Boredom happens to everyone. It’s normal to go through phases in life where things feel pretty monotonous and routine. However, too much of this feeling of boredom can have pretty negative impacts on our lives. Before you know it, feeling unexcited about life can impact your relationships, work life, health and general satisfaction on life overall.
What can you do when life feels unexciting and passionless? Should you quit your job and pursue a new career path? Take a year off work and travel the world? Well yes, maybe you should do those things but fortunately there are many, many paths to living an exciting and adventurous life. There is no one size fits all in your journey to living a more exciting life. You don’t even have to make huge sacrifices or spend large amounts of money to bring excitement and adventure into your life. The feeling of boredom is a clear signal that something needs to change in your life. This feeling of monotony can happen to anyone. It can impact the hard-working employee who keeps her life busy with work, family and networking or to a person who stays at home all day and watches television till late at night. Below are some ways to find excitement and adventure in your life.
1. Define what adventure means to you. There are different definitions for what qualifies as an adventure. Since I can remember, I’ve always loved the idea of exploring new places and seeing what the world has to offer. From the hiking trails in my local city to visiting countries halfway around the world, I’ve always been excited by seeing what else is out there. I’ve met people and am close friends with people who have no interest in traveling. I mistakenly thought that everyone should want to travel and explore. I could not understand how anyone could genuinely be uninterested in having a life where they are exploring new places. Later I realized that everyone has varying passions. Sure, many people want to go on a holiday and visit somewhere new once in awhile or can appreciate visiting a new place, but traveling may not be what truly excites them.
Figure out what qualifies as an adventure to you. To some a lifelong passion for learning is what gets them excited. Participating in an archery class, learning a new language or spending each evening coding on a new project qualifies as an adventure to some people. Others value physical activities and define an adventure as training for a marathon or getting a new personal best on how far they can swim. Adventure to you could be getting a break from a stressful routine and taking time to read a book or do something peaceful each day. Don’t define what you think an adventure is based on the people around you. Be honest with what truly gets you excited and you will quickly discover how to make room for more adventure in your life.
2. Go for it! Once you identify what excites you, go for it. The reality is that anything worthwhile is going to take effort. Look back on your own life. What are some things that you felt proud of? What memories really stick out to you? Most likely the things that have really added happiness to your life, are things that required action and effort on your part. You are not alone in wishing that things could be easier or that our lives could be as exciting as we wish them to be tomorrow, instead of months down the road. However, to really live an adventurous life, you need to go after what you want and make a solid effort. You will see results when you take action.
3. Have an open mind. Living an exciting life requires an open mind. Your expectations could a big reason why you may feel disappointed. I recently went to India to do slum teaching with children there. I had spent over a year learning Hindi in preparation for this trip. Learning basic Hindi was extremely challenging for me and I went on the trip trying to lower my expectations on how well I could speak it with others. Good thing I kept my expectations realistic and had an open mind, because my Hindi skills were not that good but they were better than I anticipated. I was able to communicate with the children a little bit in Hindi and even learn Hindi from them. The people I interacted with seemed to greatly appreciate the fact that I had tried to learn some Hindi and enjoyed the fact that I could say some basic phrases. Work on having a flexible and open perception of the people and world around you. Who knows, you might find adventure in the unlikeliest of places because you kept an open mind.
4. When it feels tough, don’t give up. Right now I’m in the process of learning a couple of new skills and training for my second half-marathon. There are some days where I just feel like it’s too hard and am tempted to give up or take a too long than needed break. There are days where I can assume the worst and wonder if I’m just wasting my time. Having these days is completely normal. These feelings are normal but you have to understand that you can make your negative thoughts a reality. Your reality is based on the actions you take. Your choices matter. What you decide to do when faced with giving up makes the difference.
5. Meet new people who share your interests. A wonderful way to add excitement to your life is to meet new people who share your interests. Pursuing activities that get you excited is much easier when you have company. Also try to not assume your current social group doesn’t share in that excitement. Send the invite out to your friends and family and see who is interested. One of the most surprising things I’ve learned is that I tend to have more in common with my social group than I thought. Last year I started going to more concerts and I had mistakenly assumed that my friends probably wouldn’t be interested because we never really attended concerts together. I never even talked about music much with my friends. Fortunately, I decided to go against what I thought and invited my friends to the concert anyway. Turns out they really enjoyed that kind of music, attended the concert with me and have expressed interest in going to similar events in the future.
6. Accept that adventure and excitement comes from you. It’s easy to blame others for your discontentment in life. You might feel unhappy in your marriage and blame your partner on the reason your life feels unexciting. You might even use excuses such as the fact that you have certain responsibilities with your children that you perceive are holding you back from an adventurous life. Anyone in your social group such as friends, family or even coworkers could be reasons that you believe are holding you back from having a more exciting life. You might even have a habit of blaming discontentment on external factors. Have you ever been on a trip with a friend and all they could do was complain? That friend might complain endlessly about the weather, the food, that person who cut you off in traffic, how uncomfortable the bed was and so on. That type of blaming can really ruin a trip and make you quickly forget that you are on an exciting adventure. Take a look inwards and catch any bad habits you may have that are preventing you from having an exciting life. Instead of seeking blame due to external circumstances or your loved ones, work on seeing what you are doing to sabotage the passion in your life. Truthfully, adventure comes from within you and only you.
7. Start the process now. Begin now. I’m a big believer that we can sabotage our own happiness by waiting. I’ve often seen people say, I will do something in a specified amount of time and rarely follow through. If you don’t believe that’s true for you, take a closer look at your own life and be honest about if you are the type who can reliably follow through on what you say you will do or if you tend to let other priorities or time wasting activities get in the way. This commonly happens when learning a new skill or establishing a healthier lifestyle. You might say, starting next month, I will exercise several times a week. But once next month arrives, you might have a series of excuses to delay exercising. Many of us don’t have a good excuse to wait to start the process of an exciting life. You can start today, even with small changes such as waking up earlier or spending less time watching TV. What are you waiting for? Start the process now!
Living an adventurous and exciting life is really up to you! Follow through on what gets you excited today. Remember that if you sit by and allow life to just happen to you, you don’t really have control over the excitement in your life or the type of excitement that is happening to you. Try to not allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the many ways you can make your life more exciting. Start small if you have to. Take simple steps such as joining a class, quitting television for the day or taking a walk in a new area of your neighbourhood. Work on your perspective and stay open minded. You are in control of your life, so go out and seek adventure today!