How to Avoid Stagnation


June 8, 2017

Do you ever feel like dullness defines your days?

Does your brain fog over? Do you wonder why? Or have you lost most of  your curiosity as well?

When you stay in the same place, see the same things, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, things tend to go stale. When water stays in the same place, with no movement or outlet, brackishness happens.

When you keep to the familiar all the time, your brain becomes lazy. Your creativity diminishes. Things start to go numb. You fail to see things that used to be obvious.

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Alex Ivashenko, Unsplash

You might live in a beautiful place like I do. But if your familiar particular beauty is all you see, the beauteousness will bend toward bland.

“Oh, I’ve seen that a million times.”

We all know the phenomenon of our surroundings tending to disappear over time. You get so used to a flaw in your home that you fail to notice any more. A guest’s eyes will beam right to it.

You can do things to mitigate these tendencies even in the routine.

  • Cultivate gratitude.
  • Slow down – for just a few moments – and notice.
  • Shut everything off.
  • Read about something of which you currently know nothing.

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Stirring things up can rejuvenate your whole being.

Changing the scenery – changing the geography – stimulates your mind, your heart, your eyes, your body, and your creativity. Seeing things in a new way and seeing new things refresh your spirit and mind.

Do you have intellectual curiosity?

If you want to just dull away your life, sideline your curiosity. Your world will narrow.

We are all creative. Remember that. It’s not just the Special Few. You are a product of the Creator. His image is in you. Embedded in His character is the creative urge. Since you have His image, you have the creative urge. You can invent things – improve things. But there’s less opportunity for that if you stay always with the familiar and comfortable.

Here are some ideas on how to stir:

  • Change what’s on the eyeball screen. Look at different things. Look at things differently.
  • Change what’s coming into your ears. Include silence. Lots of it.
  • Change your position.
  • Take a break.
  • Move your body.
  • On vacation go where you have not been, or rarely go.
  • Try food you’ve never heard of before.
  • Give significantly. Not just tokens to make you feel less guilty. Invest yourself.
  • Introduce yourself to someone you never met. All your friends were once strangers to you. Reduce the number of strangers in your life.

I once knew a man who never left his county his entire 90+ years. He seemed happy enough, but I wonder. It’s far too easy to be truncated. It’s far too easy to fear the not-yet-tried. As one wise man said, we are far to easily pleased.

That’s not a contradiction to my plea for gratitude. Shuffling into indifference and little zest for anything new can be an expression of unthankfulness.

Stir or go stagnant.

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