“When you pay attention to boredom, it gets unbelievably interesting.”
– John Kabat-Zinn (Professor of Medicine and Mindfulness and author of ‘Wherever you go there you are’)
‘What will make me happy now’ is a terrible question to ask oneself. The mind will run riot while answering this. Better to ask, ‘What is the right thing to do now.’
Nothing will make the mind happy. Once you make a basket of things to do that define you, or that genuinely represent your vision and purpose in life, you have a variety of actions to choose from. It could be a morning walk, prayers, reading, exercise, writing, etc. You may have a range of ten things to do that make you happy. But there would be moments when none of them would inspire you. So what?
Why this obsession with ‘feel good.’? Why do we always need to ‘feel’ and then ‘act’? Why not change the paradigm: let our actions drive our feelings instead.
The difference between the two questions is: happiness drive would keep us unsteady whereas the importance of values and vision would help us contribute meaningfully.
And the nature of habits is it’s an unconscious part of our lives; there are no emotions in the practice. Therefore next time you are bored doing your exercise, congratulate yourself; it’s becoming a habit! Habits- good or bad- are unconscious patterns and they don’t necessarily give happiness, but the result of healthy habits is it improves the overall quality of our lives, and that brings more contentment in the long run.
Therefore next time you find melancholy or boredom gripping you, remind yourself that you need to do the right things and that’s a small price to pay now for a better life tomorrow. You have to pay: it’s either now or later. You could pay now and play then or play now, and pay later.
A smart person knows if you pay later, it usually costs a lot more!