Here’s a scenario…
You get up. Get out of bed. Exercise. Shower. Eat. Go to work. Have lunch. Work some more. Come home. Have a meeting or a game or a night at home on the couch. Call it a night. Wake up and do it all again tomorrow. And then at some point you realize every day looks the same. Alarm set for the same time. Same exercise routine or no exercise routine. You have the same breakfast. You drive the same commute. Eat the same lunch. Come home to the same evening routine. Same time to bed.
And life starts to look a little gray…
You get into a routine. A rut. A very predictable existence. And that is just what it becomes. An existence. Not a life. You can’t wait for the weekend. But when the weekend comes, it is actually more of the same. Predictable. Routine. Rut-like. The days pass. The weeks pass. Months pass. And then what? More of the same.
You have become a NPC…
What is an NPC? A non-player character. And before we go diving into a rabbit hole, there is nothing political about this post. Wow. A little searching in regards to this term revealed other meanings. I am not going there! So what is a non-player character? They are the characters that are visible in the background of a video game. They do the same thing every time you play the game. Their presence and behavior is completely predictable and they basically just exist. Nothing exciting. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just an existence.
Are you tracking with me?
NPC’s are basically a low-operating box of pixels. An existence. But not much more. And I can relate! Can you? Have you been in a season where life is gray? Are you in one now? Do you feel stuck? Does it seem like time is flying by but you can’t figure out how to find meaning in it and make it slow down a little? Recent research has shown that much of that has to do with a lack of excitement and new experiences.
So what do we do about it?
We all have times in life where it feels like we are a NPC. We get stuck in a rut or routine. The world looks gray. And, quite honestly, we get gray. And if this is you- it’s ok! You are not alone. Not by a long shot. If you have gone gray and are operating in the background of life, here are a few things to try.
1. Switch it up!
Change your routine. Change your commute. Even a little bit. Try a different breakfast. Go somewhere else for lunch or bring something else. Wear something different. Take the long way home. Stop and pause more often to observe the world around you.
2. Have some fun!
Plan something fun. Have joy on the calendar. Have something coming up that fills you with anticipation and breaks the rut. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Think simple pleasures.
3. Live with awe and wonder
Get curious about something new. Learn a new skill. Stimulate your brain. Instead of just watching another four episodes of that twenty-season show you are working on, go grab a book and learn about someone who lived an amazing life. Take a class. Learn how to prepare a new meal. Find a new place to share a coffee or cocktail with a friend. Stare at the clouds. Be in nature. Go for a walk or a hike or a bike ride with no agenda.
We all get stuck…
We all have a NPC times in our lives. If we stay there for too long, we will miss out on the richness of life. Take it from someone who was there for far too long, it’s time to break out! And it isn’t as hard as you think! I firmly believe that our journeys are meant to help others. Our experiences and lessons learned should not be kept to ourselves.
So if you are stuck,
Let’s have a conversation. Taking the first step to reach out is huge, but there is freedom ahead. Freedom to step into hope and believe that good days are ahead! What are you waiting for?