If we were to analyze all the unhappy people in the world to find similar habits and characteristics, they would boil down to one critical defect—an unwillingness to try new things.
You see, Alchemist, our lives tend to pick up in a particular direction and move perpetually forwards in that flow. Subsequently, we become ensnared by the force of that flow, and it becomes increasingly difficult to break out of it.
Flow, or what some call a flow state, is often associated with an experience of being in the zone and has a positive connotation. However, while it may be positive in the usual sense, a flow state can have a negative direction that expands outwards through a person's entire life.
Imagine a situation where a person wakes up to an obnoxious alarm clock, bangs their head in the shower, only to then sit in traffic on the way to a job they don't like. And in the last moments of this person's day, they decide to sit in front of the TV and watch reruns of the same show they've seen a thousand times. This person's life is an example of a negative flow state that can weaken an individual's natural state of bliss.
Perhaps some of the aspects in this example flow state are unavoidable. Still, different choices are always available to us if we are willing to open our eyes to the possibilities.
Taking a different direction to work in the morning or watching a new kind of TV show that we wouldn't usually watch can significantly affect our lives for the better.
Trying new things and engaging in new experiences can expand our consciousness and return our mental state to the beginner's mind. This state of mind can bring about feelings of excitement and wonder, sensations most people haven't felt since early childhood!
It can even be the catalyst for breaking free from a negative flow state. By confusing your mind, all the habits it depends on will become misaligned, allowing you to enter a deeper state of awareness of the world around you.
Turn off autopilot, become new again in a world you have yet to explore.