We woke up yesterday morning in a tent, having spent the last eight nights sleeping on air mattresses. We went to sleep in a king-sized bed in a $400/night hotel suite. That’s pretty much a normal routine for us. There’s a lot of variety in our daily routines. It keeps life interesting and ensures that boredom is something we don’t often contend with.
When the majority of people come home from their jobs, their families tend to ask how was their day, or what did you do today? These simple questions are often met with simple answers. Fine. Ok. Nothing.
The problem isn’t that the person did nothing. We know they probably accomplish a lot during an average day. But because there is no emotional attachment to the work, there’s no substantial memory of the day’s tasks.
I love my job at Staples. I am blessed with a combination of skills that allow me both to understand computers and communicate with people, especially business owners. I speak their language and have first-hand experience of their needs. As varied as my days can be, there is one element that remains constant.
When Jenn inevitably asks how was my day, my answers tend to follow one of two possible patterns.
On those slow monotonous days where I spent my hours doing inventory, maintenance or basic make-work projects, I’d often answer her with one-word answers. Fine. Ok. Good. There was never any emotion.
On those other days, when I truly managed to help someone and they were grateful for the assist, my answers to the same questions were more animated. I’d regale her with tales from the exciting world of retail. Even when the customer was disgruntled and caused me to reevaluate the premise ‘the customer is always right’, I would still have vivid memories of everything I did that day.
Frustration and anger are emotions, and powerful ones at that. Not that I recommend focusing on those emotions at your job. It’s best to fixate on excitement, pleasure, accomplishment, and other positive emotions while just forgetting the rest. Connecting emotion to your daily activities ensures you’ll have a vivid memory of the events that will stick with you for a long time.
So what does all this talk of emotion have to do with sleeping in tents or relaxing in a posh hotel suite?
The fact that both of these events are emotional. Both are much more interesting than sleeping in the same bed, in the same apartment, in the same city, every single night. It means that every day is charged with emotion. That means every day is generating memories that are not easily forgotten.
Maybe you have a home and a career and a lifestyle that creates constant excitement. If this is you, give thanks. You’re blessed with something many people struggle with each and every day.
If this isn’t you, maybe we need to reevaluate your emotional attachment to your daily life. If you’re not excited by your routine, it’s time to change your routine. I don’t expect many to share our love for ongoing adventure. To many, the stresses of constant travel can be exhausting, but you must find excitement and purpose in your life.
We were all created for a purpose and life doesn’t begin until you figure out what that task is
Mark Twain says it best. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”