What To Do About Boredom, Routine, and Petty Frustration

May 20, 2013

Supermarket QueueWe all have had to stand in line at a crowded grocery store, tired and hungry, while the people around us seem infuriatingly idiotic and annoying. As writers, we may also have experienced that hum-drum routine that almost makes us so numb that it’s hard to write but we do it just to get it done. Boredom, routine, and petty frustration are all part of life as an adult in our society. But, it’s how we choose to think about it that makes us truly human.

I came across this revamped video of David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon Commencement speech and I was driven to tears. Okay, I’m emotional (I’ve cried at the Budweister commercial with the baby Clydesdale) but his message is powerful. This post is not going to be long or even discuss anything about writing. Instead, I want you to watch this entire video if you haven’t already seen it. Then I have a challenge for you.

My challenge for you: can you change how you think when you’re bored or frustrated by life’s routines, and especially when you are dealing with people in a crowded situtation? Can you remember that you have a choice? You can be conscious and remember that we are all humans dealing with the crap of life or you can succumb to the maddening routine and react from a place of unconsciousness.

Share your thoughts or reactions about this video. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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