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Last Updated on March 5, 2020

How Not to Be Boring (And Start to Be More Interesting)

How Not to Be Boring (And Start to Be More Interesting)

Humans are creatures of habit. We love to establish a routine and stick with it. Then we often put ourselves on auto-pilot.

Routines can be incredibly useful in helping you get things done. However, too much of a routine can also make you incredibly boring.

Nevertheless, many people live lives that are boringly predictable, or live a life where everything is outlined or planned.

Well guess what? Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it. You must be able to go with the flow regardless of whether you have a plan or not. My life is not even close to what I thought it would be like a year ago. How could I have known what was going to happen? How can you?

So, how not to be boring and start to be more interesting?

Face your fear of uncertainties and start to be more spontaneous. And in this article, I will show you how.

1. Create an Environment That Fosters Spontaneity

It’s scary to let go of your plans because then, you are inviting all kinds of uncertainty into your life. In fact, fear is the root of most spontaneity problems. By conquering those fears, you can become less dependent on your plans and live a far more interesting life.

Ask Your Friends If You Are Too Predictable

Ask your friends if you are too predictable. It might be awkward to ask, but listen to them closely for the answer.

The people who know you well are in a better position to give you this information, and they might see some areas where you can improve that you might not consider yourself.

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Let Go of Limiting Beliefs

During your life, you have picked up beliefs that may hold you back. If you think it is “weird” to talk to a stranger, or that you’ll mess up if you try to do something differently, you have a limiting belief.

Find these beliefs and then remove them. These guides will help:

Look at the World Through a Child’s Eyes

Children are endlessly curious, and you should be too. You may have much more in the way of experience than a 5-year-old child, but there is still a lot of stuff that you don’t know too.

The only way to develop new insights is by trying new things regularly, much like a child who thrusts himself into the unknown.

Reduce Time-Wasters

Things like TV and mindless Internet surfing eat up huge chunks of your time. They give you an excuse to be lazy instead of spontaneous.

When you don’t rely on these crutches, it becomes much easier to act more carefree.

Stop Waiting for the Perfect Time

Stop waiting for the perfect time for spontaneity to take hold. If there is something that you want to do, the best time to do it is now.

For example, if it’s raining and you want to dance, don’t let the presence of other people stop you. The rain may have stopped by then!

2. Start Acting Spontaneously Now

Becoming a spontaneous person is not easy, especially if you’ve been conditioned to be a boring person for many years. But you can change if that’s your wish.

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This section contains a progressive set of exercises to gradually turn you into a more spontaneous individual. If you can follow through on these steps consistently, you can add more joy and interest to your life.

Get up and Dance, Right Now!

I know it’s silly, but get up and dance. In fact, do it right now.

As it takes some practice to become more spontaneous, now is a good time to begin. So, play some tunes and get up and boogie down! What’s the worst that can happen?

Add a “Twist” to Normal Activities

Normally, I do my writing while sitting on my couch. But, every once in a while, I like to spice things up and go to a local cafe.

Maybe you go for a morning jog along the same route every day. Tomorrow, try taking a detour instead of continuing straight ahead. You may be surprised by what happens.

Go Explore a New Location

You probably don’t have to go too far from where you live currently to find a street you’ve never walked, a town you haven’t explored, or a trail you haven’t hiked.

Check out a new place and see what you have been missing.

Use Randomness

When I find myself in a situation where I can’t make up my mind, I randomly decide.

For instance, I used to sit and debate with myself about which of three movies I wanted to watch. Now I just use a random number generator and arrive at a satisfactory answer within seconds.

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Flipping a coin or using a random number generator is very easy. It gets you in the habit of coming to a decision much more quickly.

Try a New Hobby, Activity or Class etc.

Choose an activity that has always interested you but you haven’t tried, and another pursuit that has never interested you. Locate classes that are being offered on each of your two choices and sign up for them.

Enjoying activities that you like as well as pursuing hobbies you wouldn’t expect to like makes life just that much more exciting.

Say “Yes” More Often

If your friend invites you to a party that you normally wouldn’t attend, make yourself go.

Start taking advantage of the social possibilities that are placed before you. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’ll also become more spontaneous.

Do Something Without Thinking

If you get a random (non-destructive) impulse, act on it fast. Don’t think about it too long. Otherwise, you’ll second guess yourself.

Commit yourself to the activity even if you are hesitating. Got an urge to break out into song? After you reflexively, dismiss the urge, commit to singing the lyrics and follow through on it.

Talk to Strangers

Does somebody look interesting to you? Go up to them and start a conversation. I know this can be extremely difficult. Nevertheless, go ahead and take a step in their direction.

It’s not as “scary” as introducing yourself or initiating a conversation, but it does help build the momentum. In fact, I often start talking to someone who interests me once I take that first step.

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If you need a little help, here it is: How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Do Things That Scare You

Being spontaneous involves regularly stepping out of your comfort zone. So, act and move ahead in spite of your fears. I used to be afraid of heights, but one of my friends and I decided to buy a Groupon to go skydiving. Guess what? I faced my fear and it melted away after I made that leap.

A Little Spontaneity Makes You Less Boring!

Becoming more spontaneous doesn’t mean putting an end to long-term thinking or planning.

Ideally, you should be able to create a plan, execute it, and then deviate from it whenever you wish. Planning is not the enemy. Instead, the culprit is fear.

Begin living a life where fear does not hold you back. You’ll soon get into the habit of becoming more interesting and less boring.

Don’t miss the following articles if you want to live your best life:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

More by this author

Michael Davidson

Michael teaches English in Israel while blogging about how to live a happier and healthier life.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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