Following up, in a way, on this post about behavioral conditioning.
My several regular readers are all, I'm sure, painfully aware that most people, probably many of them and certainly myself included, have a tendency to keep their personal lives pretty boring--by which I mean unfulfilling, without nearly enough self-development for anything like satisfaction--unless they exert significant, concerted effort in the other direction.
I still think that the conditioning I was talking about in the prior post plays a huge role, and that consciously working to undo that conditioning is vitally important. In addition to it, though, there's another factor that may be pretty obvious but which only just occurred to me. I have no idea if it's new to anyone else, probably not, but it's a new thought to me.
What if we keep our lives bland in part because actually having a rich fulfilling life makes work even more intolerable? What if having an interesting life makes the boredom at work impossible to take, and that's why we go home from our boring jobs to our boring families and watch boring TV and eat boring prefab food and go to sleep to have boring dreams before waking up and going back to the boredom? All the while we could be changing any or all of these facets of our lives to make them less boring, but for the most part we don't.
Not to brag, but my life recently has been becoming more and more fulfilling, more and more of a joy to live, which is pretty new for me. You should try it! But I warn you, it can be really hard--harder even than it is already--to be at work while thinking about what your life consists of elsewhere, once your life starts consisting of something.
I don't think it's something anybody does consciously. It's not so much that anybody makes their life boring so as to be better able to handle work, it's that our societal focus on the importance of work makes us eager to accept anything we're given that will make work less unpleasant, and then here's all these things offering us boring lives... and this makes them easier to accept.