10 Things That Might Surprise You About Me

#8: Being me all the time gets boring.

Maarten van Doorn
Sep 23, 2018 · 5 min read

Usually, I want to write things that create value.

What I’m sharing today has no such aim.

I was tagged by James Jordan in his post ‘10 things about me’. He challenged me to write a similar article. I was hesitant because I seek to produce essays that inspire others to think deeper and ‘10 things about me’ listicles don’t align with that goal.

James took his inspiration from the original post by Tim Cigelske (“Hello, world! 10 Things About Me”). I feel Tim when he confesses:

“I miss getting to learn more about a blogger’s life, journey and motivations. What’s their story?”

As a reader, I, too, love getting a peek behind the scenes and learning a bit more about the people I read. With that in mind, I decided to take up James’ challenge.

Here are 10 things about me:

1. I really like to work

I’m OK with “working all the time” or being a workaholic, or whatever.

I get what Ryan Holiday means when he writes:

“The only time I’m not happy is when I am not working in some way or another. When I’m just dicking around. To me, that’s unhappiness. Idling. Happiness is working and excelling. Fulfilling your potential.”

2. I’m a fan of cycling

It is kind of monotonous. So why on earth do I like it? My father is a cycling fan too and, ever since I was little, we used to watch it together, meanwhile reading the newspaper, swapping parts we had each finished, talking about the race and the news. Reading something while watching cycling reminds me of that and that makes me feel good.

Other non-work things I enjoy: craft beer (especially stouts), talking with friends/family, walking, ASMR — anyone? — , neat-but-not-too-fancy shirts, wearing a cap so that I don’t have to do my hair, discovering new food, places, and states of mind, cabaret, signing out loud, forests.

3. I often wonder whether I’d do anything “hard” if I could just feel good all day

To an article that asked how there can be truths about how to live in the first place, a friend replied:

It seems you need the answer to your questions to measure up against ‘am I living my life okay?’ Or ‘am I okay?’”

This hurts.

On the one hand, I tend to think that improving yourself to make a difference is something people who were born in a privileged position like mine should do. On the other hand, I sometimes envy people who seem to be less bothered by this alleged burden, leading me to doubt whether I’m instead working so hard to satisfy my need to believe that I’m okay.

4. I never know the way

5. I don’t have any social intelligence either

6. One of my favorite things is experiencing a different culture

Sadly, Hungarian wages don’t quite allow me to go on a big trip soon.

7. When I grow up I want to…?

You know, when I think about my future, nothing gives me a ‘this is it’ feeling. There is not one thing I’d like to do, but many. I want to be a writer, I want to be a teacher, I want to make a large-scale difference in education.

I don’t have a dream job.

But, having a family is a top priority for me.

8. I’m fond of playing around with my state of consciousness

To literally, deeply experience life in a different way, I believe, chemical means are the most effective ones. I thoroughly enjoy these episodes and get a lot of meaning out of them.

9. I never set an alarm, unless I really have to

10. I’m currently working on…

· I’m going to start a podcast. Over at Central European University, we have a ‘Podcast Initiative’ and with their support I will be making a podcast — working title: There’s More To That — on which I’ll interview philosophers about real-life issues on which philosophy can deepen our understanding, and how it can do so. As I have zero interview training or experience, this I going to require a lot of preparation and practice (tips welcome).

· Connecting with others: expressing myself more and listening better. In that spirit: let’s keep in touch!

As is customary with challenges like this, I gladly pass on the spotlight to Nick Wignall, Michael Thompson, Niklas Göke and Brian Pennie.

There’s more to that


Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today. You'll say you knew them when.

Maarten van Doorn

Written by

PhD candidate in philosophy. What do you think you know, and how do you think you know it? Get ideas that make you think: maartenvandoorn.com


Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today. You'll say you knew them when.

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