How To Leverage Boredom
Pursuing a goal is boring work.
It’s tiring,tedious and lonely.
Motivational posters & quotes on Instagram,Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter etc. always glorify the pursuit of dreams. They attach a certain amount of glamour to the whole process. We’re given snippets of encouragement accompanied by pictures of climbers on mountain peaks with the sun rising behind them. Or world-class surfers riding massive waves. Or a person speaking to a crowd of thousands. It looks so inviting. You make it your profile picture. You retweet, like, share & repost. You broadcast it to all your contacts. It’s saying, “You can be doing this.You could be this happy /famous/great/skilled”.
Could you be doing that? Could you be that skilled? I don’t know, maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that you’re only seeing half the picture.
There’s a hidden side to all the motivational ‘noise’ we come across; to all the information that gets streamed to your brain via social networks, BBM, Whatsapp and whatever other information sharing platforms you use.
What social media doesn’t feed you with is the simple fact that the road to success isn’t glamorous at all. It takes insane amounts of focus, grit and hard work to get to where you want to be. There are no crowds cheering you on or photographers waiting to capture perfect moments. There’s excitement when you start and then the monotony of doing the same things day after day. (Remember, there’s nothing wrong with doing the same things every day, as long as they’re helping you become a better version of yourself.) The moment you get a sense of monotony is when the boredom sets in.
I’m sure you know the feeling.
You’re bored because after 10 days your new diet isn’t giving you visible results. You get bored of your workout after the excitement of getting a gym contract wears out. Home-gym equipment fills your garage because you got bored of the routine. 2 years in, your marriage isn’t as interesting as it was. The excitement of a new baby begins to fade with the advent of sleepless nights, fatigue and less time with your spouse. The boredom of routine enters your life and it takes active involvement and awareness to make meaningful progress.
To achieve anything meaningful, you need the ability to accept the boredom that comes from pursuing the same goals every day. The boredom that comes from acknowledging that even though you’re not at the top of the mountain yet, you will pursue your dreams with relentless dedication and commitment until you get there. You need to get comfortable with boredom & the discomfort of not seeing immediate results. Notice I didn’t say complacent. Getting comfortable with boredom means going through the unglamorous routines; it means you continue making small,regular steps towards your goal. You assess these steps and tweak them where necessary until you get what you want.
Please, don’t abandon your hopes simply because you’re frustrated with not making progress as fast as you’d like. Use the boredom and leverage it to build a version of your life that you can be proud of.