“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Hunter S. Thompson (Author, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt (Diplomat and Longest Serving U.S. First Lady)
“Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures.”
Alexandre Dumas (Author, The Three Musketeers)
I was in a relationship with a really good friend.
We had been together for years.
I cared a lot about her but wasn’t passionate about her anymore.
This made me feel really guilty.
I wanted to feel passionate. I tried to feel passionate.
But the harder I tried, the less passion I felt.
Instead, I felt guilt. More and more guilt.
It was the weirdest thing.
I loved spending time with her.
We did everything together, and not because I had to do everything with her, because I wanted to do everything with her.
She was my best friend. She was attractive. She was perfect.
But I wasn’t attracted to her anymore.
What was my problem?
I couldn’t figure it out.
Maybe it was because I was stressed at work.
I had been working over 10 hours a day, trying to get a couple of big projects done.
I’d slowly become more and more sedentary, not working out as much and staying up late watching TV.
After thinking about it for a long time I realized that nothing in particular was wrong.
I was just bored.
Life had stopped being an adventure.
Instead, it had become a routine. A grind.
My guilt, stress, laziness, and lack of passion continued to feed on itself until I started having panic attacks and developed a stress-induced kidney disorder.
Things got so bad one day that I decided to disrupt my entire life.
Disruption was the only answer.
I realized that the only way to fix things was to break them completely.
It wasn’t easy but within a few months I had radically changed my life.
I sold nearly everything I owned, started 3 online businesses, and moved to a condo on the ocean.
Within a year, I lost 20 pounds of fat and traveled to 20 different countries.
My health improved, I stopped having panic attacks, and I felt passionate about life again.
How To Use Boredom To Your Advantage
Boredom and routine make you more creative.
If you’re stuck in a rut in life, you’re primed for a breakthrough.
Too many people think that boredom is the enemy of change. They think that boredom and breakthroughs are opposites.
In reality, boredom is a springboard for change.
Boredom creates breakthroughs.
A study reported in the Creativity Research Journal showed that engaging in boring, monotonous activities makes people more creative afterwards.
As part of the study, 80 participants were asked to either copy numbers from a phone book or not (control group) followed by an exercise to think of as many possible uses for a pair of plastic cups.
The group who had suffered through the boring phone book task thought of more creative uses for the cups afterwards.
Other studies reported in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that participants who were bored outperformed those who were relaxed, elated, or distressed on creativity tests.
The key is that boredom is an approach state. It drives action.
When leveraged correctly, boredom can spark change and help you improve your life for the better.
How To Make A Passionless Boring Life Adventurous
It’s easy to feel helpless when the passion runs out in your job, relationships, or life in general.
It’s a two-step process.
First, you feel bored. Then, you feel trapped.
On a long enough timeline, you’ll start to feel like you’re suffocating and drowning at the same time.
You’re suffocating on the dullness of your daily routine and drowning in a swamp of murky possibilities.
What should I change? How should I change? Why can’t I change?
You desperately want to have a breakthrough but you don’t want to let other people down.
You don’t want to be a quitter. You don’t want to be a bad person.
The truth is that squandering your own life is making you a bad person, not letting other people down.
When you give up and settle on a quasi-fulfilling, run-of-the-mill life, you not only give up on yourself, you give up on the countless other people who could have been inspired by your magnificent, one-of-a-kind life.
The only way to prevent this squandering is by using a lack of passion in your life as a signal that it’s time to change.
Once you’ve recognized this signal, you must use your bored state to map out a creative future for yourself.
Remember, boredom is your best friend. But only if you use it correctly.
Don’t seek boredom and don’t succumb to it.
Instead, use boredom in life to your advantage when it strikes. Here’s how…
1. Get creative about what’s possible for your future.
The reason your life is so boring is because your thoughts have become boring.
When you were a kid, your mind moved a mile per minute.
You had gargantuan sized dreams for your future.
You wanted to be an astronaut, inventor, beauty queen, pro athlete, or a koala bear.
Whatever the biggest and best thing you could imagine was—that’s what you wanted to be.
Now, you want to be promoted to middle manager for some faceless company so you can get paid one more dollar an hour.
Seriously, that’s the big future most people are dreaming for in their lives.
They’ve given up on achieving greatness. They’ve given up on writing a book or starting their own business.
Instead, these people obsess over the most banal achievements imaginable.
A promotion at work. A two week vacation. A good parking spot.
No wonder everyone is bored out of their mind.
If you want to get your passion back, the first thing you need to do is open your mind to what’s possible for you.
You need to dissemble any limiting beliefs that have built up in your mind over the last few years.
Stop selling yourself short and start realizing anything is possible.
You could quit your job, walk away from everyone you know, move to Alaska, and join a fishing boat crew.
You could sell everything you own, lock yourself in a basement and write jokes for two weeks, buy a used car, and start your career as a country-touring standup comedian.
You don’t have to do these things but you do have to recognize that they’re possible.
Anything is possible once you take responsibility for your own life.
You are where you are because of you, not because of anyone else.
You built the life you have right now and you can build a new life at any time.
The key is to channel your feelings of boredom and routine into a new, creative vision for your future.
Connect possibilities wildly in your head and then write these connections down on paper.
From there—refine, refine, and refine until you have a detailed picture for the passionate, adventurous life you want to live.
2. Put your vitality first. No exceptions.
People lose their vitality because they lose their perception of vitality.
Think about how active you were when you were younger.
You didn’t have a car so you walked or rode your bike everywhere.
Your attention span was non-existent so you ran around in a fit of discovery 24/7.
You were so interested in everything that you couldn’t sit still for more than 5 minutes.
This is robust and vivacious living.
But now, your standards have changed.
You’ve grown up. You’ve accumulated deadlines and obligations. You have to make ends meet.
All of this adult living has altered your perception of vitality.
Now, walking to the store or picking up your kid and throwing him into the air is working out.
Now, sitting at your desk for 6 hours instead of 8 hours a day is healthy living.
Now, eating a box of gluten-free cereal right before bed is eating like a champion.
The problem is you lost your perception of vitality.
First, you lost your perception. Then, you lost your vitality. Then, you lost your passion.
The only way to get your passion back is to realize that you’re far lazier now that you used to be.
When it comes to being physically mobile, you move much less than you used to.
Mobility is the key to happiness and success. Mobility is the key to staying positive in negative situations.
The more mobile you are, the more vivacious you are, and the more passionate and creative you are.
Motion creates emotion. Start moving. Start exuding.
Start injecting your words with energy.
Start projecting vitality, charisma, and enthusiasm into everything you do.
Do this and you’ll turn even the most mundane routines into an unpredictable adventure.
3. Value adventure and flexibility over approval and security.
Adventure is your best investment.
Adventures, not possessions or praise, make people truly happy.
The only way to be more adventurous is to be more flexible.
You need to stop being so rigid in how you can achieve your goals.
Your goals in life should be stationary, but your path to your goals should be flexible.
Too many people today get stuck in ruts that they create for themselves.
They wrongly imagine that there is only one way to do something and then go about doing the same things over and over and over again.
They try and try but nothing changes.
These people pride themselves on staying busy and working hard but in reality, they’re just being lazy.
Busyness is a mask for lazy thinking.
When you’re busy all the time, you don’t have to think creatively.
You don’t have to be flexible or take responsibility.
You don’t have to change.
Most people simply can’t stomach being flexible.
They stay rigid because rigidity is comfortable. They stay rigid because, as counter-intuitive as it seems, rigidity is relaxing.
Rigidity is relaxing because it’s secure.
When things are rigid, nothing changes. There are no surprises.
Rigidity maintains the status quo and keeps everybody happy.
Good for you—you’re doing what we do. Good for you—you’re not rocking the boat. Good for you—you’re not making us look bad.
This is what everyone around you thinks when you stay rigid.
They love you for it and you love their approval.
The only way to get your passion back is to break these chains of approval.
Stop being so rigid and start being flexible.
Start shaking things up. Start having adventures.
An adventure is an unusually exciting and risky experience.
This is what you should be chasing—unusual, exciting, and risky experiences, not approval.
Boredom in life is a springboard for breakthroughs. Instead of bemoaning boredom, start using it to your advantage. Use it as a signal that it’s time to get creative with your future. Break down your limiting beliefs. Put your vitality first again. Value flexibility and adventure over rigidity and approval. Do this and you’ll transform your life and the lives of those around you into a meaningful adventure.
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