It’s a commonly accepted fact that many people in the developed world tend to be unhappy. They may not be clinically depressed, but they often describe themselves as less than happy and content with their lives. One of my theories about this general unhappiness is that it has to do with a lack of excitement.
For many adults in the industrialized societies, work is a daily and often hated part of every day life. You get up at least five days a week and commute in some stressful way for much too long a time to get to a job you dread walking in to. There are a lot of things that must contribute to these negative feelings.
Each day, you may have to deal with fighting through traffic in that crappy car of yours that barely runs, like the automatic transmission that you now have to shift manually, or the new, late model car that constantly reminds you that you really can’t afford it. Maybe your regular workday begins with the bus or subway ride with a nice selection of nutjobs and thugs mixed in with the rest of the bored commuters like you. Just be glad you don’t have to sit by the sweaty, stinky guy today.
After this trial, you end up safe and sound in your little cubicle, your 6 x 6 sanctuary from the horrors of the modern workplace. Actually, it’s often more like a cage than a place of safety and solitude. You can still hear that obese guy two cubes down who’s ripping open snack wrappers and slurping cans of soda pop all day long, right? And god forbid you happen to be there at lunchtime when he starts sucking his fingers with that sick popping sound that’s probably very similar to the sounds made by a pack of wolves ripping apart the joints of young lambs. Are you shuddering yet?
Aside from all the human horror shows you encounter on a daily basis, there’s the actual work you do. The work isn’t bad, though, is it? It’s just always the same. It’s boring. You don’t feel challenged by it and it eats away at your insides. You can feel the brain cells screaming in hellish pain and then dying a horrible death, but at least they’re not alone, like you in your cube… No, they’re dying together in hordes.
Anyway, you’re bored, right? That’s a huge problem these days and most people don’t seem to realize it. It’s easy to establish what’s boring, too. We know it when we see it. That is, we know it when we’re thinking about it. We may not realize that what’s killing us and our poor little brain cells is a terminal case of boredom. Let’s keep this in mind, though, as we start fighting back.
To begin our battle against the horrors of boredom, we need to find out what does not bore us. When we sit down to think about it, we realize what does bore us. The sameness of it all, the lack of real challenges, the absence of passion and creativity. These things that are missing are precisely the elements we need to begin searching for.
The answer is simple: Start looking for new things to do. You may not be able to go right out and find a new, exciting job, but there are ways you can spruce up the dusty old one you’ve got. Start trying to vary your routine a bit, for instance. Take a different route into work. Find a new group of people to carpool with. Get an ipod and listen to some new music or books. Take more breaks if you can and go outside and get some sun on your pale skin. Take a walk around the building. Maybe you’ll encounter other like-minded people who are attempting to break out of work robot mode for a few minutes here and there. The key is to break up the routine somehow with new activities.
This doesn’t just apply to your work life, either. Find a class at your local college to take part in. You’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet, take pictures, learn a language, scuba dive, right? So, do it now! What’s the point in waiting to do something new and fun? All these little things can usually be done for much less money than you might think. A couple of months ago, I took golf lessons with a group of other people for only $100 for 7 lessons. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a bunch of cool new people.
See, it’s not just the lack of exciting and interesting activities that bores us, but also the lack of new people in our lives. It’s a good thing to go out and meet new people on a regular basis. After all, that’s why many of us are blogging. We’re not just here to vent and bare our souls for strangers from all over the world, but also to share, really share something of ourselves with people who are looking for the same things. It’s the interaction, the personal connections that make blogging such a wonderful tool and a great experience.
The whole point of this post, if you haven’t gotten it already, is to encourage you to find out what does not bore you. If you find yourself overworked, overstressed, and unhappy, find some new things to inject some vitality into your life. These new activities, people, and experiences will help to change your attitude into a much more positive one. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what does not bore you!