Monday, June 22, 2015

How to find Excitement

People say I have an exciting life and wish to know how they too can have such levels of excitement so here’s my post for all of you; mantra for an exciting life full of excitement and adrenaline rush.

What exactly is excitement; what is it to be exciting? Dictionary tells us that excitement is a feeling of arousal, a feeling of lively and cheerful joy, state of being emotionally aroused, something that agitates and arouses some kind of headiness within our minds. Therefore anything, any activity that we indulge in that produces such effects is an exciting pursuit. Is life per se exciting, is merely existing an exciting way of living? Or do we need to stir the pot once in a while to make it exciting? Can anyone have constant excitement of existence, like living in a high every moment 24X7 for your entire life till your last day!

We all know that ‘change’ is the only constant in the universal laws of this world. From low entropy to higher entropy that determines the flow direction of time, defining a past, present and future, and we all flow through this whether we like it or not. There’s no other way; yet what is most obvious and simple escapes our attention. To achieve excitement you must do something exciting, and something exciting is all about doing something different or the same thing differently; it’s all about the only constant in our world ‘Change’.

It has been proven many times through research that human mind abhors routine; it quickly gets bored of the same activity repeated over time again and again. While the physical body and our muscles have no such dilemma. The body is happy to be like a machine doing the same things repeatedly without getting bored of it or even seeking to be different because if it did then we all would be dead pretty quick. Imagine our heart gets bored of pumping, our lungs refuse to inflate and deflate, our eyes don’t want to see anymore, or our ears turn deaf, what if our hands want to be legs and vice versa... it will be complete chaos and end of existence as we comprehend it. The culprit is the mind that seeks constant feeding of excitement.

So we created our diversions like recreational activities, entertainment sources like music, visual art, adventure sports, even the ones that border on inhuman cruelty like bull fight, gladiators, animal fights, and of course war and religion. But let’s not get into such controversial zones, let’s get back on track of positive, clean, good, well intended excitement where you don’t have to kill or subjugate anyone.

Who do you think will make your life exciting? Where do you think lies the source of excitement? Well, it is right there where the desire emerges from. It is all within you, within each one of us. The moment our mind seeks excitement that same mind has the capacity to create the source of that excitement so in a way your mind caters to both: demand and supply. It demands excitement and it supplies excitement. So what is stopping us from having that exciting life that elusive excitement, the rush, the arousal?

It all lies in our fundamental fear of ‘change’ and the unknown that comes along with it. And the society that drives us to fear what we don’t know; yet we don’t realize that excitement is all about the unknown. You can’t really be excited about the things you already know. There’s a mix of unknown along with something new that makes a thing exciting. Like the first kiss from a girl or boy you have been dreaming about, or like the first flight you ever took in a plane, or the first sunrise you saw from a mountain top, or the first day of your dream job, etc.

The beginning of almost anything, no matter how normal or routine is always exciting since it is new. But as time goes by and no matter how exciting that activity is objectively, it will not seem exciting any more to the one who is doing it repeatedly. So we have two options, to either change completely what we are doing, where we are doing, with whom we are doing or to change the way we are doing. That’s the sole reason why I climb mountains all over the world.

Can we achieve excitement without moving a muscle, without really doing anything physical? Yes of course we can and that is called ‘fantasizing’ where we let our mind play through different options possibilities and opportunities. Fantasizing is one of the best ways to healthy living with a healthy mind. We often fantasize about sex but seldom about anything else; try fantasizing about a new job, new place, new food, new fragrance, new activity (even if you have no clue how to do it; like I often fantasize about playing the piano or performing magic in front of 1000 crowd). Basically when we fantasize we fuel our restless mind with possibilities and options that satiates the need for excitement.

I know many people in the world who lead an exciting life; top level players, glamour celebrities, war correspondents, Nat Geo photojournalists, alpinists, deep sea divers, astronauts, wild life experts, amazing people who lead extra ordinary lives full of excitement; or so we believe. But are their lives constantly exciting? Of course not; there’s no way anyone can live in a constant high. It will be like a candle, which will eventually burn out if it keeps burning all the time. My life too is not always exciting; I am not always travelling to an exotic destination or hanging from a wall of ice or jumping into oceans or plunging towards the earth like a stone. So what happens when I am not doing anything exciting? How do I keep my life exciting even then! The answer is simple. In those moments or days, such as this one where I am writing this post, I do something that is related to my exciting life; for example read books about mountaineering, fantasize about the places I am yet to visit, wonder and ponder what I should write for my next book, conjure characters for my next fiction, or hold imaginary conversations with imaginary people that I create out of my mind. I create an exciting world in my mind through play of words and visuals and by doing so I am creating possibilities and opportunities for my next exciting adventure. In effect, even when I am not actually doing anything exciting, I am working towards it and that adds to my excitement level.

Life becomes really boring when you are caught up in routine not only physically but mentally as well. When your mind becomes incapable of imagining exciting possibilities is the time when you really need to sit up and take control of things. Life is boring only because you choose it to be so and you can make it exciting simply by choosing to be so. Like anything else that is product of our mind, excitement is also a matter of choice and attitude. And to apply excitement in our life tangibly all we need to do is ‘change’.

Change the way you think, the way you work, the way you talk, the way you look, the way you live.

Few examples I can offer for you to understand what you can do to make your ordinary boring life exciting –

In your office job – look at your boss and colleagues in a different positive way, see what they are good at or what is good about them (believe me no matter how horrible your boss or colleagues may be they definitely have something good) and then try to imbibe those virtues from them. Talk to those you have never spoken to. Say something nice to the rudest person in your office. If you can then change the setting of your office space, move some tables and chairs, remove clutters from your desk and cupboards, offer or lead group activities like cleaning up the office and building, start small yoga sessions in breaks, do some fun activity like singing, dancing, etc. If you are the boss then become more open and kind to your employees, change the way you dress, when someone comes late or does a job badly then instead of scolding and rebuking try to understand their real issues. You might want to repaint the walls of your office or add some house plants at corners, changing the curtains and decor may also bring in some excitement. Try to do your work differently, look for ways of doing it better, since self satisfaction of a job done well is also exciting. If you are a service provider then offer new insights and methods to your customers. Basically try whatever way you can to breakdown the monotony of your work and work culture and work place, of course without suffering your work. One of the best ways of finding excitement in work place is to offer your experience and insights to your juniors and colleagues without seeking anything in return. Just let them know that you are available for them to consult with. And don’t make them dependent upon your skills and knowledge; just teach them well so that they can tackle the issues themselves next time.

In your personal life here are some of my suggestions – if you are not married then stay that way, singlehood status is exciting enough by itself. Imagine the possibilities you have when you are single and independent and free. The world is your oyster and you can do anything and that is exciting. The prime advantage that a single person has over a married one is that the changing of status is so much easier; to get married is a much less hassle then to get divorced; it’s all about our natural way of leading from orderliness to chaos. But try to go from chaos to orderliness (from being married to becoming single again) and it is an uphill task. That’s why it is much easier to destroy than to create. We can break an egg into omelette in no time with very little effort but try to get that omelette back into an egg; that’s an impossibility. Being single you can do new things every day actually and make life exciting. But do something meaningful, something that adds real value to your life and ethics rather than senseless pursuits like watching TV or forwarding jokes or being glued to your FB friend pages or ordering pizzas or having inane conversations. These things may look exciting but they fill up your time and life with more emptiness and you will feel less exciting afterword. Instead do things like social volunteering, learning some new skills like languages, music, painting, photography, hobbies, etc. It has been seen that activities that sustain their effects even after you stop doing them are the ones that offer maximum excitement. The feeling of doing something worthy, something noble, something constructive and creative makes our minds happy and fulfilled. But if you are married don’t fret; you too must opt for change. Find what is missing between you and your partner, fill up the gaps or empty the cups to find the gaps and then fill them up. Do different things together and individually or do same things in different locations, different ways. Offer to do things you haven’t done before for the other or things you don’t really like doing like doing the laundry or cooking or rubbing bellies or snuggling close or simply to switch off the TV. Effort is needed surely for nothing happens on its own. Talk to each other, open up, after all you have decided to spend a very long time together. And most importantly find your own space and activity individually. First find yourself only then can you offer who you are to the other. Stop demanding that you own each other’s lives, you are not answerable to each other and if you don’t share something with the other doesn’t mean that you are hiding something. If you don’t say something doesn’t mean you are lying. If you can live that way then there’s lot of things for excitement. And most of all you must allow each other to be who they are and wish to be, even if that means doing something without you. We all are like a beautiful mountain spring and we need to rush around, create our own waterfalls, rivers and go through gorges before we find ourselves. We should not stop either ourselves or our partners from becoming that beautiful mountain spring. Excitement often is simply discovering your true self.

This post can go on and on but I will pause here today. I hope you have got the drift, the basic idea. Excitement is a matter of choice and it is totally in your hand to make your life exciting and create excitement. Change is the key, be it personally, professionally, emotionally or spiritually.

Your time is now, seek change and find excitement. I will go and fantasize about my next madcap sojourn into the mountains.

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