There’s an attitude we encounter on a regular basis. A mentality of defeat, of hopelessness, of apathy. You’ve probably heard it, or even said it, like this: Same old, same old, or, same shit, different day.
So what can you do when your thinking has you mired in the mundane? How can you lift yourself out of that mentality? The SSDD way of thinking where you feel everything is drearily predictable or familiar.
Look, I get it. I understand how we can end up thinking that way. In the past, I’ve been guilty of it myself. Thing is, I’ve heard it so many times this past 2 weeks alone it is really starting to piss me off. It’s like the people saying it are resigned to things being that way. Like it’s something that can’t be changed. Like it’s a fact of life. And it’s not just old people. It’s young people too.
When did so many of us start treating our lives with such disdain? Where have we went so wrong that we can’t appreciate all the good we have in our lives, all the things we have to be thankful for? Or when did we give up on all the wondrous possibilities that life could present us? Why do we just accept that defeatist attitude and not even try to do anything about it?
Why we think it’s the same shit, different day
It’s so easy to slip into that mindset. The same old, same old, mindset that the Cambridge dictionary describes as when a ‘situation or someone’s behaviour remains the same, especially when it is boring or annoying’.
It’s especially easy when practically everyone around you thinks and feels that way. I think it’s most common in the workplace. Especially when you work in a job that you are not really engaged with. A job that you are just doing to pay the bills, to survive in this economic world. A job you are doing because at some point you gave up on your hopes and dreams and settled for what you could get.
This problem attitude arises because at some point you have given up ownership of a part of your life to someone else.
This problem, I feel, was best illustrated by Dr John Demartini, in an interview on Rob Moore’s The Disruptive Entrepreneur podcast, where he said that ‘any area in life you don’t empower. ‘Other people will overpower’.
If you don’t empower yourself intellectually – You’ll be told what to think.
If you don’t empower yourself in business – You’ll be told what to do.
If you don’t empower yourself financially – You’ll be told what you’re worth.
If you don’t empower yourself socially – You’ll be told what propaganda to believe.Dr John Demartini
So, somewhere along the line, you have given yourself up. You’ve handed the reins to someone else to take control. This lack of control has led you into the same routine every day. You get up, go to work/school, come home, watch tv, surf the internet, play computer games, got to bed, sleep, and start all over again the next day. Maybe, now and then, do something a bit different.
How to beat the same old, same old, mentality
The simple answer is to change your routine. It’s routine that has led to you feeling this way. It’s routine that has made everything seem so humdrum and ordinary. It’s routine that has you dwelling in the same comfort zone day in, day out.
Take back your control. Break out of that damned comfort zone. Start to empower the areas in life that you have allowed someone else to overpower. Make changes. Get pro-active. Stop sitting back and letting everything and everyone else dictate your life.
Like all things, it’s easier said than done. While the answer may be simple, implementing it might take a bit of time.
Same shit, different day, in your workplace.
In my opinion, this is the hardest one to change. The most difficult attitude to shift. The problems with this one are two-fold. The work you do might necessitate a routine. You might have to do the same actions each day.
And, as I said earlier, most of the people you are working with might have that same old, same old, mindset, that you want to break. It’s hard to rise above it when everyone around you is still mired in it. Still content in their defeatist attitude.
For example, currently, my job is to drill holes in aeroplane parts. That’s it. I spend all day doing this. There is no getting away from that routine. It’s what I get paid for. Then there’s the prevalent attitude of the people I work with. Mostly, same shit, different dayers.
My coping mechanism for this is also two-fold.
1 I am fortunate enough to work alongside someone who hasn’t given up on himself. While working we are able to talk about the hopes and dreams and actions we are taking to create a better life for ourselves. Instead of thinking where we are at that moment, we think about where we could be. We aspire. We aren’t resigned to this being the be all and end all of our working life. Find someone like that you work with. You can then elevate each other out of the SSDD mentality.
You should also try to avoid speaking to the people who have given up. While this isn’t always possible, it is better for you to limit the negativity you are subjected to.
2 When I’m not in work, I’m working my ass off to improve my future working prospects. Each day I am working I know it is a day closer to a time when I won’t be working there. I remind myself of that daily. If you give yourself a goal, a hope, a dream. Thinking about that, and doing something to work towards it, can stop you from falling into the boredom of routine.
Another idea that works is if you are allowed to wear headphones in work. Why not listen to some good books. Books that will help keep your mind in a more positive place.
Same old, same old, at home
Frankly, there’s no excuse for feeling like this in your own time. In your own home. I get that there are a lot of things to do at home. There are some routines that have to be fulfilled. There are time-consuming activities.
I’m a single, working dad. I know there are various chores to do each day. Regular things that might be considered boring. Thing is, you have a phone. Ever heard of Audible? or podcasts? Stuff you can listen to whilst doing those all-important chores. Stuff that helps break that same old, same old, feeling. You might be doing the same chores every day but you could be filling your mind with something different.
Ultimately, this is your life! This is the time you should be doing the things you really want to do. If you want to do something bad enough you will find a way. It might not be convenient. It might not be at the time you want to do it. But you can get it done.
If you are feeling your home life has devolved into doing the same thing day in, day out, then do something about it. Just stop doing the same shit all the time. Shake things up, get uncomfortable, make some changes.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.Albert Einstein (Maybe)
Take some accountability for your life. It is no one else’s responsibility but your own. No one is just going to hand you a life of interest, or fun. A life where each day feels even just that little bit different. You have to get out there and find it, create it, for yourself.
It’s never too late to stop the SSDD way of thinking
Look, I’m a 43-year-old man. I’m a man of great failure. I’ve failed at marriage, at work, at life. I’m a man who wasted a lot of his life being stoned on marijuana. I’m a man who has lived most of my life feeling like nothing really changed. I’m a man that felt life was monotonous, boring, ordinary. Because I made my life that way.
I should still be a same old, same old, type of person. I should feel that my time has passed. I should feel resigned to a life of predictability and routine. Am I? Do I? Hell no! If anything, my life is filled with more wonder, more hope, more aspirations, than I ever have.
And why? Because I know that any life I want. Any life that isn’t filled with the SSDD mentality, is up to me to make it that way. Even if I don’t reach any level of success. Even if the rest of my life doesn’t turn out as planned, or hoped for. Even if this, right now, is it. I’m still happy. I’m still content. I’m not allowing myself to be bound by the ordinary, by routine, by boredom. I’m shaking things up. Doing what I want to do when I can. Working towards what I want my future to be. And enjoying the process along the way.
So, if you’re reading this, if you’re someone who often thinks it’s just the same old, same old, or, same shit, different day. Then do something about it. What are you waiting for? It’s your life. Your only life. A life that is only really bound by your imagination and effort.
If you are not living it the way you want to you’ve only got yourself to blame. You’ve got excuses instead of actions. Reasons instead of responsibility to yourself. Problems instead of problem-solving. Don’t you want to feel alive? Or are you just alive but not really living? Do you really want another day of the same? Or are you going to do something about it? It’s your life. Get creative. Get inspired. Get living.