Escaping the Ho-Hum Trap

Back when I was a college freshman on tuition scholarship, I dreamed of good grades and a swift path to graduation.
As a summa cum laude graduate (in three years, thank you very much), I then dreamed of a job that would support me and my two cats in a place to ourselves.
Ensconced in our cute little apartment, I soon dreamed of a house with a yard for dogs. (Dogs!)
In the house with two dogs (and cats), I next fantasized about excelling at work.  Which turned out pretty well, and led to a dream of succeeding as a self-employed coach.  Now as a law of attraction coach, I dream of adding internet entrepreneur to my repertoire.
All the while, it’s been easy to lose sight of the fact that each day I am living out a culmination of yesterday’s dreams come true.
For example, I totally take for granted having dogs as roommates, with a big beautiful yard to call their own.  And often forget how blessed I am to be in demand as a coach, calling the shots in my own business.
Mike Dooley calls this the “ho-hum trap,” where we acclimate to our new reality so well that we lose sight of the fabulous and amazing life we truly lead.
Which, from a law of attraction perspective, is not a habit that serves.  (Not to mention from a happiness perspective!)  Since we attract more of whatever we’re focused on, it’s important to learn to recognize and enjoy the good things present in our lives already.
Even if we believe none of our big dreams have come true, it’s not unusual to overlook the natural daily magic and miracles spread throughout life: puppy breath, spring rainstorms, hot pizza and green lights the whole way home.
I know I’m not the only one who experiences this, which is why I thought it worth exploring how to put the “ho-hum trap” to rest.
How do you stay connected to the manifested magic in your daily life?  What tips do you practice to ensure you don’t overlook the good stuff right under your nose?
Looking forward to hearing your experiences on this one!

  • March 15, 2010
  • Sam Ben-David says:

    I feel on the top of the world putting comment here… I have same feelings and do write my own thoughts to educate, personality development tips in my blog.. I thank you GOD.. he made the earth round so that people meet and share their thoughts.. and people made internet to share their thoughts.. lovely!!

  • michelle says:

    a little habit i’ve gotten into is one that i use mostly in the winter – i imagine how people lived over 100 years ago. i think that i consciously thanked the universe for heated cars and homes over 100 times this past record breaking winter!
    it’s easy to find things to be thankful for-little things-when you think of how people lived in the past. it’s kind of fun also.
    i also thank the powers that be pretty much everyday for the internet. can you even image life without it now?

  • Now THAT’S the way to scoop the poop, Dana!! ha ha
    Maybe I’ll think of YOU now, when I do that. lol
    And yes, acknowledging manifestations is a fabulous way to stay connected to the magic of life, huh?
    I’m loving this post, Dana. Thank you for it!

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Since I’ve become a truly conscious creator, I now see it when I manifest something I want, as opposed to before I knew I was creating my reality and I might have thought things were more random or earned by action.
    Seeing something I wanted and envisioned down to the detail come into my life is amazing to me, so I tend not to forget. I make an effort to visit those good feeling things as often as I can and remind myself what a powerful creator I am. I won the man lottery, but in reality I ordered my sweetie and he showed up exactly the way I placed my order. It tickles me every time I think of it.
    Now I am beginning to live a life that is heart-centered in business and career, and while it took an entire process and a whole lot of contrast to get clear about what I wanted, as soon as I was clear magic began to unleash itself there too.
    It gets so fun that yesterday I thought of you, Jeannette, as I picked up dog poop in the sunny, beautiful weather. (You know I think of you every time I do that now, right? Tee hee) What I thought most as I picked up the mess was, “I am so lucky. I created this day too, because I said I wanted to clean up the after snow mess on a sunny day when it was all dried up and very easy to remove, and that is exactly what I got.” It couldn’t have been an easier experience, and I got to enjoy the sun on my face and the birds singing at the same time.
    That’s how I avoid the ho-hums. I am constantly creating and I know it. I am aware of it. I am blissed out to be aware of it and to be open to allowing my dreams to unfold before my eyes. I love my life and I have so much fun these days setting intentions and affirming my reality.
    That, and I remember the contrast. I remember wishing I could be outside with my dogs on a nice Tuesday or wishing I had a loving and supportive man in my life or wishing I could thrive doing what I love.

  • You guys with kids in your lives – WOW!! What easy access to joy and delight!
    Despite the picture I used for this post, it seems kids don’t find themselves in the ho-hum trap very naturally.
    Thanks for sharing that, Debra!

  • Debra says:

    Wow Sue! Thanks for sharing!! Yes, mud…with a two year old will be ‘interesting’ at the very least! And filled w/JOY too, I’m imagining! 🙂
    The other day we were out to breakfast w/our nieces. Our little St. Patty’s girl just turned 4 today. Everyone at the table the other day ordered breakfast items. Not Eliana. She ordered grilled cheese. Her all time fave for any meal. LOL When it came she exclaimed, “WOW…LOOK…they made me a monkey sandwich!!!” We all looked and saw a grill striped panini style grilled cheese on her plate. I was trying really hard to see what she was seeing…she was *SO* excited. 🙂 She said to me, “Look Auntie Deb…you can see it, can’t you?? See there? It’s his ears!!!” As soon as she said it, that sandwich transformed right before my very eyes and all I could see was the face of Curious George staring back at me! …and I supported her by showing everyone else who soon, through Eliana’s eyes, saw the monkey too!
    It was BRILLIANT! I LOVE and appreciate my nieces so very much!! They bring a LIGHT of JOY to my life…and absolutely everything they see is magic. That’s the way I like to see life. That’s the way I hope they’ll see life forever. Together, I think we will. 🙂
    Have FUN playing in the mud! XO 🙂

  • WOW, Patty!!
    Nice reality check!!
    Yeah, huh?!
    I could do the same when Joe’s left a nice little mess on the formal rug. Instead of complaining about how this dog is ruining my living space, I could remember when I lived in an apartment with two cats, fantasizing about the day I would have a dog to call my own.
    Thanks for that, Patty. 🙂

  • Patty Lennon says:

    Ohh so timely! Love everyone’s feedback to value the past as a reminder of how far we’ve come. Parenting is one place where although I don’t think I’d ever call it “ho-hum”, I do take the fact that I am a mother for granted. On the really bad days I can return to one particular day about a year before my first child was born. I was on the floor, curled in the fetal position, crying to my sister. “I’m not sure I will ever have a baby” I said through sobs completely convinced that after a year of “trying” that it just wasn’t in the cards. She offered me my only moment of peace in months — “You are meant to be a mom” she said. And I felt it, yes it was part of my make-up. It would be.
    Fast forward 6 years and 2 children later. My children are screaming, I haven’t had a moment of “peace” and then I remember the “me that was” would have given almost anything for the “problems” I now take for granted. I was meant to be a mom. I was gifted with motherhood, not saddled with motherhood but gifted.
    And I am humbled and grateful.

  • Sue, you’re doing the same for me with these words:
    “To see that our lives, right now, as wonderful creations
    and not just stuff that has happened to us.”
    And mud – what a fun example of it!! lol
    MUD!! ha 🙂

  • Sue says:

    More serendipity!
    I have been feeling exactly like that.
    Like I have been seeing with new eyes
    and what better way to do it, than through my
    2yr old grandsons eyes.
    He’s just discovered mud,
    so this should be interesting!!

  • Sue says:

    “each day I am living out a culmination of yesterday’s dreams come true.”
    What a powerful way to look at our life as it is today!
    To see that our lives, right now, as wonderful creations
    and not just stuff that has happened to us
    To put us in a place of walking around and saying
    I created that, and that, and that……….
    Most empowering!!!
    Thanks Jeanette

  • Leah, I can feel the conviction of your practice in your post!
    Love this part especially: “When we need a vibe upgrade, my default process is always to be thankful for what is… vibe up and then move on.”
    Be thankful for what is – that’s a powerful habit to cultivate.
    Thanks for posting, Leah!

  • Leah Bach says:

    The thankfulness and joy in gratitude, helps to celebrate the now and honour the work that has gone before. It encourages me to look at my life and acknowledge the results of what I decided to create.
    Gratitude is a celebration and assists with the vibration of what still needs to be done. When we need a vibe upgrade, frankly, my default process is always to be thankful for what is… vibe up and then move on.
    It is a natural cycle and when the vibe drops, a little gratitude ramps it back up and allows us to continue in the creation of our next vision.

  • Ahh, GOOD ONE, Annette!!
    Same with keeping old vision boards, too, huh?
    Good one!!

  • Annette says:

    I re-read my Journals often, front to current page. At least once a month, on a day of leisure, when I can really read it! Between the lines, too. That makes me say WOW what a great trip this has been! Look at where I was when I wrote that!
    Brings me to state of Awe and Appreciation every time.

  • Wise reminder, Neha. Thank you for that.
    WaniT, blessing is a practice I often neglect! Can you say more about how you engage that?
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who could benefit from a spotlight on that. 🙂

  • WaniT says:

    Yes, thankfulness and appreciation are oh, so important.
    But I also think remembering to bless our miracles, (as they happen and also the ones that haven’t happened yet), and blessing each other is so important too.

  • neha says:

    This is a good example of learning to visualise and imagine your future but to also keep in mind the two magical words that have given us everything Thank you.

  • That’s interesting, Karanime. You’ve got me thinking on that one!
    Pernille, I love that you talk about it regularly with your hubby! And I totally understand how easy it is to take for granted “healthy and sound” family. I use that one often as well to get me back in appreciation mode when I’m well out of the vortex.
    Thanks for reading and commenting, you two!

  • Pernille Madsen says:

    I can totally relate to this, Jeannette. It’s so easy to forget to appreciate all the good stuff that is already in our lives.
    I’ve realized lately, that the greatest gift in a seemingly very unwanted and challenging situation was that my hubby and I got to talk about what really matters to us – that we have each other, that we are healthy and sound, that our 4 children are healthy and sound and happy most of the time, that we experience love every day – and that’s it.
    We talk about this regularly now, and every time it makes me feel amazingly good – and I wouldn’t have missed the challenge 😉

  • Karanime says:

    Haha, gratitude journals anyone?
    But, is ho-hum really a trap, or just another form of experiencing the same things?
    Can you imagine the irony of noticing everything so much that the very act of noticing becomes mundane?
    Horror story!

  • “Crisis into opportunities” and “ordinary moments into miracles” – that is beautiful, Brenda!
    Sounds like you’ve got a natural gift for marveling. And that you’re passing that along in your material!
    Looking forward to that blog of yours, Brenda.
    In the meantime, maybe you could share a link where one could sign up for the newsletter? I’ll make sure your comment makes it past the filters if it gets caught up there.
    Thanks for pitching in on this topic! 🙂

  • Brenda says:

    This is a quote from my last newsletter called The Magic in You . . . (not a blogger yet but soon to be!). It definitely speaks to seeing things differently.
    “Magic is everywhere, my friends. Magic is what make houses into homes, carrots into carrot soufflés, eggs into omelets, crisis into opportunities, meals into banquets, words into poetry, acquaintances into friends, snow days into memories, teachers into mentors, work into joy and passion, ordinary moments into miracles”.
    So, for me, I try to really, really see the divine in everyone and everything. To walk into my house with the eyes of someone who didn’t have shelter and was given this as a gift. I marvel that we can walk and talk and see and touch and smell and laugh and keep enjoying life even when things are scary and seem out ot balance.
    Thank you for this most awesome reminder Jeannette. I love following your blog!

  • Greg, I like that – a purposefully scheduled celebration party!
    And I totally get what you mean that it takes discipline to stay tuned into the accomplishments and vibration of gratitude.
    I’ve been looking for a good reason to throw a party lately …
    … hmmm!!!

  • That natural habit of thanking is a powerful one, huh, Komal? Not surprised to hear that you practice it so easily.
    Serendipity indeed, Debra! We do that a lot, huh?
    And too funny you don’t know the ho-hum sound. lol
    Thanks for reading and chiming in, you two!

  • Debra says:

    Wow! Great post…LOVE the serendipity!!
    I love that the essence of the post focuses on ‘seeing’ the continued manifested magic in our lives. And I love Flavia’s wonderful examples of how to do so…and the amazing quote she included, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust. I love everyone else’s comments too…and the connection with appreciation.
    What I love the most is the awesome serendipity amongst us right now! I don’t know if it’s spring in the air…the feeling of re-birth…the symbolism of coming out of hibernation and seeing everything again for the first time, I don’t have to know.
    I just LOVE that we’re all tuning to a similar chord. One that sings the JOY of seeing the magic that surrounds us always.
    Last evening I posted to my Joy of Brilliance page on Facebook:
    Wanna see something cool? Ask your heart and eyes to work together to help you see the BEAUTY in Nature with more vibrancy & aliveness than you’ve ever seen it before! …then, come tell me what you see!
    Just yesterday I suggested to one of my clients that she play with seeing through the eyes of her inner child when writing her ‘new stories’…and to ask her grandchildren to play a game with her, to help her see the world through their eyes.
    This theme has been rising up in every conversation I’ve had over the last couple of weeks…with friends, family, clients, etc.
    You know me, I’m the rose-colored glasses girl…I’m the one who’s always seeing the amazement around me and I just don’t tire of doing so. I thrive on recognizing (over and over) again the simple and the extraordinary manifested magic in my life. I don’t know how to make that ho-hum. LOL …thanks for the reminder that that’s a good thing.
    I’m just tickled pink that this is the conversation we’re having right now. LOVE it. Thanks Jeannette…I love the way you move me. XO 🙂

  • Greg Blencoe says:

    This is a tricky one. It is VERY easy to fall into the trap of not stopping and smelling the roses.
    I think this is a big problem with high achievers who are always focused on the next goal that needs to be accomplished. But this can lead to perpetual dissatisfaction, because once a goal is completed, a new goal arises.
    Perhaps it might be good to schedule time monthly, quarterly, and/or annually to purposefully celebrate everything that has been accomplished during that time.
    This sounds crazy to write, but it actually takes a lot of discipline to be grateful!

  • Komal says:

    I’m totally on board the appreciation train. I try to write in my gratitude journal every night. Even if I don’t have a big manifestation that day I always find many things to be thankful for like sunshine, or a call from a friend, a movie that i watch and sometimes just the confidence i felt that day or the smiles i get from random people. And i find myself constantly thanking the universe several times a day and it comes so naturally now, the more i appreciate in writing the more aware i become of things to appreciate during the day 😀

  • THAT is cool, Tia!
    I wonder how many of us would realize the same thing if we looked with new, open eyes!
    Thanks for reading and especially for posting, girlfriend.

  • Coach T.I.A says:

    By looking at my current experiences with new eyes and realising that I have all that I asked for even if not in the package I asked for – it’s a brilliant way of appreciating all the manifestations in my life! Like I posted in rampages on the forum 😀 Holy kamoly!

  • Well said, Janette!
    While I totally understand the value of living in the present moment, sometimes a reflection on the past is a powerful way to embrace even more appreciation.
    “There has been no mistake. … We don’t make mistakes.” I love it!!
    Great memory – it gave me goose bumps, too! 🙂
    Thanks for chiming in on this one, Janette.

  • Janette says:

    I love this.
    We are told so often to let go of the past, as if the past held only suffering and struggle and limiting beliefs. But the past holds such value, if we can be particular about which bits we revisit.
    I have a vivid memory of driving through busy Melbourne streets on the way to the airport to pick up my hubby, after spending an hour at an Open Day for a prestigious writing course. Although at the time I believed I wouldn’t be good enough to get through the selection process, I was so filled with certainty that this was a coming home for me – I had no doubt that it’s where I wanted to be, only doubt about my ability to succeed in the enrolment process. I can summon up that mixed state of being so easily!
    And I can summon up the excitement of getting accepted; and the memory of sitting in our first induction session – where the head of the program said to us “every single one of you is sitting there thinking there’s been some mistake, and we’ll find you out and you’ll be thrown out. Well, hear this – there has been no mistake. You have the talent to succeed at this course, and we don’t make mistakes”.
    Wow, that still sends shivers up my spine!! And yet my Diploma sits on my wall and I never even look at it – not until now!
    And Flavia, I love that idea of an appreciation board 😀
    What a great way to value our past and give it the credit it (and we) deserve.

  • Appreciation is a reliable ticket in, isn’t it, Susan?
    Thanks for posting!!

  • PurePotential says:

    Flavia – your post rings authentically for me.
    Daily appreciation helps keep me in the ‘feel good’ moment. Of course, for the ‘big’ manifestations and for the things that often ‘fly under the radar’. Sunshine, the reddening of shrubs in anticipation of spring buds, green traffic lights and red traffic lights [love the ‘pause’]…the pleasures of a life well lived….

  • Wow – I get it, Flavia. I love that Proust quote!
    Sometimes I do that with Russ – where I really try to see him not as the guy I’ve come to know with all the stories I tell about him, but as who he might really be. Which is an interesting practice.
    I like the idea of having my inner being describe my life! I might go practice that right now as a matter of fact, that appeals so much!
    How perfect for getting out of the ho hum trap – thanks, Flavia!!

  • Flavia says:

    Of course appreciating where you are and what you have is the best reminder and re-affirmation of the already magical life we have. Outside perspective helps a lot in not getting stuck in the ho-hum trap. I had a friend from Germany come and visit me and she thought and said so several times that I live in heaven-she was talking about the nature beauty around me. Through her eyes I remembered I had felt very similar when I first moved here. I prompted me to look at my life from that innocent, don’t-know mind and just awe at everything. Like Eckhart Tolle suggests-suspend labeling things as if you already know them and really look. Like being a tourist in your own city. I love this quote “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”~Marcel Proust
    Recently I’ve also been inspired to describe my life to the 15 year old me (I play with several ages) giving her a preview of what an fabulous life is expecting her, all those dreams coming true and how it just keeps getting better and better. I also pretend my inner being is looking at my life and describing it. This way it’s really easy to see the daily miracles for what they really are.
    I’ve often thought about (but haven’t yet) making an appreciation board for all the dreams that have come true. With pictures and everything. Just to remind myself how far I’ve come.

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