Don’t be an NPC, aka, be the main character of your life.
We’re always amused when we see memes online about finding out you’re an “NPC” in life. One joked that a man realized he takes the same route every day, he has the same schedule each week, and he talks to the same people, which makes him an NPC. Anyone in the gaming community is familiar with the term NPC, or non-playable character. It is a character that does not have the same adventures as the characters you play. They are usually found in the same place, providing the same services, with similar dialogue. No one wants to be the NPC. Everyone wants to be the main character. That’s why we play their stories.
In life, though, it’s easy to get caught up in routine and expectations. You stop dreaming of great adventures and instead make do with the mundane. But can’t life be more? That isn’t to say that having a steady job, paying bills, and doing chores aren’t important in life. Through those, we can set ourselves up to be the “main character”. A person with a life worth talking about. As two people who were inspired by stories and sought to move beyond an NPC life, here are our tips.
You never seen an NPC taking chances. Their function is to support others that take chances. This doesn’t mean invest all of your money into a stock and hope it makes you rich because you “took a chance”. It’s deeper than that.
Taking a chance can mean starting a side hustle with something your passionate about. It means independently publishing a book about a story dear to you. It means learning a new language, moving somewhere you’ve never been, or trying something that is usually frightening to you.
By taking chances, we open our lives up to new experiences.
Seek New Experiences
I read a quote once that said something along the lines of “sometimes one day in a new place gives you more life than 10 years at home“. That always stuck with me. Our lives are enriched when we doing something new. It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Just this week we went to a fall festival that we’d never been to, to this massive farm/campground we’ve never been to, and took a hayride tour through beautiful nature trails. It was our favorite part of the whole day, because it was a brand new experience.
An NPC is predictable because they don’t try new things. But a main character is worth playing because they do try new things. Go somewhere you’ve never been before, even if it’s in your own town. Try something you’ve never tried before, like camping in a tent, going to a painting class, or taking a road trip.
Last month we took a road trip up to Wisconsin. We had a great time because we’ve never been to Wisconsin. We loved looking at the sights, even if we were just passing through a small town or seeing a major company’s headquarters. Our lives were broadened by this new experience.
And sometimes, the way to have the most new experiences, is to leave home.
You are likely to always find an NPC in the same place. They don’t leave home. The reason you follow the main character is because they do leave home. And this starts their adventure. I read a quote once that said “all adventures start by running away from home“. Until the day I die I will be an advocate for everyone leaving their hometown at some point in their lives.
We’ve lived in three states and eight cities. From the beaches to the mountains to the plains. Rural communities, active suburbs, and major metropolitan areas. Houses, apartments, townhomes, and even a campervan. The best part of our lives started when we decided to leave home.
Your world view is so limited by only staying in the same area your whole life. You never really shake free from the mindset of when you were in high school. You don’t see new cultures, new ways of life, and new landscapes. It’s more than just being a tourist for a week. It’s integrating your everyday life in a brand-new place. And through that, you have access to so many new experiences, and you take so many new chances. I would call it one of the most rewarding experiences of your entire life.