Life can be a struggle at times. How do you find meaning and purpose in those moments of struggle? I’m not talking about the struggle with emotional or physical pain. I’m talking about the struggle with the mundane aspect of life. The things that seem to suck the colour out of this dream. Those grey, colourless, monotonous, soul-sucking moments. I know you’ve experienced them. No one has ever escaped things that are mundane. Even the ultra-wealthy have to sit through some mundane meetings, exercises or conversations. How do you do it though? How do you find specks of colour throughout the greyness of life in those moments?
Grab a paintbrush
Whether it’s something as small as vacuuming the apartment through to something as big as your day job. Whatever you find mundane or colourless can have meaning and purpose. Actually, it most definitely does have meaning. Nothing exists without purpose, otherwise, it’s unnecessary. So knowing this, you’re set with a starting point to paint some colour back in. Or rather, reveal the colour already there.
The truth is that whatever you’re experiencing has meaning and purpose for you. You’re being helped along your journey to get you onto your path. The path that you’re here to fulfil. Some call that destiny or fate. Whatever your word for it, there’s no denying that your purpose gives you meaning to live, a reason to live your life. The same is true for the small experiences you have and even the mundane aspects of life.
For example, you know all that driving you do to and from your work? That’s a prime place for you to either practice mindfulness and exercise your ability to stay in the present moment while you drive. You get the chance to do this without distracting yourself with endless thoughts about what you left behind at home or what you’re going to do when you get to work. Maybe the same is true for when you’re doing the laundry, cleaning or sitting on the bus.
How quickly do you get swept away in your analysis of life the moment you start something mundane? Have you noticed that you automatically slip into analysis and judgment of yourself when you get a chance to do ‘nothing’? This is why most people don’t like complete silence and wrestle with the idea of doing nothing. This is why it takes getting physically ill for you to be pushed into doing nothing. But then first chance you get, you’re up and at it again, even if you haven’t fully recovered.
You’re pretty amazing
You know, you’re not as bad a person as you believe you are. You’re not all that terrible to be alone with. You just rarely give yourself a chance. What if you actually committed yourself to finding a way to appreciate who you are? What would happen to those mundane, quiet and lonely times? They wouldn’t be so overbearing and deafening with brain noise. It would be you, someone you embrace, keeping you company. Not a bad situation right?
The creation of this blog post has forced me into silence and loneliness. Just me writing to you. But in order for me to be comfortable with writing to you, I had to first get comfortable with being with me. It wasn’t easy. It was met with great resistance and procrastination, which proved to me that it was going to be a valuable exercise. Sometimes, thinking of words to write and say can be a little mundane. Sitting down and coming up with words that follow each other in an order that can make some kind of sense to you has been mundane for me at times. Mostly, it has come from the heart so the pain of constantly typing was offset by reaching out to you and having an impact on your life.
Between the waves of my typing, there’s nothing. Silence. Emptiness. This can easily be awkward and uncomfortable for me. I don’t let it get uncomfortable because I want to hear the silence. This is the same experience people have when experiencing the mundane aspects of life. People’s tendency is to immediately distract themselves from this void of nothingness or emptiness. But what if the greatest truths and lessons about who you are were waiting quietly in those moments of mundanity? What if your soul, your inner-whatever was calling out to you in those moments because it was the only moment quiet enough for you to hear it saying, “Remember me? I matter to you.” That’s an important message for anyone to hear, no matter what walk of life you come from or are headed towards.
Meaning in the mundane
On the other hand, your mundanity may be helping you realise that there’s more inside of you than you’ve been prepared to admit. Maybe your mundane life is pushing you so far into pain and discomfort that you’ll notice this sense of purpose simmering away beneath your surface. Maybe you’ll begin to realise that you’ve been put here, in this role, in this life to do more than mundanity. That you were put here to make an impact on more than just your own life. That you have life inside of you worthy of sharing with others.
Whether it’s getting comfortable with the whispers in the silent moments or realising that you’re bigger than your fears, shame and guilt, there is meaning hiding beneath the surface of your mundane life. There is meaning and purpose to be extracted from all things in life, even the mundane. Life has been mundane and uneventful for hundreds of years for millions of people before you. Yet, somehow they found meaning and purpose beneath the surface of what seemed like a small life and a small existence.
Grab the brush
Put simply, you can make life as mundane or as meaningful as you choose. It’s entirely up to you. The meal gets placed down in front of you, you get to choose if you eat it or not, how you eat it and in what order you choose to eat. Your life is not as mundane as you think. But if at any stage you believe you are living a mundane life, you get to pick up the paintbrush that washes away the grey to reveal the colour hiding behind everything. Figuratively speaking, you’re only as colour blind as you want to be. The next time life starts getting mundane, ask yourself, ‘How is this mundane thing is enriching your life? How is it adding colour to an otherwise grey existence?’
Who knows, maybe you’ll come to realise that you’ve been the paintbrush the whole time?