Don’t ask me who said this to me, but someone did, and it hit home pretty hard. They told me, “If you’re bored, it just means you’re a boring person.” That was the beginning of the end to boredom in my life. I took that saying to heart and I’ve continued to find it to be true in other people.
Go back in my life a few years and bored was my middle name. If I wasn’t with people, I was probably bored. I would search for projects but decide they weren’t worth my time or were too hard. I would waste days just sitting around doing absolutely nothing, and feel awful because of it.
When I was told that you aren’t bored, you’re boring, that hit me like a freight train. I didn’t want to be a boring person; someone people hated being around. From that moment on, I’ve worked to change that. I’ve worked just to eliminate that word from my vocabulary for starters. If you can’t say it, you can’t be it. I would pick up more projects whether that was deep cleaning my room, building a new desk, anything productive to put my time towards when I found myself with that free time I used to call boredom. I also worked to outline clearer goals for my life and something greater I wanted to work towards. I found myself spending a vast amount of time learning about leadership and how people work.
In doing so, I trained myself to be more aware of what was occupying my time. More recently if I realize I’m wasting time, I will pick up a book and go read. It might be 10 minutes while I’m waiting to leave, or an hour I have free. But the value I get from reading far outweighs the time I would waste on my phone. I have also discovered, if I find myself online shopping, I should read instead. For the longest time, I completely underestimated what you gain from reading, something I have come to find incredibly valuable now.
If I’m having a conversation, texting, Snapchatting, or anything and I find people saying they’re bored, I can see a connection between them, their goals, their drives, and their perceived boredom. Being a boring person is broader than we think, I believe it’s a direct correlation between the person and that person’s goals. I have one friend who is a nursing student, and she is driven to become a nurse. She never has any free time, and I’ve never heard the word bored come out of her mouth. She is driven to, and engaged in her goals. Therefore she is continuously working towards that goal, and in doing so, boredom cannot exist.
Comparing that to someone who has no goals or is not engaged by what’s around them. They’re probably bored, and we view them as so because nothing is happening in their life. They don’t have any goals, which means there is no drive to occupy time towards that goal. These same people who say they’re bored probably are not investing in themselves either. They’re not doing anything but maybe going to the gym to improve their quality of life.
Being bored is having a lack of drive and lack of engagement towards your goals and what’s around you, whether personal, developmental, professional, or social. You’re not bored; you’re not engaged by what’s around you. Discover and set up goals that engage you, and boredom cannot exist in your life.