Ron and Diana Watson are creatures of habit. For six days a week, they take their seats in the same Texas Roadhouse at the same time of day and order the same meal. Over the last 15 years, the Watsons have been chowing down on barbecue chicken and “Road Kill” steak. It may sound dull, but the Watsons believe in the comfort of sameness.
The Watsons’ need for routine is not surprising. In life, the unexpected and unfamiliar lurks around every corner. Is it any wonder we crave the security of the everyday and mundane?
Members of the Dull Men’s Club would certainly agree. Leland Carson is a 77-year-old retired tax attorney who founded the club for men who like ordinary things.
The idea came to him in a New York Athletic Club bar. He and a group of men were looking at the club’s monthly magazine. The pages were filled with boxing, judo, skiing, sailing, and other high-adrenaline pursuits.
Carson and his friends didn’t do any of those things. They confessed to being rather dull. So, they decided to start a club-within-a-club, and a new movement was born.
The Dull Men’s Club now has hundreds of members worldwide. Some collect airsickness bags. Others collect bricks. Some spend their days photographing mailboxes. And others just roam around sitting on benches.
You won’t find any adrenaline junkies in the Dull Men’s Club. Those thrill-seekers are cut from a different cloth. They spend their time searching for new challenges and exciting experiences.
Christopher Bergland is one of those thrill-seekers. He became an ultra-endurance athlete because he got bored so easily. He believes people have a biological need to struggle for survival. In other words, we’re hard-wired to enjoy taking risks and pushing boundaries. He says life in the digital age is causing our bodies and minds to become short-circuited. So we all need some element of danger in our lives to stay healthy.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge, you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”
Walking a tightrope between personal safety and risk is something we all have to do when making choices. So perhaps finding our own sweet spot between the dull and the dangerous is the key to living a life of contentment.