The Big Advantages Of Having Nowhere To Go

The Big Advantages Of Having Nowhere To Go

Mar. 27, 2020

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Sports have been the focus of my whole life.

My dad’s in his athletic Hall of Fame. So is my uncle.

[So am I!]

Every book I used to read, every magazine, every TV show had something to do with sports.

Now sports are gone.

And I couldn’t care less.

Something that has been the crux of my life is now…whatever.

Why? There are more important things are going on. There are more important things to do.

It turns out what’s really fun is getting better at something. Not watching the NFL Draft.

We are happiest when we’re improving, moving forward. Watching and caring about sports does the opposite of that.

Worrying about the NBA Playoffs doesn’t make me better at anything.

It never will.

So, when there’s nothing to do, no distractions to keep us dulled, we have a big advantage.

We can get better at something.

Here are some advantages of being stuck somewhere:

  1. Improved fitness. We don’t need to be too fit. We don’t need to set world records. But being a little fitter makes everyday life much, much sweeter. Why aren’t we more buff? Too many distractions. Those are gone now. Now we can easily walk 10,000-20,000 steps a day. Now we can do the Seven app workout once or twice a day. Now we can see how many pushups we can do in a minute.
  2. Improved intelligence. As Charlie Munger said, “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.” Why don’t we read? Too busy. We’re too busy to have our lives immediately improved. Seems like a weird statement. With nothing to do, the obstacle is removed. All we have to do is pick a subject and get started. Once we start reading, it turns into a virtuous, intelligence-building circle.
  3. Improved serenity. Granted, if everyone in your house has nowhere to be, it might get quite loud where you’re at. But, once they’re locked in a closet, we’re left with a chance to just be quiet. With nothing pressing, we can be still. The value of being quiet, if even for a few minutes, is practically immeasurable. Decisions get clearer, happiness gets richer, relationships feel deeper. “All of humanity’s problems,” Blaise Pascal said in 1654, “stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
  4. Improved everything. Without our busy lives butting in, we have time to take a walk. What’s the benefit of walking? As Nietzsche said, “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.”  Or how about when Kierkegaard said, “I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” The best ideas and all our miseries solved? Those are pretty good benefits. And all we have to do is have some time and an outside.

Having nowhere to go can be a good thing.

We could be entirely new people by the time the distractions come back.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.