Everyone experiences some form of boredom at some point in their life. And, at its root, boredom is a good thing. Boredom is simply a mechanism that reminds us to engage. To explore. To reach. To become more.
I could easily include herein a litany of things you could “do” when bored to “erase” that boredom. But to what end would that serve you? Busyness for the sake of it is not interest. And, interest is what you are actually seeking when you feel boredom.
Simply covering your days or hours with busy activities that give you something to do may seem like a good idea on the surface. It, however, only masks the cry of your soul.
That busyness will certainly pass the time. It will also leave you feeling less than content, even hallow or depressed. Bored.
To truly answer the call of boredom and to never feel boredom again—in that deep sense of longing—you must first listen to yourself. You must know yourself in order to know what truly intrigues you.
1. The First Step to Never Being Bored Again is Gratitude.
Begin your practice by appreciating the life you already have. We all have something to be grateful for each day. It could be as simple as waking up, breathing, moving, being healthy.
When you are able to see the good and the beauty and the interest already in your life, you almost magically start to see even more of it pour in. Notice the word interest in that last statement. Therein lies part of the key. We are searching for interest. When you see the interest all around you, you simply open yourself up to attract more of it. You become tuned to it and more aware of what is already there. You begin to see its enormity.
A simple way to practice gratitude each day is to start your day with a minute or two of listing things you are thankful for. This may be in prayer form, in a journal or meditation. Just sit quietly and ask yourself, “what am I thankful for today?” You’ll be amazed at what starts to arise in your daily practice. This also sets the tone of your day as one filled with gratitude.
Another method is to take this idea with you on walks. When you take a walk, begin by mentally listing your gratitudes as you are walking.
Then, bring yourself to the present and start to look around as you continue your walk. See what you can spy that is interesting or beautiful or unordinary (maybe the spotting of a dear, rabbit, bird, lizard or certain leaf, or the way the wind blows, or the way nature sounds).
Notice them, appreciate them and be thankful for them—their presence and abundance.
These simple steps of noticing and accounting for the abundance of interest already in your life will dramatically shift your mood at any time of the day.
2. Be Passionate About Something and Pursue It.
With a profound understanding of your passions in this life, and the habit of pursuing them, you will never find yourself bored. We all have deep passions that fuel our very existence; our purpose in this life. If you are experiencing boredom on a regular basis, it is likely you may not have tapped in to your deep passions and purpose in life.
This may take some time alone with deep introspection. Really asking yourself some tough questions and sitting and listening to your answers. These may not immediately float to the top, but chances are you already have a hint of them somewhere in your life.
What is that lights you up? If you hear someone else speaking about something, what is it that is likely to pull you in? What would you do today if money, time or restraints were no object? What upsets you or breaks your heart?
These are a few questions to starting digging deep to see where your passions lie. Once you identify these, make a list. Then, determine how you could pursue them. A place to start is with reading. Devour anything you can find on the topic of interest. Then ask how you could incorporate it into your daily life. How could you serve others through your passions?
3. The 3rd Step to Ending Boredom is to Know Your Purpose.
This ones ties in with step 2 of knowing and pursuing your passions. At the root or intersection of your passions you will see your purpose. And, don’t worry, you’ll know it when you see it. It will resonate through your entire being.
A life well lived is a life lived in and on purpose. The definition of purpose as a noun is: The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Isn’t that a question we all ask at some point in our life, why am I here?
When you know your passions and can see your purpose through them, you will start to pursue them and your life with a renewed vigor. It is a feeling of fulfillment you will find no where else. It begs to pour forth from you. It is what beckons you from bed in the morning and calls to you throughout your days.
Besides work or kids or because you have to, what gets you out of bed early each day? Know your answer.
4. Be Prepared.
An idea without a plan is just an idea. An idea without a plan is just a dream. A dream without action will always be just a dream.
Having the right mindset and passion provides your idea. Next you have to plan for it. Think this through. How exactly can you bring this passion and purpose into your every day life? What steps must you take?
Most always it starts with learning—whether that’s more about the subject, or the tools, to take it to another level. No matter the level, there is always more to learn. What specifically will you do to learn more (books, articles, research, podcast, etc)? Which ones and when will you execute this?
How will you serve other people with your passion? Think specifics (how, when, what). When exactly will you do these things? How will you make them a part of your every day? What habits do yo need to adopt to live this fully?
Plan it. Schedule it. An idea without a plan is just an idea.
Now, it is time to execute. To take action. The best way to do this is by starting with your plan. Include daily action in your plan to form the habits of living your passion and purpose. And, then, do it.
Realizing and planning is one thing. Taking action is something entirely different. An idea without action is just a dream.
Now, you are armed with an idea, a plan and action. The final step in being prepared is to make it mobile. Have your lists and actions written in a notebook you carry with you or on a mobile device. Have that book you are reading always with you. Have a list of your next action steps. Always be prepared with what to do next that will inspire you or move your passion forward. And, sometimes, that may simply be to let your mind wander.
Remember, if your plan and tools are not with you, they can not serve you.
5. Practice Good Bite Size Habits.
Everything you do or do not do is a reflection of the habits you practice every day. You'll either become the person you want to become or the person you despise based on the smallest habits you practice each day.
What are your habits saying about who you want to be? Are you practicing habits of an interested, passionate person? Are you practicing habits of a healthy, energized and excited for life person?
If not, what would those habits look like? What habits would the person you want to be, be practicing each day? Determine them and then implement them into your routine.
The best habits are ones you will actually do. So, start small and think bite size, small habits. The cool thing with habits is they build on each other. A full morning routine, for example, or healthy eating, or a simple fitness routine is built one small habit at a time, domino-ing onto the next one.
The same is true of a life fulfilled with purpose, passion and interest—and the energy to pursue it. Examine your answers from steps 1-4 and decide what habits would an interest-filled person practice each day. What would likely be their routine? Identify a few small steps you could start to implement into your own life to become the person you want to be.
Small bite-sized habits will produce a routine that leads to interest and a fulfilled life. This routine will then no longer require any thought and constantly give prompt you for the interest and intrigue you are wanting through the day.
What small, bite size habit could you implement today to get you started living a life full of interest, intrigue and purpose?