Author Topic: Ennui  (Read 9039 times)

tzxn3

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Ennui
« on: October 22, 2013, 04:32:40 PM »
A lot of the time I feel incredibly bored and no fruitful activity really appeals to me, so I just do nothing. Does anyone else experience this? How can it be solved?

goodlife

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 04:38:13 PM »
Lol, I don't have that experience in general....only at work! Because at some point in the mid afternoon I usually feel extremley bored and have nothing to do but I still have to sit at my desk until at least 6pm before I can gracefully escape from the office. I still haven't found a solution to that...I need to find something to fill 3 hours of my day when all I can do is sit at my desk, lol!

Lans Holman

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 04:42:32 PM »
How can it be solved?

I've found having children to be a pretty effective method of making sure that I'm never bored or lacking in things to do. YMMV.

Arthaey

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 04:51:56 PM »
Without knowing more about your situation or history (eg, whether you USED to find things interesting but no longer do), you might consider getting screened for depression.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 04:59:33 PM »
Do you have any goals in life?  Anything you've ever only dreamed about doing?  You can devote a little bit of time every day to working on getting there.

If you've always wanted to go skydiving, figure out why you haven't gone yet.  Is it too expensive?  Spend some time researching cheap ways/places to do it.  Figure out how to earn a little extra spending money on the weekends. 

Always wanted to be a computer programmer, but never really tried?  Read some books about coding and try it yourself. 

I find that making a commitment to work on something x amount of times per week or x hours a day helps, rather than just saying "I should do this sometime." 

Rural

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 05:00:03 PM »
Without knowing more about your situation or history (eg, whether you USED to find things interesting but no longer do), you might consider getting screened for depression.

Unless you're a teenager. Then it's normal. :-)

farmstache

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 05:14:54 PM »
A lot of the time I feel incredibly bored and no fruitful activity really appeals to me, so I just do nothing. Does anyone else experience this? How can it be solved?

Did you read MMM's post about habits? Honestly, I think activity is a habit. I am a very lazy person myself (no good for a wannabe farmer!), but the more I try doing stuff each day, the easier it is to find new stuff to do, and the less boring it becomes.

I used to waste loads of time when on vacations. Just reading, surfing the web, etc. Many days I'd get to sleeping time without even arranging my bed. Now I'm slowly changing the inactivity habit. It's not easy! But after having the insight on habits by MMM, I determined myself to not succumb to them.

Here's the link: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/03/19/a-lifetime-of-riches-is-it-as-simple-as-a-few-habits/

tzxn3

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 05:16:35 PM »
I find some things superficially interesting. But I wouldn't call them dreams or goals.

I'd like to be a chemist except that working in a lab doesn't appeal to me.
I'd like to be a programmer except that practicing problems doesn't appeal to me.
I'd like to be a mathematician except that I don't know whether investigating mathematical systems would appeal to me.
I'd like to be an artist except that most of the time I don't feel like creating anything.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 05:37:12 PM »
I find some things superficially interesting. But I wouldn't call them dreams or goals.

I'd like to be a chemist except that working in a lab doesn't appeal to me.
I'd like to be a programmer except that practicing problems doesn't appeal to me.
I'd like to be a mathematician except that I don't know whether investigating mathematical systems would appeal to me.
I'd like to be an artist except that most of the time I don't feel like creating anything.

Well, if you find something remotely interesting, try learning about it (aka free information from the Internet and books from the library).  Even if you don't practice it, sometimes just learning some of the theory can revolutionize your thinking in ways you can't predict.  I always say the most useful class I took in college was freshman Economics.  Not because I need the information for my job, but because it applies to everything: economization of time, social resources, etc. 

If you try something, then alternate the "work" with some pleasure to keep up your enthusiasm.  Study or practice (or whatever) for 30 mins, then do something fun for 30 mins.  Or maybe instead of studying something, just find a cheap recreational activity to try.  My friend got hooked on darts.

If you really aren't interested in anything at all, then rejoice, because YOU'RE DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.  If you'd rather not do anything but play video games/watch sports/blah blah, then don't feel like you're missing out or that you need to justify that to anyone.

tzxn3

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 04:07:27 AM »
There's a dissonance between the internal desire to do nothing and external pressures to be doing something. There's an assumption in most cultures that lazy people are inherently worse than the hard working. Large numbers of people in particular complain about young people living off state handouts.

And I don't want to die without having achieved anything. It seems pointless staying alive if I'm not actually doing anything.

farmstache

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2013, 06:51:01 AM »
There's a dissonance between the internal desire to do nothing and external pressures to be doing something. There's an assumption in most cultures that lazy people are inherently worse than the hard working. Large numbers of people in particular complain about young people living off state handouts.

And I don't want to die without having achieved anything. It seems pointless staying alive if I'm not actually doing anything.

If it's only social norms you're worried about, read MMM's latest post today and stop worrying!

If you really want to fight the ennui, then, as I said: break the habit of doing nothing, and you'll start feeling like doing stuff more often. Throw down the gauntlet to, say, learn something new each day and write about it, or, to fix something every two days (even if it's for a friend), or to craft something, or to go somewhere. I don't know!

It's hard, breaking an inactivity, uninterest habit, but it's worth it. People said it takes 66 days to make a new habit. Go for it!

chardog

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 09:47:09 AM »
I'd like to be an artist except that most of the time I don't feel like creating anything.

You created a thread titled "Ennui" and I learned a new word.  Thanks!

Now go on and do other great things. :)

Russ

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 10:08:35 AM »
you're dissatisfied when you do things

you're dissatisfied when you do nothing (at least your post comes off that way)

so why not choose the dissatisfaction that comes with doing what you want to do?

StarryC

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 10:29:51 AM »
Are there not problems in your life, or community, that you feel could be solved? 

I often find that momentum leads me to want to stay home, and do nothing, but the end result is unhappiness.  You have to suffer the slight discomfort of starting things to enjoy the long term and greater joy and pleasure of building community, creating something, improving something, or learning something. 

You say you find chemistry, mathematics, art, and programming interesting.  What about those activities make them interesting?  Perhaps you could study chemistry and become a chemistry teacher.  I've heard artists (In the broad sense of musicians and writers as well) say they aren't always inspired, but they get up, get set, and start anyway and see what happens.  I think there are probably plenty of ways to learn programing that are "gamiefied" so they don't "feel" like practice.

tzxn3

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 03:29:20 PM »
Perhaps you could study chemistry and become a chemistry teacher.

Chemistry is my major, though I don't want to be a teacher. I'm not finding it very interesting so far.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 05:00:44 PM by tzxn3 »

A mom

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2013, 06:56:49 AM »
Along the lines of what Starry said: Imagine the kind of community, country, world that you would like to live in. Think of one step you could take to make that happen. Take that step. Then think of another and take that. I think you will feel better.

RoryCK

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2013, 09:32:38 AM »
Can it be restlessness disguised as boredom?

I'm restless a lot of the time and I find that the way to remove myself from that feeling is to focus on something outside myself.

For me charity works really well, is there no way you could spend some time with underpriviliged children or the elderly? It feels amazing to be able to do something nice for someone else.

Or reading books, I could give loads of recommendations!

tzxn3

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 01:56:58 PM »
Maybe I need to fix my current situation before I start on anything else. But that's difficult because I am not sure what it is I want.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2013, 02:05:31 PM »
Ennui and I have become really good friends over the last few years, and I think massive debt has something to do with that. In a lot of ways, I feel like my life is somewhat on hold until I pay off my student loans (we are talking 8-10 more years), and that makes me feel sort of blah in general. I've wondered about depression but I've been to docs and they don't think I am depressed. I have a limited number of friends in the town I live in and many of my good friends live many states away, and visits cost $ I don't really have.

If I was the type to dress up for Halloween, I would dress up as a giant PAUSE button.

tzxn3

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2013, 02:19:46 PM »
Sorry about the dull, dreary posts. This one is more substantial, I hope. I've had an idea that maybe the problem is dissatisfaction with the choices on offer. There's a feeling I'm being forced to take a certain set of choices, and it's not one I like. I can either stay at this university and get a load of debt and a degree in a subject that I don't really like and will not provide me with an optimal career. But the status quo bias prevents me from taking action against this. I don't want to risk making a decent situation into a worse one. Where do I begin?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 02:24:22 PM by tzxn3 »

panthalassa

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2013, 03:25:18 PM »
Sorry about the dull, dreary posts. This one is more substantial, I hope. I've had an idea that maybe the problem is dissatisfaction with the choices on offer. There's a feeling I'm being forced to take a certain set of choices, and it's not one I like. I can either stay at this university and get a load of debt and a degree in a subject that I don't really like and will not provide me with an optimal career. But the status quo bias prevents me from taking action against this. I don't want to risk making a decent situation into a worse one. Where do I begin?

I had the same problem when I started university in 2003.  I didn't like what I was taking.  I couldn't see a clear career path.  I changed my major the second year and that didn't fix it.  I ended up dropping out of school and working.  Once I was working I felt like I was achieving something.  I moved out of my parents' home and out of their reach of influence.  It took me two years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, all the while saving money to pay for it.  In 2008 I went back to school.  I graduated into a career that I love and I'm making great money.  Because I worked 2 years and saved most of it by living very frugally, I was able to pay for almost all of my education and graduated with hardly any debt.

So my advice is... drop out. ;)

tzxn3

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2013, 03:31:15 PM »

I had the same problem when I started university in 2003.  I didn't like what I was taking.  I couldn't see a clear career path.  I changed my major the second year and that didn't fix it.  I ended up dropping out of school and working.  Once I was working I felt like I was achieving something.  I moved out of my parents' home and out of their reach of influence.  It took me two years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, all the while saving money to pay for it.  In 2008 I went back to school.  I graduated into a career that I love and I'm making great money.  Because I worked 2 years and saved most of it by living very frugally, I was able to pay for almost all of my education and graduated with hardly any debt.

So my advice is... drop out. ;)

How did you manage that? To graduate debt-free with a BSc from a brick-and-mortar university, without dipping into existing savings, I will need 51,000 for three years of tuition at 9,000 per annum and living expenses of 8,000 per annum, and that is assuming they do not raise fees again. I don't know how I would generate that amount of money with two years of unskilled labour, given that starting salaries for graduates tend to be around 20,000 per annum. I'd like to think I'm not being a complainypants, but the maths just doesn't seem to work out.

There's the additional complication that being at this university gives me a lot of social opportunities that I've never had before. I don't particularly want to leave that behind.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 04:38:11 PM by tzxn3 »

m8547

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2013, 06:03:27 PM »
Being at a university is a great time to try something new! Find clubs or organizations that sound like they might be interesting, get involved, and make friends.

If you find something that is interesting and gives your life meaning, it doesn't really matter what your major is or what your job is as long as it's not unpleasant. If you have something to look forward to after class or work, it's a lot easier to get through it.

panthalassa

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Re: Ennui
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2013, 01:45:24 AM »

How did you manage that? To graduate debt-free with a BSc from a brick-and-mortar university, without dipping into existing savings, I will need 51,000 for three years of tuition at 9,000 per annum and living expenses of 8,000 per annum, and that is assuming they do not raise fees again. I don't know how I would generate that amount of money with two years of unskilled labour, given that starting salaries for graduates tend to be around 20,000 per annum. I'd like to think I'm not being a complainypants, but the maths just doesn't seem to work out.

I was able to get a job in the oil and gas industry here in Canada without any experience or a degree.  I was able to make $34,000 a year and I lived extremely frugally.  I didn't have a car, didn't eat out.  I also had $18000 saved in my RRSP to help me out.

Could you transfer to a college closer to your parents and move back in with them?

My diploma was only 3 years, cost about $10,000. (Doesn't include living expenses.)  I now make $85,000.  It's my best-ever ROI.