And feel fulfilled while at it
Now that I find myself with a lot of free time at my disposal, there is a possibility that I might not know what do with it. This would cause boredom and thus unsatisfaction. Thus, I have devised a two-step plan for myself to help avoid this situation.
Step 1: Make a list of things that you would like to do. These could be things that you have always failed to find time for even though your heart longed for it. These are the things that you think would make you feel happy. They could be long term goals or short term activities. Make sure to write them down and even put it on a post-it where you can see them everyday. Put it on your bathroom mirror if need be. I’ve made this list in Evernote which I check regularly. This is what my list looks like:
1. Read a book
4. Play guitar
5. Learn spanish/french on Duolingo
6. Take Illustration lessons on Skillshare
7. Coursera lessons on writing/art/philosophy etc.
8. Do pushups/exercise
9. Go outside, take a walk
10. Listen to music
12. Work on ideas from the Evernote list
Step 2: Do those things.
This is it. There is no formula or an easy hack to cure boredom and feel more fulfilled. You just have to get down and do what you are supposed to do. It is easier said than done so here are a couple of things that help me.
1. Stop thinking about they Whys and the Why nots. For example, if you are planning to go for a run, stop thinking about how tired you are or how it is such a big pain to climb down the stairs. Just switch of your mind, lace up and go.
2. Imagine how you’d feel after you’ve accomplished the feat. I used this technique for writing this post. By imagining how nice and productive I’d feel after finishing this post, I was able to get down to it.
Another source of great inspiration for me which drives me forward in small and big things of life is Marcus Aurelius’ writings. They have helped me come to terms with some of the boring, mundane and sometimes harsh realities of life. He is one of the major Stoic philosophers. Stoicism is a philosophy which has affected me greatly and I strongly endorse it. Here are a few lines from his book to get you interested:
"In the morning when thou findest thyself unwilling to rise, consider with thyself presently, it is to go about a man’s work that I am stirred up. Am I then yet unwilling to go about that, for which I myself was born and brought forth into this world? Or was I made for this, to lay me down, and make much of myself in a warm bed? ‘O but this is pleasing.’ And was it then for this that thou wert born, that thou mightest enjoy pleasure? Was it not in very truth for this, that thou mightest always be busy and in action? Seest thou not how all things in the world besides, how every tree md plant, how sparrows and ants, spiders and bees: how all in their kind are intent as it were orderly to perform whatsoever (towards the preservation of this orderly universe) naturally doth become and belong unto thin? And wilt not thou do that, which belongs unto a man to do? Wilt not thou run to do that, which thy nature doth require? ‘But thou must have some rest.’ Yes, thou must. Nature hath of that also, as well as of eating and drinking, allowed thee a certain stint. But thou guest beyond thy stint, and beyond that which would suffice, and in matter of action, there thou comest short of that which thou mayest. It must needs be therefore, that thou dost not love thyself, for if thou didst, thou wouldst also love thy nature, and that which thy nature doth propose unto herself as her end. "
Hope these pointers work for you as well.
Did you like what you read so far? You can subscribe to my mailing list to get updates on new posts. I am not sure how frequently I’ll send you an email but it will never be more often than once a week.
Appreciate your time. Thanks!