Compasses all pointing in different directions.
Image generated on MidJourney

When Your Life’s GPS Keeps Saying ‘Recalculating`…

How I’m moving forward during uncertain times

Danny Forest
5 min readAug 15, 2023

--

Recently, I’m going through some kind of midlife crisis.

Maybe that doesn’t speak to you right now, but I believe at one point or another, we all go through something similar: a feeling that what we do just doesn’t matter anymore.

I’m not in my midlife yet, but I see myself approaching 40 faster than I thought I would. Heck, I still remember being scared of turning 30. It turns out, the 30s can be quite amazing!

In any case, by the time we get close to 40, there are some things we have been used to doing for many years. For me, that’s programming. I’ve been programming since I was about 13 years old.

That’s 27 years of doing the same thing.

Now, I’m lucky because programming is a very varied thing. The end result is always a new product. But the act of programming itself becomes easy and semi-automatic after a while, even if you keep trying new technologies as I do.

So recently, I’ve come to realize that the things I used to enjoy the most, like programming, writing, and being a nomad, have become more of a chore than something I want to do.

Have you ever felt this way before?

That’s problematic because that’s exactly how I make a living — by programming and writing.

I don’t feel like doing it.

Every time I stare are my screen to do it, I feel bored. I feel like what I do doesn’t matter.

So when I realized that, I did something that helps me get back on track — a Think Day.

A Think Day is a day where all I’m doing is jotting down notes in a journal. I go to a cafe, bring pen and paper — and then it’s just me and my notes for the next 8 hours or so.

During Think Day, I often find myself writing between 15–40 pages of notes (medium-sized notebook).

And to be clear, before starting, I have no clue what I’m going to write about. We often don’t realize how much we keep in our heads. Think Day is a great opportunity to let it all out.

--

--

Danny Forest

Polymath. Life Optimizer. Learner. Entrepreneur. Engineer. Writer.