In fact, boring is great !
We’re always told to find something interesting, aren’t we ?
- 5 hot jobs that you should apply.
- The hot stuff a political party promises to do after elections.
- 5 hottest policy changes that are going to change your life.
- 5 hottest web series on Netflix right now.
Ever wonder what’s the eventual outcome for most ? We have always been taught how it is important to pick up new interesting things and avoid the boring ones. But does this approach translate any better ?
For the last couple of months, I had been reading a bunch of books and towards the end I had this realisation of what most successful entrepreneurs, artists, businessmen, athletes have in common. There was a common message all the authors were propagating.
This got me into thinking of my problem dealing with boredom.
What do I end up doing when I am bored ?
Clearly, nothing very extraordinary. In a world full of distractions, with devices at an arm’s length, phones buzzing with notifications, videos auto-playing louder, and with the cancer of infinite scrolling you’d have to really try hard to stay bored.
Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Reddit, Netflix? Or Instagram ?(until I had an account)
I start with something I intended to watch, and the next thing I know there’s dog videos, random cooking vlogs, or just TechLead autoplaying. It’s like I hardly have control over it. The algorithms know it better.
The more I think about this, the more I feel how the world is gradually getting dumber and dumber. The smart ones are getting smarter and the others are constantly being sold an ocean of meaningless content which is said to improve lives, entertain and make lives less boring. The more we consume it, the more we crave for it. It is a vicious cycle.
“You haven’t watched the latest season ? Duh! ”
Boring is frowned upon. Meanwhile, here are all the people who prefer to be boring.
- Warren Buffet-Investments in boring businesses.
- Lakshmi Mittal-Overturned distressed steel businesses across the globe.
- Jack Bogle- The pioneer of Vanguard Funds. A source for boring index fund investing.
- Jeff Bezos-Started with selling books.
- Peter Lynch-His famous line, “Buy boring businesses”.
- Jerry Sienfield- Writes one joke every single day.
- Usain Bolt-Trained 11 months a year, 6 days a week, for the 10 seconds that mattered.
Ever wonder what separates a good bodybuilder from an average one ?
Genetics ? Or quality steroids ?
I’d say it is the ability to consistently perform boring workouts, and eat boring meals. Sounds too simple, isn’t it ?
You can buy the hottest stock doing the coolest things, buzzing on social media and CNBC, and still lose half your money. Or you could invest in a boring but simple business that sells Tacos (Taco Bell) or a company that makes solid wooden doors, and still amass wealth.
”I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”-Bruce Lee
Most of the boring stuff is incredibly life changing. Going through 10000 kicks or 10000 hours of work shows your integrity and game.
Meditation is boring. It just take 15 min to start with.
Reading books is boring. Yet every successful person out there credits their journey to reading books.
Writing is boring.
Running is boring.
Eating healthy is boring.
Investing in Index Funds is boring. Blowing your account in FnO is exciting.
What’s easier to pick ? A food menu with 7 types of cuisines and 70 dishes or the one with 20 classic dishes.
Change is inevitable but often change is our enemy. We often get loomed with boredom, availability of multiple options, and do the exact things which we don’t intend to.
A simple way I found to tackle this is to actively track when it happens and find a replacement action. Replace x (unintended) with y (intended). Replace scrolling through your feed in the morning with a workout. If I was supposed to read an article and I feel bored, I’ll do it anyway. Feeling lazy to write today ? Do it anyway. Feeling exhausted to go for a planned run ? Wear your shoes and just head out. Don’t feel like studying ? Read one chapter anyway. And after doing it, make sure to track it. Write it down, journal it ! The feedback loop it generates is incredibly powerful.
There is no need to do different things all the time. Just do the things that matter, differently.
Feel free to comment if you have been in the same boat or found new ways to tackle it. Would like to know more.