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Stop Expecting Your Life to Be Like a Television Show

What is a hard thing to do in life? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Matthew Manning, on Quora:

What is a hard thing to do in life? Understanding that your life is not a television show.

One of the hardest things to understand about my life has been the fact that it is not episodic. That is to say, most of the time life is not full of "important stuff." My life isn't a television show. It is mostly the stuff that happens between each episode.

Most of the time, important stuff happens when you least expect it, and when you're barely ready for it. The majority of your time will be spent between the important stuff. This includes:

  • Doing laundry.
  • Folding laundry.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Paying bills.
  • Picking small crumbs up from your floor so as to delay vacuuming.

This is difficult to swallow as you get older and cease to be ushered from event to event and hand-delivered meaningful experiences. Most of the time, we're doing what has to be done in order to better position ourselves for what we wish to do.

If this sounds like drudgery, that's because it is. There are some pretty salient myths about the joy of daily life, and I think we are lead to believe that a happy life is one filled each day with intrigue and adventure. We are not the Great Gatsby. Most of my day is a grind - and I actually enjoy my job.

If you can't be happy with the things in front of you, no great plot line is going to save you from that.

And if you figure out how to do that, tell me how.

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