Bored with life? You’re not alone.
As a whole, we are a boringly predictable species. We follow the same routines and do the same things day in day out; brushing our teeth, standing in our queues, drinking our coffee, staring at our screens.
As soon as we find a comfortable routine, we shutdown and turn to autopilot. We can be really productive in this way, building great things and solving complex issues.
But stay in this mode too long, and we become distant, passing by new and interesting people and opportunities, drifting further and further apart.
We quickly get stuck in this cycle, ironically contemplating the same single thought. Secretly waiting for someone or something to shake things up and bring us back to life.
How often we hear those chance encounters are the ones which grew into strong bonds and relationships, even marriages and families. We know this, yet we latch onto the predefined and safe idea that our lives will somehow work themselves out.
Although we try, we can’t plan our lives around what we don’t know. So let go of any flaky plans and embrace spontaneity. Starting….
For some reason the universal law of what is socially acceptable goes out the window at night. As soon as darkness descends, we let our inhibitions go and shake our booties like wolves howling at the moon. Dancing shouldn’t strictly be nocturnal, so wherever you are, whatever the time of day, dance!
Ask A Stranger Questions
Some of the most interesting conversations start with asking a stranger a question. Ask one too many, and you risk coming across as plain weird, ask too few, and any spark will die abruptly. Stick to what feels right—two or three usually does the trick.
Follow The Fear
It can be something as small as talking to the checkout lady, or as big as entering a singing competition. We avoid our fears so often that we often fail to realize when we are doing it. Identify what gets your heart pounding and makes you cringe, and head straight towards it—you’ll feel amazing.
Offer Someone a Hand
One of the greatest and most simple pleasures in life is helping someone in need. It could be an elderly man walking home with his groceries, a lady attempting the stairs with a pram, or a young couple struggling to read a map; whoever it is, they’re sure to appreciate a helping hand.
Reach Out For Help or Advice
In the same way we love to help others, others usually jump at the opportunity to help us too. Many people would love to share their skills and wisdom, but are just afraid or don’t know how to do it. Let someone help you, and learn something new in the process.
Pay Someone A Compliment
This one always goes down a treat—as long as you avoid scripted chat up lines and wolf whistles.
Pretend You’re a Child
As children, the world is our playground—even if we didn’t venture further than our backyards. When we grow up, we can jump higher, walk further, ride buses alone, book flights; our playground just got a whole lot bigger, so play with it!
Take a Wrong Turn
Take a new route home and explore the streets and areas you are unfamiliar with. It’s surprising what you find right on your door step.
Say Yes, Yes, Yes!
Often we don’t give ourselves the chance to experience new and interesting things because of our obsession with what we know. We perceive the uncertain and unknown as flashing red warning lights, when in reality they should be green for GO. Say yes and if all goes wrong, at least you’ll have an interesting story to tell afterwards.
Start A New Hobby
Hobbies take commitment. Remember that painting set that you used once and stored away in the cupboard? Or those dancing classes you keep promising to start? Much enjoyment is lost due to our laziness and fear of failure. Throw away hesitation and throw yourself into a new hobby. Whether it lasts a few weeks or a few years, the act of enjoyment in the now is all that matters.
Do Something Out of The Box
We often limit ourselves in what we do by our small circle of knowledge and experiences. Choose an activity that has never interested you, and you’re sure to learn more than you anticipated.
Thinking is overrated. Our brains rob us of more opportunities than we will ever know. Trusting your gut and taking the path less traveled can get you back in tune with your feelings and emotions and inject new life into your day.
A little bit of harmless flirting holds all the ingredients of spontaneity: the blushing cheeks, the surprising remarks, the impulsive gestures. What’s more, you’ll get a strong hit of Oxytocin, and who knows, maybe even a phone number.
Connect With An Old Friend
Technology and social media leave us no excuse for keeping in touch with long lost friends from school and childhood. Everyone is just waiting for the other person to finally get over the awkwardness of how long it’s been. Be the other person.
Offer To Teach Someone
Everyone has something to teach. It could be how to play an instrument or format a word document, but it could also be an old recipe of your grandmas, or if you’re really stuck, your native language. Teaching brings out the best in us and allows us to extend our worth out into the world.
Connect With a New Person
Today we can make new friends with just the click of a button. But when was the last time you felt the buzz of connecting with someone in person? Online friendships shouldn’t be shunned altogether, but rather seen as a mode to a relationship of greater meaning in the real world. Why not start now by connecting with me?
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Joseph is a freelance writer and student of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. He believes a new approach to mindfulness is needed if it’s to have an impact on life in the fast-paced and hyper-stimulating digital age.