Do you ever feel like your life has no purpose – like you’re just going from one day to the next, without really loving or hating it? You just feel indifferent to life…
If you’re answering a big “yes! that’s me!” right now, then it’s likely that boredom is your enemy.
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Is Boredom Bad for You?
Boredom may not sound like a bad thing. I mean, we all experience boredom at some point in our life, right?
It’s important that we differentiate between feeling a bit bored while you’re waiting for the mechanic to finish your oil change and chronic boredom.
Chronic boredom is where you feel bored almost every day. You wake up in the morning and feel like you have no purpose in life. You could have the entire day off work and enough money to do whatever you felt like but you still feel uninspired.
Chronic boredom is detrimental to your physical and mental health. It makes you feel unfulfilled, unhappy, tired and inactive. And inactivity leads to more inactivity, along with leaving you feeling even more empty and miserable. It’s a vicious cycle.
And if that wasn’t enough, chronic boredom can even lower your lifespan.
The cycle of boredom can become ongoing and you have to consciously break it’s path. You’re not going to magically become “un-bored” by just sitting on the couch.
The Easiest Way to Combat Boredom
This may sound simple (and it is) but the most effective way to combat boredom and get out of a slump is to DO SOMETHING – anything!
It doesn’t matter what. Just get up and get moving. If you don’t like your chosen activity, change to something else.
Boredom and Purpose
How does boredom relate to finding your purpose? It’s simple. If you’re allowing yourself to be bored, you’re putting roadblocks in the way of finding the path that will lead you to the top of your personal mountain.
Having a sense of purpose is important for your overall health. It allows you to feel connected to something bigger that yourself, adds meaning to your life and helps you put negative events into perspective.
In addition, a healthy sense of purpose helps you feel happier, gives you a reason to get out of bed every day and keeps you moving, active and healthier.
And if that wasn’t convincing enough, having a sense of purpose is also associated with a lower risk of death.
Does Your Purpose Have to Be Your Career?
It’s important to enjoy what you’re doing every day, so it stands to reason that the ideal would be to turn your life’s passion into a full-time career.
Of course, it’s important that you’re not stuck in a job that you absolutely hate and that drains the life out of you.
But unfortunately, it’s not always possible to make a career out of your passion and purpose. For example, how many highly paid stamp collectors do you know?
The good news is, your special purpose does not have to be your career; it could be a hobby or a charitable cause. If you absolutely love stamp collecting, then pursue that passion outside of work hours.
How Do You Find Your Purpose and Stop Being Bored?
How can you discover your special purpose? The answer is simple, but the process might be a tough one. You need to open yourself to all new experiences and get out there and do things. You cannot allow yourself to say “I’m bored” anymore!
Exploring the world around you is a great way to discover your purpose or passion.
Whether you’re reading new books, exploring parts of your city you’ve never been to, or talking to people you’ve never met, you’ll discover new things about yourself, learn more about your surroundings, and experience new adventures.
New experiences have a lot to offer. They get you out of the same old mindset and into one where you have more passion and interest in the world. New encounters encourage you to try new things, develop new skill sets, and find out what you excel at.
You can find purpose in the strangest places, so don’t rule out any activity. After all, if you try something and don’t like it, you don’t have to go back to it.
For example, I have a friend whose passion is beekeeping and another friend who absolutely loves “Ikebana,” the Japanese art of flower arranging.
Personally, although I love bees, I couldn’t stand wearing a huge beekeeping suit and constantly trying to avoid getting stung. And while Ikebana looks beautiful, it’s not something that stimulates me enough to be considered my passion.
And that’s completely fine – your passion and purpose is unique to you. The point is, until you try something, you’re not going to know whether it lights a spark in you or not.
Action Items to Combat Boredom and Discover Your Purpose
If you’ve been feeling like your life is empty, it’s time to fill it with a purpose and some passion.
Here are 2 action items:
#1 – Ask yourself these 15 questions to help you unearth your purpose.
#2 – Grab a notebook and brainstorm a list of 10 activities/hobbies. Include things you’ve been interested in in the past, if you have any. Otherwise, just write down the first 10 things that come to mind.
Then, jump on Google and find out where you can go to try out the activity. For example, if you live in Chicago and one of your ideas was rock climbing, Google “Chicago Rock Climbing Walls” or “Chicago Rock Climbing Meetup.”
Find out all the information you need, then make a booking.
Start a new page in your journal and title it “Rock Climbing.” Immediately after your first rock climbing session, write down your thoughts and feelings. Did you feel exhilarated? Was it challenging? Did you have fun?
Go through and repeat the process until you find the activity that really resonates with you.
The purpose of journalling your experience is because if you fall into the old “boredom trap” then you can go back and read how a particular activity made you feel, then use this as inspiration to get up and give it another go.
It’s having passions, and the perseverance to pursue them, that helps us combat boredom and fills us with happiness. So go ahead and start your list! Your mind will thank you.