In Praise of the Mundane

Yes I know, its not trendy to seek the mundane.

adjective
– common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.
– of or relating to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly: mundane affairs.
– of or relating to the world, universe, or earth.

As Rob Walker says,

The only way to find the good stuff, the special stuff, the genuine moments and the true inspiration, is to first engage with the everyday, the mundane, the seemingly useless, the things nobody else seems to care about. So engage. There is no shortcut; there is no algorithm. If all you do is track what’s trending, then all you’ll ever know is exactly what everyone else already knew.

Along my daily walk. Notice the bananas? For a local it might be mundane but for a foreigner? A different story

“Engaging with the mundane.” How exciting! To walk the same walk everyday. Wow! To surf the same beach. Awesome dude! To some the idea of doing the same thing each day might seem silly. Yes, there are other options, and it’s ok to switch. But even if you switch paths, the new path quickly becomes habitual.

Think of a boxer training, punching the bag as it hangs on a chain. Hundreds of thousands of punches are required in order to gain what is called muscle memory: the ability to execute a punch routine against your opponent, at just the right moment, without thinking. It requires pushing the mind away. Being wildly imaginative would only be detrimental in this context. It’s about repetition, engaging with the seemingly mundane.

What appears to be ordinary, what appears habitual, is better defined as a practice. To dedicate oneself to following a pattern may paradoxically allow for something special to emerge. But it’s not a spellbinding journey. It’s just something as simple as a daily walk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *