The other day my girlfriend asked, "What are you excited for this week?" I didn't have an answer.
It was kind of depressing.
If she had asked "What do you have to do this week?", I would have had an answer.
I'd fallen into a trap that so many of us do. We become prisoners of our own to-do lists. We tell ourselves that we can be happy after we've gotten everything done.
The problem with this approach is that there's always more to do. If you're waiting until 100% completion, you'll be waiting your whole life.
That's why I've decided to start viewing everything as a quest.
Why You Should Embrace Quests
When you view your life as a series of tasks, your focus is on the destination. You want to complete as many tasks as possible. It can feel good to check things off, but you don't get a very deep sense of fulfillment.
When you view your life as a series of quests, your focus is on the journey. You get to enjoy the entire process, not just the end. You don't have to wait to feel satisfied.
Anything can be turned into a quest. Even routine things like grocery shopping. These activities add up overtime and become a pretty significant chunk of your life.
What Makes A Good Quest
Every good quest includes two components:
- Exploring unknown territory; and
- Stretching outside of your comfort zone.
When you start to incorporate these into your daily life, the things that used to be chores suddenly become adventures. You no longer feel stressed or guilty about your to-do list.
So, how do we turn tasks into quests? Here are three simple steps...
How To Make Anything More Fun
1. Follow your excitement. The first step in any quest is to choose something that energizes you. Or you can insert energy into an existing activity. Mundane tasks like grocery shopping can be made into quests if you introduce the criteria above (i.e. gamify shopping by seeking out the healthiest foods for the least amount of money).
2. Define success. Even though a quest is about the journey, it's still important to know the destination upfront. How will you know if you've succeeded in your quest? This step is what transforms a series of unrelated tasks into a purpose-driven adventure. In high school, my friends went on a quest to find the best chicken wings in the Boston area. Clear and compelling goal there.
3. Call it a quest. This step might seem trivial, but it's not. Just categorizing your activities as quests creates a big shift in mindset. When I was in high school, my best friend and I used to come up with acronyms. I'm not just trying to grow my hair out to a man bun, I'm on Hair Quest (HQ). Now every awkward phase is simply part of the adventure.
Even though these are small examples, your quest can be something big. Maybe you want to be the best coach and trainer for entrepreneurs in the world (I'll race you). Or maybe you're just on a quest to find the best CPA for your business.
The Hidden Payoff Of Quests
What if instead of a series of tasks, your life was a series of quests? How would that change the way you viewed your work?
Well, for one thing, you'd probably feel like what you were doing had a lot more meaning. But I have another hypothesis...
I think you might actually get more done.
Why? Because you'll be more internally motivated. Instead of feeling like you "have to" do something, you'll remember that you "get to" do it.
After all, you're on a quest.
What new adventure will you start today?