Lots of people complain about being bored with their lives at some point. And certainly, compared to celebrities and fictional characters, we tend to lead quite boring lives. But how do you go about making your life more interesting?
It all starts with exiting your comfort zone. While it’s safe and cozy there, it’s also not very interesting. Boredom may have some benefits, but fighting boredom by exploring new experiences outside of your comfort zone is essential for growth. By keeping an open mind, making a bucket list, and making slight changes to your daily routine, you can make your life as interesting as you like.
In this article, I’ll be taking a look at why making your life more interesting is a good idea and how to go about it.
Are there benefits to an uninteresting life?
Every summer, I take advantage of my long vacation (the joys of working at a school) and go on a long reading binge, trying to make a dent in my ever-growing reading list.
For a while, I lose myself in worlds that are far more interesting than my own life.
That said, I wouldn’t like to live in the fantasy universe of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series or the mid 20th century Naples as described by Elena Ferrante in her Neapolitan Novels.
While rivaling gangs and steamy affairs make for an interesting read, there is a reason to prefer less interesting lifestyles. Namely, boring means safe.
Having a safe routine helps us relax, because we don’t have to worry about our physical and mental safety or well-being. Being bored usually means that we’re generally doing pretty okay and we should take it as a blessing. Not everyone has the opportunity to get bored, because they’re always trying to figure out how to survive another day.
According to research, boredom can also make us more creative and engage in prosocial behaviors like helping others.
Boredom can also push us to try new things and be more productive in an effort to alleviate it.
Why leaving your comfort zone leads to an interesting life
However, there can be too much of a good thing - too much boredom probably means that you’re getting too comfortable and you should explore the world outside your comfort zone.
Coming out of your comfort zone can also be scary and the fear of the unknown can outweigh the mild unpleasantness of boredom. Trying new (and interesting!) things is necessary for personal growth, and if you want to live an interesting life, you have to take some risks.
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How to make your life more interesting
If you’ve decided to exit your comfort zone in search of something more interesting, here are some tips for just that.
1. Find inspiration
You probably already find yourself looking at other people’s lives and wishing you could swap places with them. After all - everyone seems to be doing fun things in beautiful places all the time, while you’re trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.
This kind of comparison, although natural, isn’t beneficial for us. You have to remember that people rarely share the boring bits of their lives.
In order to find inspiration, look deeper. Read biographies and novels, and watch documentaries and movies. Find influencers in fields that interest you and take their glamorous lives with a grain of salt.
I recently read The Women I Think About at Night by Finnish writer Mia Kankimäki. In it, Mia describes her travels in Africa, Japan, and Italy, retracing the paths of brave and extraordinary women like the Danish writer Karen Blixen and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. These women inspired her to quit her publishing job and sell her apartment and really get out of her comfort zone.
I’m not suggesting you need to go on a trip around the world, but a trip through your bookcase and Netflix library is a good place to start for inspiration. Documentaries and biographies are an especially great resource, as the truth is often stranger and more interesting than fiction.
2. Make a bucket list - and stick to it
While the idea of writing down everything you want to do before you die may sound morbid, it’s more about what you want to experience while you live.
Personally, I love making lists and if there’s something I’ve learned about lists, it’s that they only work if you do. Dreaming without doing won’t make your life that much more interesting.
The secret to a good bucket list is finding the balance between realistic and idealistic. Include both your wildest fantasies and easily achievable things.
By making a bucket list, you’re basically creating a series of goals for yourself, and every good goal needs a deadline. Obviously, you have no way of knowing how long you have left, but just deciding if you’re going to travel to your dream locations this year or the next is a good start.
3. Don’t knock it till you try it
We all have things we like and things we don’t like.
We also have things we think we will like and things we think we won’t like. That’s completely normal, but the only certain way to know if we’ll like something is to try it.
There have been times I’ve been invited to the gym, a party, or to try a new activity, and my first thought was, “No, I won’t like that”. After all, I know what I like!
Most recently, I have discovered that I like electric scooters, after initially approaching them with dislike and a hefty amount of distrust. While I prefer bikes, the scooters are a fast and fun way to get around the city and they’re way less scary than I first thought.
In order to broaden your horizons and live a more interesting life, you need to keep an open mind. Be ready to try new things despite initial dislike. If you find you don’t like something, that’s fine, but don’t knock it till you try it.
4. Mix up your routine
Routines are safe, and often necessary for self-discipline, but mixing them up can be a good way to make your life just a little more interesting.
One of my brightest childhood memories is of a morning in the 1st grade. I remember telling my mom that I didn’t want to go to school. I don’t remember the reason, but I was kicking up a fuss about having to walk to school - I lived about a 10-minute walk away.
In response, my mom told me we would be taking another route to school, which got my interest and I agreed pretty quickly to try going to school after all.
We didn’t actually take a different route, since the route in question was mainly a straight road, but we didn’t cross the street in the usual place. My 7-year-old mind was blown by the fact that you can, in fact, use the other side of the street as well.
Later, in adolescence and adulthood, mixing up my routes became a way to break routine. Right now, I have two main ways I can walk to work and three ways to get home (four if I want a detour).
It’s these little things that help you make your everyday life a little more interesting. You don’t have to visit faraway places; sometimes, discovering an interestingly decorated yard in a side street is enough.
A word of caution: it’s best to mix up your routine on days when you don’t have anything important going on. Don’t try to take the scenic route if you’re running late for a meeting, or switch up your coffee order if you’re taking an important exam.
Otherwise things might get a little too interesting.
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Boredom has its uses, staying in the safe and boring comfort zone for too long will stunt your personal growth. That’s why making your life more interesting is good for more than just fun - you’ll get out of your comfort zone and grow, too. Start by finding some inspiration, make your bucket list, don’t be afraid of including things you might not like, and mix up your daily routine, et voilà - isn’t life more interesting?
What about you? Do you have a go-to method to make your life more interesting? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!