Nine Steps Towards a More Interesting Life

The best way to get a better answer is to start asking a better question.
Tony Robbins

One of the biggest challenges you will ever face in your life is to look above all the minor distractions of today and envision the bigger picture. Unfortunately most people are so caught up in the minutia of daily life that they neglect to ask the right questions. I hear a lot of questions from people wanting life to be easier or for more success.

In my opinion asking for ease or success is asking the wrong question. I think these questions are based off the idea that the most satisfying life is the one with the least troubles and the most results. I disagree. I would say the best life is the one that is the most interesting. As you approach your own end the ease of your life or sustaining results won’t matter nearly so much as how you lived the process.

Here are nine steps for taking a dull or mediocre existence and creating a life that is actually worth living. A life that is interesting.

Step One: Meet More People

One of the best ways to make your life more interesting is simply to have a larger social reference group. Each connection you make with another human being is like a small opening into their world. If that connection is valuable then many of the interesting events, ideas and growth they experience can be shared with yourself.

Some people who are poor at meeting new people justify this outlook with an elitist attitude. Other people are inferior (ignorant, unkind, shallow, mean) in some way so as to justify not meeting them. Unfortunately this attitude corrupts every relationship you form and you become stranded on a social island.

I disagree with the psychological hypothesis that says our tendency towards meeting new people and forming relationships is fixed and unchangeable. I am incredibly outgoing today but this wasn’t always the case. I can remember times just a few years before where I had trouble sustaining more than a few friends, now I know hundreds of people and have strong ties with a few dozen. Socializing is a skill that may come from birth but can certainly be learned through practice.

Step Two: Take Up New Hobbies

Remember that activity you always wanted to try but never had time for. Do it now. Life won’t wait for your schedule to clear up so you need to take the initiative. I’m not saying you need to abandon all your duties, but you need to actively invest some of your time in trying new things.

Don’t stick to one hobby for too long either. Most hobbies are non-essential skills so achieving a mastery level of them generally doesn’t yield much more benefits than proficiency. If you love your hobby stick with it, but it is important to keep trying new things to keep your life interesting.

Not sure where to start? My personal advice for a ‘hobby’ everyone could benefit from is to go stop by your local Toastmasters club. Communication is the key to life (and meetings are fun too). Besides if you enjoy it you might just complete steps one and two at the same time. You can find a club in your area here.

Step Three: Be Spontaneous

I must say that my ability to be spontaneous was incredibly low until just recently. I was a big fan of having a fixed schedule and sticking to it. Only later did I realize that by sticking to a rigid schedule I missed as many opportunities as I capitalized on by using it. Spontaneity isn’t a hard skill to learn, it is combining flexibility with discipline that is difficult.

Successful flexibility comes from having a very strong inner sense of discipline. This is the ability to act upon opportunities knowing the costs associated. Without this inner discipline it is too easy to waste time pursuing opportunities when demands are placed on you.

Ironically the key to practicing this discipline has to start with a fairly rigid approach to productivity. From this point slowly act on more and more spontaneous opportunities all while adhering to the things you need to do. Eventually you should be able to recognize the costs associated with taking up an opportunity or not without requiring extreme rigidity.

Step Four: Tackle Fears

The ultimate enemy of an interesting life is fear. Boredom is just another symptom of fear because you are limiting yourself within a box of ‘safe’ activities. When you build up your courage to taking down fears your life suddenly becomes a lot more interesting, challenging and most of all satisfying.

I’ve written fairly extensively about overcoming fears already, so if you would like to so you can check it out here.

Step Five: Do Things You Won’t Like

This may seem like a very bizarre step, but it is essential to creating an interesting life. Every once in awhile you need to step outside your zone of preferred activities and test the waters of activities you dislike. You might be displeased or you might just discover something you now enjoy. Many of the things I now love I once though I would hate.

Have no rhythm? Take some dancing lessons. Not an athlete? Join a community sports team. Everything you make in the kitchen starts on fire? Try some cooking lessons (and pick up an extra fire extinguisher).

Step Six: Add Some Spice

What’s the spice of life? Variety of course! If there is one thing you can do to create a more interesting life it is to add more variety. Humans are habitual creatures and readily settle into patterns of behavior good or bad. You need to mix up your life by breaking out of these patterns and doing something completely different.

This may seem like a complete turn around from someone who wrote an entire series on forming habits. I trust you it isn’t. The amount of habits you consciously choose to install will be less than 1% of all the habits you use every day. Most of these habits are neutral or worse and could use a good shaking to add some variety.

So take a different route to work next morning, try a different breakfast or listen to a radio station you have never heard before. And that’s just before you get to the job. There are endless ways to add tiny bits of variety and while it might seem trivial, it is essential to make each day worthwhile and memorable.

A friend of mine introduced me to an interesting challenge to add more variety. Next time you go to the grocery store, head over to the imported foods aisle and pick out one item you have never had before. Last week I had plantain chips and guava juice. Today I have grass jelly juice cooling in my fridge.

Step Seven: Orient Purpose Outside Yourself

You want to know what it is the best way to feel awful and miserable all the time? Keep thinking about all your problems. Maybe it is time to stop worrying about that garbage and instead focus on helping other people solve their problems? Not only does this make others appreciate you more and strengthens relationships, but it makes your life more interesting as well.

Many people wrongly assume that helping others is something you do purely out of altruism. This is incorrect, you help people because helping others helps yourself. Why do you think your body is hardwired to feel good after being charitable? Because being charitable helps you as well. It’s win-win!

Solving others problems doesn’t usually bear the negative weight that tackling your own does so it is a great way to add interest to your life without the burden of more and more challenges. Even if it is as simple as trying to make people laugh or feel good. When you orient the purpose of every interaction outside yourself you get to experience an interesting life.

Step Eight: Abandon Dead-End’s

Pursuing goals is a great way to fill your life with more passion and interest, but there comes a time when your goals no longer inspire or hold the same fire they once did. Abandon any pursuit that no longer holds the value it did when you started. There is no honor in finishing something that has lost meaning. The person who said, “Always finish what you start.” must of had a very boring life.

I’ve made the mistake of giving up on goals because I felt they were too hard. This was a bad mistake, but I usually take up a new challenge when I grow restless. Unfortunately a bigger mistake is to keep pursuing a goal that has lost value. I’ve done this and wasted solid months and years pursuing things that when I finally arrived at them resulted only in emptiness. Abandon a dead-end and keep every moment interesting.

Step Nine: Never Settle

When most people tell you not to settle they mean don’t give up until you have exactly what you want. Although this is an important lesson I’m using the term settle in a different way. When I say don’t settle I mean don’t lock your life into a set of behaviors and experiences. Your life should always be growing, expanding and fresh.

Now I know what you’re thinking, sure this is fine advice coming from a young man with no commitments but I have a spouse, children and mortgage payments. Of course we all have varying responsibilities which we need to uphold, but what you are really offering is just an excuse. You can grow and expand in any setting no matter the restrictions, so long as you have conscious power.

Being in a situation with more responsibilities simply means you need to be more creative in keeping life fresh. Nobody will care that you wasted your life because you had to. If there isn’t a way, make one. Don’t excuse yourself out of a great life.

Of course these nine steps are just the start. What would you recommend to make life more interesting? I’d love to hear your responses.

  • Jeffrey Seely

    I’d like to add to step one (meet more people).

    There’s more depth to this idea than simply meeting more people. For example, you may have no problem meeting plenty of people (i.e. you’re at a college). But you may have been resistant to develop those relationships.

    Plunge right into the risk of deeply developing relationships.

    And step six (add some spice).

    My favorite way of adding spice is by reading a book I would never imagine myself reading. Go into the library/bookstore and pick up something completely random–but still interesting. Read a book on stocks, chess, celtic mythology–whatever. This works great with magazines too.

    Just for kicks, let me try a couple concrete steps:

    Step Ten: Travel

    Traveling is a great way to introduce a rush of exciting, new experiences to your life. Try being spontaneous. An excess of planning is unnecessary in recreational traveling, in my opinion. Go to college out of state. Study abroad.

    Step Eleven: Buy Experiences, Not Material Goods

    Surely you’ve picked up by now that material goods aren’t a very reliable source of fulfillment in life. Good experiences, however, tend to be. Spend money on travelling, or go to a fancy restaurant with some friends. Sure, you can even buy an exciting video game, since, even though it’s a material good, it will provide a fun experience.

  • Eric

    Go browse through your old autograph books and start calling your friends whom you have not contacted for a long long time. Organize a get-together and relish on the good old days. Include your teachers too.

    Go to the rental stall and pick up some DVDs. Invite a few friends over and chill over beer and chips. Ok, you can make it a bit more sophiscated. Do a pot luck or something. (grins)

  • Scott Young

    Great steps, Jeffrey and Eric.

    Jeffrey – I’d have to say that the depth of relationships is important as well, unfortunately most people simply end up with familiarity rather than true depth.

  • Maria Palma


    This is great advice and something I try to do a little bit of each every day. It’s amazing what can happen if you just stay open-minded and simply “seize the day”!

    I would add meditate and set time aside to reflect on your life. Going within can lead to a more peaceful state of mind.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments, Maria.

    I agree that self-reflection is important.

  • Nathaniel

    Hey Scott, great article! I can apply almost all of those steps to my life.

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments, Nathaniel

  • Juhani

    on June 7, 1966, Robert F. Kennedy said, “There is a Chinese curse which says, “May he live in interesting times.”

    I do agree, that living a good life might mean living an interesting life. One could question, if it is the only way, as monks might also live a good life. Monks can be buddhist/christian.

  • Henrik Edberg

    I like Jeffrey´s suggestion about picking up something I wouldn´t imagine myself reading etc. I especially like to pick up random music after browsing amazon and other music-sites. And also visiting the library and picking up books and magazines on stuff I haven´t got a clue about.

    And some excellent steps there Scott. Really like number three since I´m also trying to be more spontaneus.

  • Scott Young


    Anyone can live an interesting life. But I think the real question is what defines interesting?

    An interesting life to me is one with a high amount of challenges and growth. This will inevitably mean a great deal of pain or challenge, but ultimately leads to happiness and fulfillment. As I’ve grown and matured I’ve started to realize how all the pain and struggles I experience have sculpted a greater quality of experience.

    Tony Robbins has frequently stated that he believes two human needs are the need for certainty and variety. Variety is interest in our lives. But certainty is necessary to ensure we have the emotional, physical and spiritual energy to sustain the variety. Unfortunately I think most people lead relatively boring lives, unwilling to push themselves to a higher level of experience.


    Glad you enjoyed.

  • Jeff

    Step Twelve: Anticipate

    The excitement you get while looking forward to something great often exceeds the actual enjoyment of the thing itself. So don’t rush into fun things. The experience will be over too fast and you probably won’t remember it as well, either (and memories are often all you end up with). So plan things in advance, and savor the anticipation.

    And don’t limit yourself to the big things like vacations and plasma TVs. Most of life is about small things, so find ways to anticipate them, too: an evening relaxing with your honey in front of the TV, a lunch at a non-fast food restaurant, a new toothbrush, whatever!

    Sure, be spontaneous sometimes, but don’t make it the rule.

  • Scott Young


    Great point.

  • Patrick

    Do I really need to simply meet more people to lead a more interesting life? You defined an intersting life as having a high amount of challenges and growth, well, that can certainly be accomplished without meeting a bunch of new people. If i’m not an outgoing person, I don’t see how forcing myself to be outgoing and more social is necessarily going to make my life more interesting. And, I can see how developing real depth to a hobby can make one’s life more interesting than doing many hobbies superficially….it can even be the catalyst by which one gains access to meeting more people and becoming more social, if that is desired.

    What are your thoughts on focusing on your strengths and not trying to become something you’re not? Luther D. Price said “be what you is not what you aint, cos if you aint what you is, you is what you aint”. Am I saying that there is no value in learning and growing and meeting new people? No! It’s just not necessary to lead a more interesting life. Some people are far more interested, in say, sitting at home and working on a new song, or work on deepening the realationship with some close friends, as opposed to feeling the need to run out and search for opportunities to bring many people into their social circle.

    In another article, I believe there was some questioning as to the origination of the term “lateral growth”. I have seen this term used elsewhere. There is a site on teaching the principles of playing guitar run by Jamey Andreas, and he uses the term quite a bit. Google the site and you may find some of his articles interesting, I did.

    As I delve into researching the ideas of personal development, I have found your articles to be very interesting and thought provoking. Thanks!


  • Scott Young


    No, of course meeting more people isn’t a necessity towards a more interesting life, but I’ve found that other people open you up to new things that you otherwise wouldn’t find. You don’t have to meet new people, but don’t cut off your options for an interesting life too soon. I used to see myself as very introverted and I can say that meeting new people have really opened new paths in growth for myself.

    As for the term lateral growth I arrived at it spontaneously and hadn’t heard it before here. After hearing Steve use it I was surprised, but I suppose it is a logical term to use for such an idea, so I can’t take credit.


  • James

    people are animals, just find a nice girlfriend and a group people you like( they like u too) Go anywhere and do anythng with them is fun, its the people that is making u interesting, not the place, think about if u go to the best place in the world by yourself , would that be good? NO, it will be boring.

    Meet new peple every week is criticle , cuz u might find even more people that u like!

  • Visoth

    Step TEN: Give someone a big warm hug.

    A simple short hug doesn’t do much, but if that is all you got then its better than nothing. But find someone that is close to you, or a complete stranger who is going through a rough time, and offer a big hug and just love on them. You’ll amazed how good you will feel afterwards.

    Step 11: Spend a little more time in the morning looking your best and feeling your best – as if you are going to meet the love of your life for the first time. SMELL GOOD too!

    Step 12: Tell someone in your family that you love them unconditionally.

    Step 13: Find something to laugh at – even if it doesn’t make sense – force yourself to laugh – and laugh HARD until your cheeks hurts.

  • sameera

    you are mind blowing men
    very useful materila and it is wonder ful
    thanx sott

  • Shawn

    Really good tips. I am having a bit of trouble meeting new people. Any specific tips you would be prepared to give on introducing yourself and such?

  • Scott Young


    Say, “Hi”. It’s always worked for me. 😉


  • Sue.

    I have a tip:

    get diagnosed with ADD.

    seriously, it works for me.


  • Nick

    Hello chaps
    One way that life could be made more interesting is being able to write to an acceptable standard. I used this blog in an English class the other day and I wish I hadn’t. My students don’t speak English very well but were able to point out a fair few mistakes. That gets my goat.

    On the subject of having an interesting life, I have a few thoughts of my own while I am here. You could petition your government to stop being such c*nts, stop sitting around navel gazing and living in cyberspace and go to the pub. Meet some women and stop wanking so much. Stop killing afghans. They won’t forget you in a hurry.

    I know you won’t print this because it’s too well written.

    A hacked off Londoner.

  • Scott Young


    After publishing over one million words of content through this blog, there will be occasional proofreading errors that slip by. I do my best to correct them, but I’m human too.


  • Joseph the Liar

    I just want to be able to have fun at school. If I can have an interesting and fun school-life then i’m set. I stay up very very late because I don’t want to waste time sleeping. I dread getting up in the morning for another cookie cutter school day. I’m going to try your suggestions. Then i’m gonna commit suicide if they don’t work. My life is in your hands. Goodbye.

  • Flow

    One of the biggest challenges you will ever face in your life is to look above all the minor distractions of today and envision the bigger picture. Unfortunately most people are so caught up in the minutia of daily life that they neglect to ask the right questions. I hear a lot of questions from people wanting life to be easier or for more success.

    Steven R. Covey says:

    Be proactive, meaning, that you should focus on exercizing your freedom (no matter how embrionic it is) and not focus on your concerns.

    He talks about an inside-out approach in which you align yourself with your goal first.

    I see parallels to “seeing the big picture”,

    I must say that the teachings of the 7 habits of highly effective people blew my mind. Tony Robbins in my eyes doesn’t get to the bottom of it all, it’s not practical. Yet I bought his book 😀 the power principle..

    So, for me I just want to have sex! oh yes 😀

  • Emma

    I dont have anything to recommend, just wanted to say thanks

  • SonthePudding

    This is a really nice article that gives simple yet workable advices. I am a student who just recently finished my exams that left me with distaste. I just thought that life is so boring and tiring, it’s just like no matter how “hard” I try, everything just won’t really change. But having read through these comments, I realize that values do matter a lot too when it comes to constructing a more interesting life. For me, I just set an ambitious goal of trying my very best in everything that I do, not necessarily doing terribly successful but really to put in your heart and soul and dare yourself to try. So, just tell yourself, there’s wholelot of things that are worth trying and just do it. You will feel great, and that’s really when life gets interesting, albeit not very adventurous. 😀

  • Jasmin

    – when i was reading this article i was kind of lighten up. because actually my life is in the stage that you know kind of boring in my daily routines in life. but i must say that same step are hard to deal with like what if you don’t have money , what if people around me don’t like me. you know those question is my problem right now. but even though i’m thinking in the positive way . the fact that it’s real really make me sick. would you help me to solve my problems. 🙂

  • Omnia

    thanks alot for this great article
    I began to realize recently that my life is kind of boring when I found myself daydreaming alot
    for me I think that being sociable and meeting new people is not very easy
    do you have any ideas on how to deepen superficial relationships and how to maintain long term friendships thanks again

  • Luke Jordan

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

  • Kat Leister-Gray

    I honestly think this is good advice for an average person.

    However, I’m still a young teenager under my parents’ roof. I already know everyone I can meet. I can’t just go places because I won’t have a license for another couple years. I don’t get an allowance and am too young to do a job. And everything I really want to do (like skydiving, dyeing my hair turquoise, going to Japan) I can’t. So thanks for the advice…. but it’s not really going to help me. Sorry.

  • Emilie

    Knowing that within three years I will be independent enough to go out on my own and control my own life, your advice has excited me enough for the future that I think I will be able to make it through the next two years of high school. I’ve been having some trouble lately with mental conflict, because I feel like my life is very bland and purposeless. Every day these negative thoughts cloud up my mind. Hopefully I can use this advice to my advantage and get on the right track again. Thank you for it.

  • Ivy

    Technically that guy Nick made his own error by not capitalizing Afghans, seeing as it is a nationality and requires capitalization. So it was not so well written after all. Don’t correct someone else’s minimal errors if you can’t catch your own.
    Scott- this article is on my favorites bar so that I remember to reach out and do things out of my element to create a more meaningful and enriched life. Thank you for your insight and suggestions, to those who are open and searching for a few pointers on discovering a full life. I recently made a friend who knows everyone, and I thought of this article and used it as inspiration to show those people who I am. I’ve realized the knowledge and adventures I can gain and experience from reaching out to new people, and I am happier now than I have been for the last few years. Thank you for your thoughtful words and ability to inspire.

  • Krish

    Hey scott…!

    Nice article dude. well written and in very simple terms..

    i just want to say a simple thanks but i mean it….

    Now, Bore to the core has left my floor…

    keep going and do keep in touch

  • joyal

    Hi scott….!!!!

    Nice points……. was feeling quite low for some days felt real lonely and bored, atleast now i have something to thing over. Don’t know if i will be able to apply it in my life but it is worth giving a try

  • Sathiyamoorthi

    Actually what am thinking, we are always be in some group of people, and what is your mind think just do that it is right or wrong just do it… it will make very happy for mind………….

  • Soap

    I have seen so much on how to lead a more interesting life. This is by far the best advice colum ever. However, I can think of one more thing to add that has not been mentioned.

    Make friends early in life and hold on to those friends

    Im 19, have few friends, and am really regretting it. My best friend is my PC. Pathetic right? If you are young and are shy like me, you can change. Get out their and meet people, don’t be like me. I figured having good relations with my family and going on many wonderful vacations would be enough, but ever since high school, I have less friends than ever, Mostly because everyone started drinking, and the whole idea about what is fun changed. You do not have to drink to fit in. Find people who are like you, develope lasting relationships. and dont let them go, that was my mistake, now I feel it is to late. When you are young is the time to make good lasting friendships, It only gets harder as you get older. I hope this helps anyone who reads this, you do not want to end up friendless. Having friends for a long time creates interesting experiences, and promotes self esteem.

  • Anna Ari

    interesting list!
    for a lot of more steps check out the book “get out of your comfort zone” from sascha ballach, it’s really inspiring

  • sandeep

    One thing I observed of cribbing (another way of expressing boredom and unhappiness) is that it is often reflected. I have been doin this quite a bit and mostly if I say something good and interested there is a reflection in response. One key I found is to train your mind to to speak interesting stuff, happiness, variety, new learning, and what more can we get out around. Suddenly the results are just fundooo !

  • Niki

    learn new how to speak in other language

  • Marci

    Not that helpful but good

  • Saravan

    Good article , but I belive making life intresting is not a crash course.Doing all these will certainly contribute to it , but above all , the human mind should have inner peace and happiness.This would come from a happy environment,peaceful job, family set up etc etc.Imagine a person making more friends with a family set up heading to divorce!.So , at the bottom – making life intresting needs a steady , calm and alert mind which in turn has dependencies on its environment.Still going deeper , we could find ways to make our enviornment better and build upon it to make life “really” intresting.
    This is out of my own experience!

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  • Great stuff in this post, definitely what I was needing to read. I agree with step seven the most: I need to stop focusing on my problems and start helping others with theirs. Thanks!

  • Andy

    Great stuff in this post, definitely what I was needing to read. I agree with step seven the most: I need to stop focusing on my problems and start helping others with theirs. Thanks!