Would you mind me asking you a personal question?
Are you bored?
Don't worry, you don't have to admit it out loud, but if you felt something inside you shift when you read that question - it's a pretty good sign there's something to it.
Now boredom isn't really a bad thing - it can stimulate us to do something different, so don't be concerned if you feel bored from time to time.
The problem with boredom though is that you can find yourself thinking - 'is this it?' - just more of the same?
In a world where everyone is trying to get your attention and you start off hoping that 'this' might be different - only to end up back where you started can feel disheartening.
I get it.
Most of us want a genuine sense of living with meaning and purpose.
A life that beautiful people displayed on magazine covers, advertisements or billboards show as 'having it all' - the electric white smile that wraps from ear to ear, the clothes that fit so easily, the career that's alluring, the perfect family, the doting partner ... a beautifully designed life flourishing with health, wealth and happiness.
Yet if you're a realist like me, you suspect that it's all a sham - a cover story designed to inspire you to buy a product. And mostly you're right - photo-shopped images of unrealistically beautiful people designed to give us that same feeling even if we don't have designer teeth.
How did we ever buy into advertising's myths?
I don't get it.
It was only today that I came across an article. Scientists believe so many people are bored because we live in an over-stimulated world.
What do you think?
Personally, I don't agree.
External stimulation is easy to find so we can fill up our days. The problem is that the more we have, the higher the bar needs to be to excite us.
And Here's The Thing ...
There is an element of truth - brain chemicals are released whenever we're doing something that gives us pleasure that we find stimulating: they're called opioids.
Dr Irving Beideman, neuroscientist at the University of Southern California says that new experiences stimulate the production of opioids giving us a 'wow' feeling.
Problem is that the brain wants more of this feeling, which in turn causes us to crave new stimulation - leaving us with the 'been there, done that' boredom response so many have if we aren't getting even greater stimulations each and every moment of the day.
So our challenge is to keep stimulating these inner opioids.
Big question: How?
Let's start with where you are now.
- What do you love doing? Do more of it.
- What stimulates your creative mind? Get with like-minded people.
- What engages your mind to offer gratitude to those who help us? Go do it now (after you've finished reading this!!)
- What do you love listening to so that your heart sings? Switch on the music now.
- What do you love seeing - like paintings, being in nature, caring for animals? Make a list and start doing more of these things
- What do you love feeling - energy after exercising, fresh breeze in your face stimulating your senses? Feel into the moment and use this as energy to stimulate you to get active.
Yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying - it can be like setting New Year Resolutions that get ditched in two weeks - so, here's the thing.
It's Called Accountability.
- That's how great athletes become world-class heroes.
- That's how marvelous musicians became concert-hall famous.
- That's how artists keep exhibiting.
- That's how you can make this year one where you're engaged, engaging and excited to be you - achieving all that you want, all that you can be.