Derek Sivers
from the book “How to Live”:

Here’s how to live: Reinvent yourself regularly.


People say everything is connected.
They’re wrong.
Everything is disconnected.
There is no line between moments in time.

Something happened.
Something else happened.
People love stories, so they connect two events, calling them cause and effect.
But the connection is fiction.

It’s a hard fiction to escape.
“My parents did that, so that’s why I did this.”
Those two events are not connected.
There is no line between moments in time.

Same with definitions.
“I’m an introvert, so that’s why I can’t.”
Definitions are not reasons.
Definitions are just your old responses to past situations.
What you call your personality is just a past tendency.
New situations need a new response.

Are you more emotional or intellectual?
Early bird or night owl?
Liberal or conservative?
Disagree with the question.
You aren’t supposed to be easy to explain.

Putting a label on a person is like putting a label on the water in a river.
It’s ignoring the flow of time.

Your identity.
Your meanings.
Your trauma.
They’re all based on the core idea that you’re in a continuum, living a story.
But there is no line between moments in time.
There is no story.
There is no plot.

Should you try to be consistent with your past self?
Should a newspaper try to be consistent with past news?
You’re an ongoing event — a daily improvisation — responding to the situation of the moment.

Your past is not your future.
Whatever happened before has nothing at all to do with what happens next.
There is no consistency.
Nothing is congruent.
Never believe a story.

You’ve changed so much over time.
Your past self is as different from your current self as you are from other people.
Your past self needs to step down, like a previous president, to let the new you run the show.

Doing what you’ve always done is bad for your brain.
If you don’t change, you’ll age faster and get stuck.

The way to live is to regularly reinvent yourself.

Every year or two, change your job and move somewhere new.
Change the way you eat, look, and talk.
Change your preferences, opinions, and usual responses.
Try the opposite of before.

Disconnect from your past.
Cut all common threads.
Keep nothing permanent.
No tattoos.
Remain a clean slate.

At every little decision, ten times a day, choose the thing you haven’t tried.
Act out of character.
It’s liberating.
Get your security not from being an anchor, but from being able to ride the waves of change.

Let go of your expertise.
You built that boat to cross that river, so leave it there.
Don’t drag it along with you.
The timid cling to achievements.
The wise keep their hands free.

Nature changes seasons at regular intervals.
So should you.
We can’t prolong one season.
Never stay too long.
Knowing something is going to end gives you more appreciation for it.

Every reinvention is the beginning, which is the most exciting time.
Like a promise, just given.