Broaden Your Idea of What’s Possible for Your Life

In the last five years I discovered that it was possible for an awkward, non-technical, non-athletic farm kid to skip college and become an important part of a cryptocurrency tech startup, become a fairly avid trail runner, and become comfortable living in a big(ish) city.

I wouldn’t have known if or how I could have done these things, because I didn’t really know how much was possible.

I’m willing to bet that most people don’t have a clear understanding of just how many options they have, and just how many different paths they could take with some effort.

Even tonight I’ve been browsing through apprenticeships and work in a state way out West, and I’ve been going down rabbit holes of new ways
I could spend the next year of my life. Now I am starting to realize how customizable and diverse life can be if designed with the right effort, intention, and skill.

Location? It may take some time and money, but there are cheap ways to get to some all kinds of cool places in this country, whether in New Hampshire or Colorado.

Job? As a young person with a tolerance for risk and lower-budget living, I don’t need a big salaried position. I can afford to start at the ground level of just about anything.

Hobbies? Find a friend who loves climbing, or skiing, or swordfighting. Or join a meetup.

5 years of doing the same thing (even an awesome desk job) or living in the same place (even a great city) can limit you to thinking that you can only make lateral moves. It’s just not true. As I make decisions about my next move, it’s been helpful to have moments that have made me realize just how wide my options are.

I don’t have to take a lateral move into a desk job. I don’t have to go work a retail or chain job somewhere either. I don’t have to stay put. I don’t have to be the same person with the same habits. And realizing that – as well as seeing my options – is helping me to get closer to finding a thing that really lights my fire.

Originally published at

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments