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Why You Should Master Boring
Work/Life Balance

Why You Should Master Boring 

It’s a Sunday afternoon as I write this. It’s gray and cold outside. I ate breakfast, watered some plants, did some laundry, cleaned up the house, folded the laundry, did some prep work for the upcoming week, and soon it’ll be time to cook dinner and then go to sleep. There’s nothing particularly exciting about today, and I’m finding a lot of importance in this very basic, ordinary, chop wood and carry water type of thing these days. 

You see, I have found that most people have a bit of an addiction to excitement, myself included. With the ability to hop in a car or a plane and go anywhere on the planet within minutes, or get online and immediately be entertained in some way, I believe that most of us typically want to be experiencing something exciting all the time. Our modern day culture has actually bred us this way. Movies need more action, more sex, more suspense if they are to be hits in the box office. We live in a “more, more, more…” world. There are even so many statistics about how the current up and coming generation has no desire to figure out any type of career path because they are constantly changing routes in search of the next shiny object. Absolutely no disrespect to these young adults, we are all experiencing some version of “attention deficit disorder” because there are literally a million things ping-ing us for attention and excitement all day long, every day! 

Don’t get me wrong—I love doing lots of exciting things all the time! But I also think there are moments and even seasons of life where we get to focus on regularity and consistency and commitment, and what I would call joyful discipline. For example, it’s not always fun to go to the gym everyday, but it’s the everyday consistency that preps the athlete for their big marathon. It’s the small steps on a daily basis that make the big dreams come true, and more importantly, that daily training is what gives you the capacity to hold it all when the big exciting moment arrives. Another example is when someone is steadily growing as a musician. They start out doing thousands of small shows to only one or two people. They keep going to the boring voice and guitar lessons and they keep showing up on stage every time, whether there’s an audience or an empty room. It is this that builds the capacity within them to be able to handle it when they become a big star. They have been building their courage and tenacity muscles on a regular basis when it wasn’t exciting and no one was applauding, so when the moment of excitement does come, they are strong and steady and capable. 

It’s the old “chop wood and carry water” saying that really rings true here. The “boring” moments are the ones that build our character and strength and they are so important. Winter seems like a good time for some steadiness and consistency, don’t you think? 

This societal need for more, more, more keeps us in a state of searching instead of being. When we are searching for something, it means we are in lack. This is why gratitude practices work so well—because when we are grateful, we are feeling satiated. The universe is a mirror and we get back the same frequency that we give off. Let that sink in for a moment. 

The biggest antidote for the “more, more, more” epidemic that we are all experiencing is to be in a steady state of presence and gratitude for that ordinariness. It certainly isn’t shiny or sexy or exciting, but it’s building character. It’s the everyday stuff, the ordinary stuff, and it actually is quite beautiful if you slow down enough to see it. I’m learning to love the daily tasks and see the purposefulness in them. What do you think? Ready to love chopping wood and carrying water?

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