weekly cleaning) with 3 veg restaurants within a 60 second walk!
- All the stress immediately melted away even though I felt like I just took a shower and thought I might faint. :)
Our goal in life should be to minimize stressful transitions to maximize awesomeness.
The reason I do what I do the way that I do it is to minimize stressful transitions, which makes the fun stuff even more fun for me.
Sure, I don’t see as much as other people who travel. But I’m not here (there, or anywhere) to see everything. I’m simply living my life in a way that makes me happiest.
The Game Changer: Minimalism
My secret to minimizing the stress of even stressful transitions is through minimalism.
Minimalism and Transitions
Less stuff = less stress! ;)
My stressful transitions are less stressful because I have less to worry about.
If you’re stressed, I guarantee adopting even a little bit of minimalism into your life will do wonders to relieve your stress.
I could write for days about minimalism, but here are some rock stars who have written a lot about it:
Everett Bogue – The Freedom of Living With 75 Things
Tammy Strobel – How To Unplug From Stuff
David Damron – 15 Ways To Become A Minimalist In 2010
Colin Wright – All 51 Things I Own
Now that I’m so quickly settled here in Chiang Mai I’m going to:
- Eat awesome food.
- Do some fun shit.
How about you? What do you do to minimize stressful transitions and maximize awesomeness?