Are you interesting?

by Anne Dorko

You want to know why your life is boring. You worry that you’re not cool enough. You’re concerned that folks out there find you boring.

Well… maybe you are boring. Sorry, but that’s the cold, harsh truth.

You spend most of your time making monotonous, boring decisions, and doing predictable, boring things.

Now, the right kind of predictable can be good. It’s good to be able to pay your bills and take care of responsibilities. I’m not bashing on that. But you want something more.

You want the high seas. You want the peril of espionage missions. You want to live.

Welcome to the crew, mate. The life we lead is anything but boring. Here’s how to start being interesting:

Don’t play it safe 100% of the time.

Take risks

This is dangerous advice, so take it with a grain of salt. Don’t be flat-out stupid.

Don’t make the safe call, every time.

Maybe you don’t really feel like going out to the dance class with your friends, because you look stupid dancing. It’s safe to stay home.

Don’t stay home. Go out dancing.

We love dancing, even if we look ridiculous doing it. We do it because it’s great to learn better footwork, get us moving, and learn a new form of self-expression.

You may already love dancing, but I know you’re holding back on something. I can feel it.

Stop playing it safe with your personal boundaries. Open up. Experience new things. Push the line. Don’t stay home with your tail tucked between your legs… get out there and live.

(Do play it safe when it comes to physical danger and the law, please.)

Do interesting things. Get a damn hobby.

Go get a hobby

“What do you do in your spare time?”

If you have a hard time answering that, you’ve got a serious problem.

If this is your answer: “Uh, you know, I like to hang out.” …that’s BORING. You are boring as hell.

We don’t do boring.

What do you like to do? Build things with legos? Try new DIY projects? Fix cars? Garden? Build houses? Paint? Knit? Fly kites? Chase pigeons in the park? Make silly videos for YouTube?

It can be as ridiculous, exciting, energetic or peaceful as you want it to be. There has to be something you do beyond consuming the work of others all day.

Find a hobby that makes you engage your mind. Produce something from your brain. Come up with new ideas. Put out positive energy into the world.

Most people in the world are passive consumers.

But YOU must become a producer, because producers are the interesting ones.

Stop worrying so much about other people.

Do silly things for you.

Talk to a boring person for a bit. It won’t take long to discover they are very tied up in what other people think of them. Ironically, that is one of their weak points.

Interesting people do things, because they want to. That’s it. There’s usually no other reason.

Start making decisions because you want to.

Do you constantly feel like other people are guiding your life? How did you pick your job? How did you find yourself in the activities you’re engaging in week to week? What made you decide to focus on your major in college?

You can’t entirely escape the influence of others, because that’s how humans work. We feed off of each other. But, it can be a symbiotic relationship, rather than a helpless one.

Stop being helpless, and start making some decisions just because it’s something you wanted to do.

It will feel weird at first. If you really pay attention, you’ll realize how many times you want to confirm with someone else that this is something you should be doing.

Try to make one decision every day on your own. Try to catch yourself thinking that you need to run it by your best friend first.

Sure, it’s good to get feedback from others in the crew, to check and make sure you’re not way off base. But if you don’t learn to make your own judgement calls, you’re going to be pretty boring.

Interesting people are capable of deciding things for themselves.

Change things up.

What are you going to do different today to make sure that you’re not boring?

First published January 23, 2013

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