Let’s face it, “adulting” isn’t always fun. Whether personal or professional, our lives are full of uninspiring responsibilities. Currently, I’m in the eye of the adulthood storm, but a flood of monotonous tasks including laundry, dishes, and grocery shopping will soon wash over me. Professionally, I also struggle with a number of menial tasks which are important, but certainly not inspiring. These chores remind me of eating vegetables as a kid. My mom used to tell me, “the sooner you eat your green beans, the sooner you can watch T.V.” As an adult, I can almost hear her saying “The sooner you process those planned absence forms, the sooner you can go do something fun!”
Recently, I found a way to bring meaning to the mundane. Matthew Kelly’s book, Resisting Happiness, outlines multiple strategies to live a life of fulfillment. Kelly, a well-known author, and speaker invites us to find meaning in the dull and uneventful. His solution is simple; dedicate each hour of work to someone you love or appreciate. I was skeptical at first, but it has had a profound impact on my personal and professional life. Instead of plodding through tasks, I work earnestly to honor each individual. Doing a “good” job doesn’t seem adequate when a task represents my wife, daughter, or a sick coworker.
I also find myself living a life of gratitude. It’s hard to complain about uninspiring paperwork when honoring the pain and adversity of others. I’m fortunate to have both the opportunity and ability to complete uneventful tasks. Most individuals living in crisis would consider dull a blessing.