What Will You Do When the Novelty Wears Off?

By June 27, 2016Musings

What will you do when the novelty wears off?

If you’ve been doing something for some time now, does it feel the same as when you first started? Does it still hold the appeal and the lustre it had during those heady first days, when the learning curve was steep and the excitement was palpable?

When the novelty wears off and the honeymoon’s over, what do you do for an encore?

Do you start thinking that the grass is greener elsewhere, or do you find ways in which to add the spark back into what was once so new and fresh and exciting?

Seth Godin, author of “Purple Cow” wrote:

“When my family and I were driving through France a few years ago, we were enchanted by hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures right next to the highway. For dozens of kilometers, we all gazed out the window, marveling about how beautiful everything was.

Then, within twenty minutes, we started ignoring the cows. The new cows were just like the old cows, and what once was amazing was now common. Worse than common. It was boring.”

When things become common, they can also become boring. We stop seeing things for what they are, and simply start seeing and saying, “been there, done that”.  Whether it be in our relationships, our job, our hobbies or, particularly now, our online involvement, what can be done when “new and fresh” becomes “old and known”?

For some, it might be an acceptance that this is as good as it gets, with a resignation to a Groundhog Day existence.

For others, it might mean taking flight. Leaving a situation in the belief that a change of scenery, job, relationship or hobby will provide the excitement they once felt. And of course, that will be true…for a while. Until that “new” situation becomes “old”.

The real trick is to see every situation, when it becomes common, with new eyes. To inject a new perspective, a new angle, a new way of looking at things. To rediscover or recreate the way in which we see things.

There’s a parable that goes something like this:

If I see the world through blue lenses, and you see the world through grey lenses, I see the world as blue, and you see the world as grey. But if we switch lenses, we see things in a totally different way. And when we try many different lenses, our perspective changes yet again.

What will you do when the novelty wears off?

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  • Monica Lobenstein

    Thought provoking! I tend to look deeper at the tiny details. Like in photography… I have friends who hardly take pictures anymore because they’ve stopped seeing things in new ways. I’ve felt that way at times too and it makes me nervous. Macrophotography to the rescue. There’s always a deeper detail to be found.

    • We’re birds of a feather on this @monica_lobenstein:disqus I often say that I’m just a hobby photographer, but people tell me that I have a way of seeing things in ways that they don’t. Deeper detail, different angles, seeing things that others might not and always challenging oneself…there’s always something more to be found 🙂

  • Lori Gosselin

    Love the longer post Kaarina! I’ve dealt with this novelty-wearing-off thing many times in my career. Careers??? I’ve been fortunate enough to have a new career just sitting there waiting for me, sometimes elbowing the old one aside. It astonishes me every time, though, that I could come to be tried os something that was so fulfilling for me months or years ago.

    I’m also fortunate that in my writing career there is always a new project to inspire me. I’m getting ready to publish my second book this fall and already trying not to think of the third topic which has been on my mind for years and years! THAT keeps life interesting

    • You continue to lead a rich and rewarding life my friend @lorigosselin:disqus I do believe in the “purple cow”…that it takes a change in perspective and/or reality to see things and do things differently and better. Awesome news on your second book. I continue to commit to writing, in Ann Lamott’s words, “bird by bird”. I no longer worry about whether I’m doing it “right”, if the SEO/word count/tag words are correct: I just write to liberate what’s yearning to be let loose. Cheers!