We often talk about the highs and lows of life. But the fact is, most of life happens during the “in-between” stage, what some would call the routine, normal or even boring stage.
Ironically, most people just want a normal life. But when they finally achieve normalcy they start to feel unsettled. This is completely normal. It’s part of being human to want to grow, progress and change.
However, when the humdrums of life get you down, it can be very difficult to rise above it and “smell the roses,” so to speak. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but here are a few techniques I have used that add color back into my life.
Pursue your passions
A life without passion is meaningless. If nothing in life has the power to make you giddy with happiness, it’s time to find something that will. Follow sports, read a new book, develop your hobbies — just find something that will add a little flavor to your routine.
Count your blessings
I always roll my eyes when people say, “Things could be a lot worse,” but they’re right. Life is never so bad that you can’t find at least one thing to be grateful for. A few Novembers ago, I decided to keep a “Grateful Calendar” for the entire month in celebration of Thanksgiving. At the end of each day, I would write down the thing for which I was most grateful. It ended up being a very difficult month, but that fact that I was on the lookout for unique blessings made it better.
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to reflect on your blessings. Start now, and keep it up for at least a month.
Start something new
Prolonged boredom is usually a sign that something needs to change. It may not be in your power to do something drastic like quit your job, move, or have another child, but there are many other things you can do to add new purpose to your life. Here are a few suggestions:
Take a class. It doesn’t matter what it’s on or where it’s being taught. Take a class that interests you and give it your all.
Learn a new hobby.
Learn more about your ancestors and create a memorabilia book of what you find.
Learn a new language.
Make a bucket list of things you want to do in the next five years. Then start checking items off the list
Step outside your comfort zone
Someone once told me, “As long as it doesn’t kill me I love being uncomfortable.” I’ll admit I questioned his sanity when he said it, but upon further reflection it made more sense to me. Dave was constantly looking for ways to stretch himself. He understood that to conquer anything, you have to put yourself in uncomfortable positions. This philosophy has served him well in his family life, his career and in his religious beliefs.
So step outside your comfort zone. Serve those in your community. Sing a song at karaoke night. Do something you’re not good at. Just do something that makes you a little uncomfortable. If nothing else, it’ll give you an adrenaline rush.
Whether you try these suggestions or not, it’s important to remember one thing: You can’t spend all of your time on opposite ends of the happiness spectrum. Most of your time will be spent somewhere in the middle. The way you spend your time in between the highs and lows of life will define you in many ways, so don’t let it pass you by.