How open are you to new ideas, new experiences, or new people?Some people are quite happy with their routine and feel like they don’t need anything new in their lives. But we learn and grow only when we face new things that we haven’t before (see Growth). When we go through periods of routine in our daily lives, it can be too easy to stick with our usual experiences or comfort zones. However, even if we feel like we’re happy with our routine, something new can offer us an element of surprise, excitement, or wonder that can enhance our outlook and mood. This might include meeting someone new or being open to different roles, or it might be a drastic departure from what we normally do, whether personally, professionally, or spiritually.It might also be as simple as increasing our awareness of the details of our current routine—an openness to the nuances that make each day special and new.
Why is it that many people view everyday life as boring—something to just get through?
Many people spend their lives waiting. Waiting to achieve something. Waiting to get something. Waiting to be happy.
Conditional happiness is overrated. If we think that some future event or condition is going to make us happy, or turn our lives around, or bring us fulfillment, then we’ve missed the point. If we don’t have the capacity for happiness in “everyday” life, some future condition is unlikely to make us happy. We all have the capacity to be happy—some of us just don’t realize it.
Happiness is available to all of us right here, right now.
It’s inside all of us. If it’s not there, then no level of achievement, material gain, or lifestyle change is going to bring it to us.
Each of us has a soundtrack to our lives.
We have the sounds we hear during our normal routine and during special events, including those sounds we seek out.
For some, this soundscape is intentional; they craft their lives based in part on what they like (or don’t like) to hear. For others, their soundscapes are a complete afterthought—literally just background noise.
Some like the sound of the hustle and bustle of the city, while others like the subtler sounds associated with nature. Some like raucous, energetic music, while others prefer it calm and melodic. For many, the sounds to which they are drawn depend on their mood, and their tastes will vary accordingly.
Throughout my life, I’ve experienced many extremes.
I’ve been blissfully happy and deeply despondent. I’ve felt supremely confident and utterly worthless. I’ve buzzed with energy and been completely listless.
Extremes are part of life and are something we all experience. Obviously, the positive extremes are preferable, right? We want to feel good, not bad.
What about another option? Instead of chasing elusive and fleeting feelings, we can aspire to serenity—a more consistent positive feeling that, with practice, is not fleeting, but something that we can feel all the time.
Do you ever have weeks where life seems to be a constant struggle? There are headaches followed by more headaches, with a healthy dose of nothing’s right? Even when you work through all the hassle, there’s a whopping big pile of hassle waiting for you the next week. No one said life was going to be easy, but when it seems like nothing is easy, a shot of perspective can be the medicine you need.
People are, for the most part, rational beings. We wouldn’t willingly make a trade without getting something desirable in return. We undergo stress for different reasons, but in the back of our minds, what we are going through is worth the struggle. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t.