Does this schedule look familiar to you?
- 7:15 AM – Roll out of bed
- 8:00 AM – Leave home
- 8:55 AM – Get to work
- 9:15 AM to 5:10 PM
- Leftovers for lunch
- Shut down computer.
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
- Get home
- Put chicken in oven
- Turn on TV/Netflix
- Eat chicken
- 8:00 PM – 11:30 pM
- More Netflix
- More Instagram
- Even more Netflix
- 12:00 AM
- REPEAT until the day you die (insert variations of social and consumer technology).
The truth is, this very much looks like my life on most days, and that terrifies me! And, it should terrify you. But, unfortunately, for most people, this schedule doesn’t terrify them enough to make a change. Most people want to stick to what they know – a “safe”, and ultimately, boring life.
Is your job enough?
The thing about being boring is that your life is nothing more than a mundane, monotonous routine filled with the occasional jaunt to an all-inclusive Mexican resort. Yes, you have your family and friends who love you and like spending time with you, but what is your life really about? What are you doing for the greater good? How are you serving other people through your work? Is your job really fulfilling you? If so, that’s amazing! Consider yourself one of a lucky few. But, the sad truth is that nearly half of Canadians are unhappy with their work life. How many of those people do you think are actually doing something about the fact that they hate their job? Most are probably spending their time on LinkedIn looking for some other job that they think will fill that void. This only plays further into the vicious cycle of boredom. Going from one “safety net” to another isn’t going to add any value to your own life or the lives of others – just further mediocrity. You’re bored because you’re living a mediocre life; your mediocrity is boring you, and everyone around you.
Boredom leads to trouble
We all know the saying, “she’s got too much time on her hands”. There is so much truth in that! I’m sure you can think of at least one person right now, maybe it’s even you, that seems to get themselves into unnecessary, petty drama, or other problems, simply because they don’t have anything better or productive to keep them occupied. They have a hard time minding their own business because they don’t have any business of their own to mind.
In Proverbs 16:27, it says that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”. Don’t leave huge gaps of time in your day where you are just passively “relaxing”. It’s in those moments where you may find yourself creeping your ex on Instagram and accidentally liking their selfie. Or, looking at inappropriate websites that you have no business going on. Definitely make time to relax and unwind, but be mindful of the amount of time you’ve allotted for that. You’d be surprised how refreshed and rested you’ll feel after even just a few minutes of laying down or sitting quietly. Relaxing doesn’t have to take up hours of your evening.
There’s always something to do
I remember as a kid, I was afraid to utter the words, “I’m bored!” in front of my Mom because I knew that that would lead to only one thing for me: house work. She’d say, “Bored?! How can you be bored when there is so much cleaning to do?! Vacuum! Take out the garbage! Clean your room!” As annoying as those “suggestions” were at the time, I totally get it now. I understand the essence of what my Mom was getting at, despite how lame it was in reality. There is always something to do! Granted, cleaning the house isn’t exactly the most exciting or inspiring things to do, but it’s a way to clear your mind, and your space, to make room to do something else – something more meaningful. Ambitious people are able to look around and find a way to keep themselves occupied, and hopefully productive. For myself, when I’m not working on building my company, or writing this blog, I’m usually finding ways to work on home decor projects. And, when I’m not doing that, I’ll read business books, listen to podcasts, and find ways to improve both my personal or professional life. If I’m not doing that, I’m spending quality time with my husband, family, or friends. Never idle.
The biggest excuse I hear whenever I ask people why they aren’t doing the thing they really want to do is that they “don’t know where to start”. I know that a lot of that is really just a cover up for fear. But, if you really don’t know where to start, you can start by taking inventory of your current life. What needs to go and want needs to stay? Do you need to cut cable or your Netflix in order to make time to work on your project? Do you need to wake up earlier? Spend less money on frivolous things and invest that in your business? Think of people in your life that you consider to be full of energy and ambition. What are they doing with their time? Otherwise, take some advice from my Mom, and clean up! At least you won’t have idle hands, and clearing up clutter will bring some clarity to your thoughts as well (it definitely helps me!).
Ultimately, stepping out of mediocrity is going to require effort. Seth Godin puts it perfectly – “you don’t get unboring for free”. A life of purpose, excitement, adventure, and success is going to cost you something. In my opinion, living a boring life costs you a lot more than a courageous life ever will.
Here’s to writing this blog in hopes that it’ll help and encourage someone…