Formatting my laptop, as well as my life.


Today I have been busy with formatting my laptop. It was clogged up with shit; tiny programs I didn’t use, pictures I don’t need anymore, folders full with crap. It worked slow because it was full of old things. Simultaneously I was reformatting the way I live, without even knowing! I was full of old things, things I didn’t use anymore. 

When I finished my internship (as a graphic designer) in the winter of 2014, I had no clue what to do. I was laying awake at night, staring at the ceiling thinking about what the hell I would do with my life. Recently I had made a long distance cycling trip and this resulted in a film about WWOOF and cycling. I knew I loved traveling, cycling and camping, but it was only after the good reactions on the film that I realized there was an audience for these kind of things. This was the moment I knew what to do with my life. Try to earn my living with making adventurous journeys. Now of course nobody will pay me to go traveling, but I’m trying to at least show myself by writing, making films and talking wherever I can. You are reading this, so this means I do a little well, thanks! 🙂

But it’s not easy to set something up for yourself. There is nobody telling you what to do, and how to do it. Nobody tells you if you’re doing things right or wrong. The articles I’m writing, are they at least a little professional? I’m a filmmaker, so I write, but I’m no professional writer! I push myself to learn, push myself to write about my journeys and by pushing myself I know at some point I will learn to master this. Although it’s the pushing that is the hardest, everybody setting up their own thing can relate I think.

The hardest part of pushing yourself, is knowing yourself and being satisfied with yourself. Knowing your rhythm, your pace in life or how you deal with pressure for example. When I look at my life everything goes quite well. My latest film has been watched 3000 times in 10 days, I just have a new job in a travel book store, my articles get published and I’m part of an awesome travel collective where we give lectures on schools. But as I was not satisfied with my laptop anymore, today I was not satisfied with myself.

I’ve made a list of things I was not satisfied with. The reasons of dissatisfaction could be turned around so that these things don’t bother me anymore. Quite a big thing is my life rhythm: I know I’m quite lazy in the mornings. You could say I’m a night owl. You will probably not see me work before 10 if I don’t have to. So my day starts between 11 and 12, but I keep on trying to start at nine (as “normal” people do). Fuck it, I will just start at 11, and stop at 19:00. It leaves me more satisfied, then to push and force myself to a rhythm that is not for me. But this also means I will try to go to bed early, and not start a film or anything else after 0:00. What goes hand in hand with this time thing, is the quantity of things I do in this time. Nearly every day I want to do more than I really do. I decided to write down what I did every day, and have a look on Friday, with a cold beer in my hand. Did I really do so less, or is it just my brain, telling me I could do way more?

Writing down my dissatisfactions, problems or troubles helps me to think about them, and read them back afterwards. Next month I will take the paper I wrote it down on, and have a look if I’m still so dissatisfied with these things. Probably there are some other things, life is never perfect. Unless you eat ice cream and listen to Metallica at the same time. But asking yourself questions, and writing down the answers helps putting things in perspective. Alastair Humphreys has a great lists of “20 questions to answer honestly“. This is a list of progress.

Since just one year I’m busy with adventures and seeing how I can make a living from this. I know it’s not easy. The easiest is actually going out, writing about it, filming it or talking about the journeys. The hardest part happens in my brain. Can I really do it? Why don’t I get a “normal” job? Am I doing it right? What if I fail? Since one year I’m finally motivated to make the best of what I can, and motivation is the only thing you need to succeed in what you want. It’s these moments of  doubt that make you sharp, that let you reinvent yourself and that make sure progress is happening.

After formatting my laptop, it was running smooth like a new fabricated BMW. With my hands on the steering wheel I look forward, with the reasons that slow me down on a paper. No more speed limits, because I’m cruising in my fresh BMW! (Damn, this is dangerous, I don’t even have a driver’s license!)

You can check my articles, films or follow me on Facebook!

4 thoughts on “Formatting my laptop, as well as my life.

  1. I never ask myself the question: “What do I want with my life?” But I can not denie it eather. Maybe the most good thing to do is on these kind of days just write down your thoughts and not make any big decisions. For example, I write down each year with Christmas/NewYear what I want to get out of the year. On a paper somewhere hidden and I only check it when really needed. Each year I look on the paper and compare it to last year. Sometimes I just make papers for a day, when I wake up. To get out of the day what I want. A list of practical things to do. Answering the big question for yourself is just to frustrating. Life is complex you cannot answer what you want to do with it. Maybe for the coming year or two but that’s probably it. I mean that is what my personal view is. Anyway, nice to read about your struggles and progress. Good luck with getting ‘there.’

    • True, life is quite complex, but it holds one simple truth: If you’re not happy with something, change it to something you’re happy with. For me this works, and writing down what it is that frustrates you, might help in the process. But it’s a good idea to write down a paper of what you want to get out of the year, maybe you get it out, maybe you don’t, but at least you thought about it. Good tip for me to try, and see if it works for me too. When i’m “There” ill send you a postcard, haha. 🙂

  2. Hi Erwin
    On such days when I spent many hours with laptop I also not feeling well. I guess that’s a simple reason. Computers/internet occupies our personal time and our lives. Every morning I’m sorting out my mind and thinking to spend less time with the laptop, But find myself in the end of the day by scrolling the facebook feed or reading a blog of any traveller.

    • I know the feeling you have. Unplugging is a good, but by times hard thing to do it seems. But if you set some times you can scroll trough facebook and read blogs, it already feels better. Just 30 minutes a day for example. Although, reading traveller blogs is a source of inspiration too 🙂

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