Okay, Amanda, I thought to myself. This is like, what? Your third night in a row in bed?
The workday was over and I’d shut myself away with a laptop, some comfort snacks, and a serious determination to finish Insecure on HBO. And I had no intention of getting up. Ever.
Which would have been fine, except that I realized this was becoming a pattern of the week. That bothered me.
I really would have loved to cast away all worries and anxieties about the week to the wind and binge-watched sad documentaries (now you know never to ask me for comforting movie recommendations) until it was way past my bedtime. But I also knew that I’d be really unhappy with myself if I did.
Because while one part of me wanted to spend my third evening of the week this way, there was another part of me that didn’t want to.
The part of me that longed for adventure and excitement and passion in my every day life was pleading with me to get up from under the blankets and get on with living well.
What would happen otherwise? If I chose to spend every night of the week, or even most nights of the week, falling victim to a cycle of soothing television shows, what was I going to tell my kids about my 20s later in life?
Nothing. I’d have nothing to say, no funny stories or weird encounters or strange life lessons to share. The only thing I’d be able to tell them is not to waste their 20s the way I did.
And that’s not something I wanted to have to do.
Instead, I wanted more days of my week to be full of fun and joy than days that felt mundane. I wanted to wake up in the morning excited about the plans I had for the next 24 hours, or the next week, or the next month or year.
The point is, as I sat in my bed surrounded by popcorn kernels, I realized I only had one life, and I wasn’t living it well.
So I did an exercise that I’ve done time and time again since then, and today I’m going to share it with you. If you’ve ever felt stuck in a daily routine that left you passionless and bored, I hope this post will help.
Define What Adventure Looks Like To You
What does it look like to live every day full of zest and purpose?
Does it look like hiking the mountains near your home once a week? What about learning a mew language, starting a business, volunteering, or training for a half marathon?
Those goals might scare you. You might feel like you wouldn’t be able to accomplish these things with the limited amount of time you have each day, especially considering all the obligations I know you have.
Don’t worry, friend. We’re not done yet. We’ll get to the roadblocks in a minute.
For now, focus on dreaming big and without restraints. Ask yourself what passion and meaning looks like on a day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month basis.
Listen, I know you can do whatever it is that makes life sound more exciting to you than it is right now. I have faith that you have what it takes because you’re here, reading this, and that means something: you’re motivated to do this thang.
Recognize What Bores You About Your Current Life
Yikes, this is a toughie. It’s hard to face the facts about what in our lives isn’t working right now, because that means we have to make some major decisions and change.
But if we don’t identify what it is that’s keeping us back, we can’t fix it and move forward.
For me, as I was sitting on that bed, I realized that watching Netflix every night was not really on my list of “Things That Excite Me About Life.” Netflix was fine to unwind. But it didn’t fill me with passion and excitement.
Maybe you can relate to me on the Netflix. Or maybe you’re all about keeping the house perfectly tidy, or spending hours upon hours browsing the Internet, or scrolling through social media like you’re getting paid to do it (if only – I’d be mega good at that).
Whatever it is for you, locate that. Name whatever it is that’s contributing to a mundane lifestyle, even if it is bringing you pleasure in some way.
Think About What’s Keeping You Stuck In a Routine Of Boredom
When I really thought about it, Netflix was a way I numbed myself from negative emotions. And numbing ourselves keeps us from living a full life.
I’m a therapist, so during the workday I hear a lot of really hard stories and hold a lot of people’s pain. It’s emotionally exhausting. So then I come home and use Netflix to turn off my brain for a bit and put down all the hard, painful things going on in people’s lives.
Numbing is a big reason we turn to things like television, the Internet, or social media for respite from our days.
It could be that we’re struggling with self-esteem issues and focusing on something other than ourselves makes us feel less shame. Or maybe we’re wrestling with a painful traumatic event, a trying schedule, or general life exhaustion and we just want to shut down so we don’t have to think anymore.
Knowing why we’re operating the way we are can help us figure out where to go next. But we also have to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves too. We may realize that the reasons we’re living a boring life have to do with some pretty tough things, and therapy or self-care could be a necessary antidote.
Make A Game Plan To Break The Cycle of Monotony And Create A Lifestyle Of Adventure
So here’s the big question: how can we do less of the boring stuff and more of the fun, passionate stuff?
Now that we know what living adventurously looks like to us, what living in the mundane means, and what keeps us stuck in a boring daily routine, we have to put it all together to find the solutions we need.
Here’s a few questions to help:
- How many days a week are you hoping to tap into your adventurous life?
- What would you have to give up or adjust in order to live a more exciting lifestyle?
- Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make your life the best it can be? Why or why not?
- When are you going to start making the necessary changes towards fulfillment?
Now go and do it. Get ready with everything you need to succeed. Then stick to your plan. I know you can do it.
Because life means something to you. Life is important to you. You know it’s preciousness and you’re ready to cherish it for all it’s worth.
Was there a moment you realized you needed to change some things in order to live a more adventurous life? What happened? What has helped you live passionately in the past?