There is plenty of ordinary in our lives. Days where the routine has become so mundane we fall into a state of regular boredom. In those moments, we shut our eyes on what’s around us. And we become oblivious to the beauty that still remains, as ordinary as it may seem.
The thing about boredom is that it leaves open the possibility of exploring our creativity.
Inside each of us, there is genius—impressive abilities and ideas capable of captivating other human beings. Yet, we cave to our modern temptations of pointlessly spending time on social media or surfing the internet.
In an effort to avoid the ordinary, we allow ourselves to be distracted from the simple things that are (if we looked closely enough) anything but.
What we misunderstand is this: the simple, ordinary things and moments in our lives carry more weight and meaning than our distractions ever could.
This is especially true when we have no aim behind what we do in our free time. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re distracted until we realize what needed to be done isn’t.
One of the worst habits is losing focus on the most important things.
Most of the time we’re lost in a sea of comparing our lives, our skills, our imagination with someone else. And in the end, we ignore the need to cultivate our own.
Whether we realize it or not, we can get a lot more done with less looking around and more looking within—the key to producing effective work people would appreciate.
The secret lies in you being willing to make those ordinary moments practical.
Taking Advantage of Now
I’m no perfect example, not by a long shot. As a tech enthusiast, I am pulled to all things touch sensitive and programmable just like the next person. (After all, I am in college preparing to become a computer scientist.)
Yet, I am fully aware of my time now more than ever, not just how valuable it is, but also how dangerous it is.
Days passed much slower as a child. As you played and filled your hands with dirt, or whatever else you liked to do, you were numb to thought of time. It seemed to stand still.
Even though it wasn’t, there was a feeling of momentary fulfillment. Looking back, I can say those moments were much more than simple.
But it was the actions, coupled with the freedom of creative expression, that made those times stand out. And they still can.
We can take our boredom, our empty spaces where time carries on whether we want it to or not, and fill them with rest and creativity.
A Time for Everything
Rest includes dedicated time with family and friends, away from the noisy demands that are apart of our adult lives. All the eating, the laughing, the chatting, and even the crying, brings us back to what really matters.
Of course, rest also includes sleep (my favorite-but-often-neglected activity).
Times of creativity means putting your imagination to work. Most of the time, that requires us to pay attention in the seemingly ordinary moments. The closer we look, the more we recognize the beauty wrapped in it all.
Your time is anything but ordinary because in it lies the potential of impacting other lives in a positive way and growing as a human being yourself.
The best way to do this is to combat the popularization of wasting time. We should opt instead to fill it with the people and things that matter most to the essence of our creative journeys.
That’s not to say it will be easy. It’s tough because there’s so much pushback from most people out there. Most people lose track of time due to streams of irrelevant content filled with irrelevant information.
And yet, you have the choice to not be like most people. Extraordinary people think differently. They have different habits, perspectives, and disciplines. That’s what set them apart from the rest.
You deserve more than frequent emptiness out of your time. But it’s going to take courage in saying “no” to useless activities and “yes” to the ones that actually improve your life.
Kevin Horton is a photographer, student, modest book-worm, and wanna-be web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.
’Til next time. Thanks for reading!