One of the reasons we live on autopilot -- and might feel bored -- is because we can execute our routines in our sleep. (For instance, how often do you zone out while driving to work or the grocery store?) In the book Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, author Rick Hanson, Ph.D, shares a great story about his dad. While taking a pit stop on their road trip, Hanson found his dad examining a random patch of grass. He was mesmerized by the different layers of dirt on the ground, which indicated that there was an array of plants growing there.
Hanson says that his dad has always been curious and doesn’t take “the commonplace for granted” (like many of us!). Curiosity helps you engage with your world, learn new things, and, of course, become more attuned to life in general. In short, it shakes things up. You can even channel your curiosity into problem solving an annoying situation. For instance, Hanson suggests looking deeper into the situation, and wondering what it reminds you of. Then he says to look wider: What are the other elements of the situation, such as someone’s intentions? What might be influencing how you view the situation? Are you exhausted or stressed out or hungry? Finally, he says to look again, and keep unraveling the knots. “Like a child, a cat, a scientist, a saint, or a poet, you see the world anew. Again. And again,” Hanson writes. Being more present every day helps you savor your life and your loved ones. It helps you enjoy yourself and have more fun -- even when you’re doing something so seemingly ordinary.