Thursday, January 16, 2014
13 Ways to Make Life More Interesting
If you suffer from serious cases of boredom, creative blocks, or lack of motivation on a regular basis, I'd like to assure you life is not boring. I sincerely promise! If it seems that way, something's gone wrong, and you're in desperate need of some salt and pepper to bring out the flavor--and the colors of the sky, and the metaphors in the weather, and the sounds in the wind. So, down below, feel free to fill up your salt and pepper shakers with any or all of the thirteen things Silkworm and I do to make our lives more interesting!
1. Name inanimate objects.
Be as quirky or as conventional as you want. My camera's name is Rain Beau, my guitar is called Humphrey, my laptop is Penelope (it even says it in the network folder where it's listed with our other computers)...I don't know, I guess it makes them seem alive.
2. Have a motto.
Pick a quote that feels like it was written for you exclusively (or write your own) and let it define everything you do. You don't have to stick to it all the time, but it's nice to have some kind of motivation to encourage you to be who you want to be and do things you'll be proud to say you did. Silkworm and I use a quote written by Charles Bukowski: "We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us."
3. Keep in touch with Little You.
Little You is the person who didn't look in the mirror every morning, and proceeded to prance around with messy hair and spaghetti sauce stains. Little You delighted in the silliest things like quarter candy machines and territorial squirrels at the bird feeder. Little You was flippin' adorable. Why in the world would you let go of that?
4. Be spontaneous.
There's nothing wrong with planning and writing a dozen to-do lists a day, but in the midst of your scheduled life, don't be afraid to do something that isn't penciled in--and do it now. Some sudden whims are simply to be acted on immediately. Sometimes all I do is pencil things in for later, and then my priorities bump them further and further down my list of things to do until they disappear into the oblivion that is the depths of my never-ending caboodle of thoughts and ideas. Then there are days when I decide I feel like having a campfire in the backyard, and within an hour, I'm roasting fruit kabobs on open flames. Those are the days that make me feel so good about myself.
5. Find a passion and swim in it.
If you think life is boring, you need to find something interesting about it. Think about what makes your head spin or your heart melt. It doesn't even have to be something typical. Maybe you like investigating and figuring things out, so you can do a personal science experiment everyday; or maybe you like bugs, so you can follow house flies around and peek at every ant hill. A passion also gives you an identity. When you're introducing yourself to people, one of the first things that will slip out of your mouth with your name is "photographer" or "magician" or "baker". It's the thing that makes you feel the deepest feelings anything in life can make you feel. Ideally, you'd want to create a career out of your passion, but as long as it's there, that's ten points to you.
6. Collect something.
It's as if you're on a never-ending scavenger hunt when you're a collector. You get to be perpetually on the lookout for more of whatever it is you hoard, and when you find something, adding it to your collection gives you a little burst of accomplishment feels.
7. Be silly.
Stop wondering who will be judging you when you're skipping through a field of frolic-worthy wildflowers. You're having more fun than those people, anyway. If they're laughing, it's only because people aren't used to other people doing such silly things to have fun. Show them it's okay.
8. Arrange special days and write them on the calendar.
Having something to look forward to is one of the best motivators. It doesn't even have to be something fancy; even a picnic, or a camping trip, or a visit to the zoo will do. On the days leading up to your special day, let the excitement build inside you, and when things go wrong or you've got reason to be upset, you'll have a comforting promise of fun in your future.
9. Dedicate yourself to being an Enchantemissary.
Enchantemissaries are essentially my and Silkworm's idea of people who spread Random Acts of Kindness, but those Acts of Kindness are called Missions of Magic to an Enchantemissary. It is an Enchantemissary's mission to be magically kind, surprising strangers with their generosity and creativity. Doing nice things for strangers is famously rewarding, and it gives you a sense of purpose and makes you feel like you're doing something to better other people. For a bunch of ideas for Missions of Magic, click here!
10. Have a mind open so wide, any thought can hop in.
Strive not to judge people and situations, and whenever you accidentally slip up, correct yourself. Think positive, always, even when you think you can't. Accept constructive criticism. Consider taking blame for things you're not so sure were your fault. Try so hard to look for the good in people. There is so much to recognize, and you don't want your head to be filtering them out with stereotypes and biases and defensiveness.
11. Play with your food.
Eat your breakfast on a skewer, create a scene with your lunch, eat your dinner with your hands tied behind your back. Catch grapes in your mouth, write love notes on bananas, use cookie cutters for more than just cookies. Make silly foods; make foods that make you smile; make foods that make you want to take a picture of them before they disappear into your tummy. Whoever told you not to play with your food knows diddly squat about fun and thinks manners are more important.
12. Ask questions.
Wonder why. If you don't know something about the snowflakes piling up outside or the foam leaking out of your pine trees, research it, no matter how useless having knowledge on the subject may seem. Do a few science experiments when you're looking to find answers and nobody's got them for you. Not only will you find out all kinds of cool stuff about the universe, but you'll be an encyclopedia of cool facts in no time, and that makes you pretty interesting.
13. Document it all.
Having a journal is all kinds of healthy, but to me, the best benefit is the comfort of having something there to remind you that your past self's feelings and experiences were just as real as your feelings and experiences now. Even better, sometimes, when you look back at your own past, it doesn't even feel like it's yours; rather, it feels like a fairytale you forgot was yours to tell. You might read back your past self's musings and think, "Wow, I actually was pretty awesome; I totally forgot about that." On the other hand, you may look back to realize you've done things you never imagined you'd ever be able to do. Silkworm and I have just started to keep a journal this year, and I can't imagine what that will be like to read years from now.
Mind you, Silkworm and I still get bored and feel boring sometimes, so don't be upset if the same happens to you. When we stumble into those kinds of funks, we like to ban ourselves from temporary cures that nourish boredom like sitting at the computer or in front of the TV, and then we take a walk outside or do things with our hands. It's hard when the boredom isn't keen on clearing up ASAP, but try not to get frustrated with yourself. Let it simmer for a while; inspiration is always on the way! And if you'd like, Silkworm and I are always here to talk to, and we'd be happy to find a cure for your unique case of boredom!