The Boring Life Is Worth Living

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The "boring" in today's society is highly underrated. As a result, one should strive to maximize their utility of activities that everyone finds mundane. This could be the end of this piece but let us find out why.

Firstly, you will not live as exciting a life as you dream. For example, you spend 60 hours per year grocery shopping and a similar depressing number of times on other tasks like brushing your teeth, driving your car, watching YouTube videos, and the like. Compare that number to how many times you go skydiving or perform any other activity you find exciting in your lifetime. This reality is one that a plurality of people chooses not to face. This is not just a characteristic of being human; it is the reality of life in general. As a biologist in the field, how many times will you catch an animal in the wild dueling for territory? Or performing some fantastic act of mating? Most of their lives are spent eating and sleeping with spurts of war here and there, rarely caught.

Secondly, there's much gain to be had from the boring because people eschew it with a passion and fall into an anxiety-ridden intermediate state. This intermediate state is riddled with stress because life passes by quickly, and as a result, people fret for not having had as exciting a life as they had hoped. The "nerds" figured this out, and the "mainstream is catching up." Embracing the boring gives you a comparative advantage over those that choose not to. It gives you stability, predictability, and more opportunities to do more boring things because there's always a market for it.

If you do indeed take the advice this author posits, what would it mean for your life and actions presently and in the future? In the present, you would actually perform mundane tasks, not because they are exciting but because they are boring. In the future, you reap the benefits of compounding gains. For example, say you read one blog post a day, every day for a month. You will learn one new thing in the entire month that will apply to other aspects of your life or, at the very least, work the mental muscles, which do indeed pay dividends. Then, at that specific margin, your ability to tolerate life becomes marginally better. Extrapolate. If this author were to suggest one boring activity to maximize, it would be writing.

That said, there are areas where boredom does not turn out as maximally beneficial, and they almost always have to do with other people. For example, being a boring professor will earn you fantastic reviews from students (note the sarcasm). A boring fight will be booed by the audience. A boring professional public speaker will be "professional" for a depressingly short time. Thus, as a deontological proposition; strive to maximize the boring in your life and minimize it when in relation to others.

Overall, rather than wallow in the anxiety and negative emotions from sitting in the limbo of being neither exciting nor boring, lean in and lean in hard into one or the other. This author says, embrace the boring because that's what being an adult is, in the end. Your body does it for you as your palette changes as you age, and you actually enjoy things like broccoli or coffee, much to the chagrin of your younger self. Note that embracing the boring does not mean eschew the exciting. On the contrary, the "boring" individual is at an inherent advantage when the excitement does come because they appreciate it for what it is. When it passes, they do not long indefinitely for its return.

Here's another perspective, aim to have just a couple of exciting times in your life and ensure you film it to add to the body of excitement. That way, humanity pools its exciting experiences together as a monolith, and everyone gets a share of that excitement vicariously, with the most gains going to those in the future.

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