A lot of American appear to be bored, especially in the work arena. Studies report that 70% of Americans are not engaged with their jobs. Just long, long days spent getting to 5 or 6. The lives most of us are encouraged to follow don’t have a lot of purpose or meaning. Buy that next “simon says to buy” thing. Get that next bigger thing. Shop for that even next bigger, bigger thing.
My twenties were filled with boredom. There I was young and attractive with the world at my youthful fingertips, yet everything bored me. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t know how to take a hobby and pursue it. Sure, I went to the gym to work out so I’d look good, but doing something because it felt good, because it made me want to get up in the morning. That didn’t exist.It wasn’t until I hit my mid-thirties and began taking acting classes and singing at karaoke clubs that I sparked back to life. Finally, I had a purpose!
Once I woke myself up to the glory of my own life, things picked up. I went back to painting and writing. I got involved in my community. I stood up for defenseless things. But for a while before that happened, I was worried about my self. Every day was a chore, a trudge to a stupid job, a stupid date, a stupid club.
Thank God, I woke myself up. I saw an ad in a local paper, circled it and got right into my car and drove down to the theater where I volunteered for the stage crew.
Mel Robbins, the inspirational speaker who lives a few towns over, just wrote a new book called “The Five Second Rule.” She says if you take longer than 5 seconds to make a decision you probably will not do it.
For the most part it is true.
The first time I went on the zipline, I got suited up, marched up to the platform and jumped off. I knew that the longer I stared at the big drop below, the harder it would be to step off of it.
Just do it!
The longer you think about something the more likely you will talk yourself out of it. Same with programs you might like to take, whatever they are. If it seems appealing, sign up NOW. Otherwise, you will fall back into your every day routine (aka stupor).
Maybe 9 years ago, a woman on the internet I really didn’t even know offered a 5 week, one hour a week tele-course for $1500. She said we could call her on the phone to discuss it before signing up. I didn’t really know what I was even signing up for, but I said, “Okay.” Once I got in the class, the other folks said the same thing. They had no idea what they just paid for. As the class wore on, I realized we were going over the chapters in a book I could have taken out of the library.
Having her read us that book, though, wasn’t the point. The point was to throw caution to the wind and sign up for something mysterious. I’m so glad I did it. My life changed once again because I got over my fear of spending a lot of money on something that I didn’t overthink for once. It was worth it because it got me to get comfortable taking action even if I didn’t quite know where I was going. I got re-comfortable with the mysterious and the uncertain.
If you add up all the crap you buy at discount marts that end up falling apart or being shoved into the back of the closet that you don’t really even want, you realize you could have done some of the things you really wanted. That program. That trip. That donation.
I almost want to add all that crap up, just to shock myself. It’s probably $500,000 in junk!
Within a few months, I ended up getting a client based on something we read in the book and the design fee easily covered the program fee and then some.
If you overthink your life, you will be bored because you will end up doing next to nothing except the daily chores that you do day in and day out. Sometimes, you have to just say, “Yes,” and go for it. I try to say “Yes” as much as I can to activities that I’d like to try.
I’m always amazed when people decide not to do a one time great thing because some every day drudgery has taken precedence.
The one time thing comes around so rarely. The daily drudgery is there day after day.
Like Daphne in the quote above, I believe the new thing is too scary on some level and the soul-crushing boredom feels safe.
Too many people get to the ends of their lives and wish they had made them most of their visit on earth.
I hope you will not be one of them.
To make sure you are not, vow to do something tomorrow after only 5 seconds of thinking about it. You’ll feel pretty good. I know I did the other day when I joined a new chamber of commerce. I marched up after the talk and wrote a check, citing the 5-minute rule. It felt right …