I recently found a new job, one that I have been waiting for in a long time and that makes me really happy. I finally felt like things fell into place for me, and that everything is great. So, I’ve been going to work, learning new things every day, enjoying the sunny days, spending quality time with my man, planning the next months and enjoying our house. And I repeat the process. And I slowly get in the loop of the working girl song. And repeat…

Yawn…

What???

Yawn… I bore myself… I simply do…

Every now and then I get bored, I am missing something and I’m ashamed of it because my life is an admittedly very good one.

Things are now predictable for me and settled, at least for the foreseeable future. Before getting this job I was uncertain, I didn’t know how things would play out for me or what was going to happen. Was I going to find a job? When was I going to find a job? Was I going to like it? How would my future colleagues be?

Now, I know exactly what I will be doing every day and regardless how well things turned out, the element of excitement is no longer there. Before, there were so many possible outcomes, now the die is cast and things are settled.

So yes, I dare to say that, that bores me a little and you might now be calling me ungrateful, spoiled or thinking that my problem is a luxury problem. Because it is, but is it? Is the need for excitement, mystery and unpredictability a secondary need? And if so, then why do people who live what seems to be perfect lives, overeat or develop other addictions or depression, have life crises or cheat, or are simply bored and miserable? How small are these problems?

Most people have struggled a lot throughout human history – and are still struggling- to achieve financial security or even survival, but as long as we ignore the problems that arise when acquiring this stability, we are setting up many people for a less than satisfying life.

Boredom is a manifestation of a person not living up to their fullest potential, so simply asking that person to be more grateful will not help. In fact, calling the person ungrateful can only make things worse, as it prevents them from ever expressing or acknowledging their needs. Needs that won’t go away and will probably be expressed in a destructive way.

 

Why do people who live what seems to be perfect lives, overeat or develop other addictions or depression, have life crises or cheat, or are simply bored and miserable?

 

Instant gratification to cure boredom, which is our times’ favourite, will probably not help either. I can watch a thousand Youtube videos and the time will certainly pass, but I will not be any more excited or happy with myself. External stimuli offers momentary relief, but since it doesn’t cover our need for utilizing our own resources or brain, it often results in us needing more and more and more of it.

A recent trend in western, wealthy societies is changing jobs or even careers all the time. An article about the characteristics of the millennials mentions, that they change jobs more or less, every two years. Yes, I guess doing that, can help someone feel that they are progressing in life, that they are growing and evolving, but how long will it take before changing jobs, or partners or cars becomes boring as well?

I think our fast-paced lives, with the countless options around us combined with our laziness and our tendency to look outwards rather than inwards, deprive us of the answers we’re looking for. Unfortunately, I think the answer lies in introspection and self – discovery and I say unfortunately, because that takes a lot of patience, time, discipline and strength of character.

 

External stimuli offers momentary relief, but it doesn’t cover our need for utilizing our own resources or brain.

 

A person needs to be strong to live with the knowledge that, nothing they have conquered is ever truly conquered, but it needs to be earned every day. Your job, partner, or friends are not yours no matter what. However difficult the thought, it’s the very same thought that makes you truly appreciate what you have and makes your day to day effort meaningful. Does fighting for what you love seem boring to you?

Moreover, a person needs to be disciplined and patient in order to learn more about themselves and get in contact with their creativity. Going to a new restaurant and having a good meal is easy and pleasant, struggling in order to make a great meal yourself will be difficult – extremely difficult in my case- and very gratifying. You will have achieved something yourself.

In addition, we are nowadays afraid to dare, to try, to be exposed, to make mistakes and fail, while bringing all of our aspects into existence. Social media have made it extremely easy to judge and be cynical against those who try – I’m not referring to constructive criticism. If that’s holding you back, please remember that the cynical ones, sit comfortably in their couch and exist through others’ creativity, they don’t create anything themselves and they’re probably suffering a great deal.

Today, while in the middle of my morning routine of reading news and articles, I got bored and I decided to write about it. How smart, original or likable, is of little importance. We’re all just preaching and teaching what we want most to learn and there’s so many different lessons to be learned in this world.

Daring to be all of yourself, no matter who, how imperfect or how clumsy your effort, will give you the excitement, the mystery and eventually the fulfilment that you can’t find elsewhere. And trust me, fulfilment and boredom don’t share address.

*Originally published at elenirigajohansen.com

Published by Eleni Riga-Johansen