Boredom – Your Greatest Threat to Results


new yorker


James Clear, author of Atomic Habits has said: “The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.”

Shane Parrish, creator of Farnam Street has redefined this: "The greatest threat to results are boredom and impatience."

The only way to become really good at something is to keep on keeping on doing the boring old basic stuff.



    The difference between good and great results is often found in consistently doing the boring things you know you should do exactly when you feel like doing them the least. [Shane Parrish]








How Boredom Occurs

We all know what we should be doing, but the trouble with that is that sooner of later we get bored.

The enjoyment fades, the excitement and novelty wears thin, and we're left with the hard grind.

The same old same old - just the boring old basics.


We live in a world that glorifies the results and not the process.

In a world dominated by social media, we glorify the results and not the process. We see the move that knocked someone out, or scored a home run, but not the years of effort that went into perfecting it.

We see the results, not the hard work.


But it’s hard to be above average if you can’t find a way to do the same thing over and over again.

As Bruce Lee allegedly said: “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.”

Our boredom gets fueled by impatience and frustration.

We seek novelty.

The grass over there really does seem greener.

Before we know it, we let our good habits slip and then we start rationalising our behaviour.

Motivation is fleeting.  It was easy at the beginning because we’re fired up and full ready to conquer the world.

But becoming really good at something - acquiring mastery  - requires practice - endless practice  -  and that involves repetition and that eventually becomes boring. 

So how do we find a find a way of showing up  despite the boredom?

James Clear says that: "The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom."

I agree with the first part of Clear's statement but I am not sure about the falling in love with boredom. That's a cute turn of phrase but what does that mean in practise?







How To Deal With Boredom



Boredom is not rational it is an emotional response.

There is a part of you that is committed to your goals and that understands and accepts the effort that is required for you to achieve mastery - or at least excellence - as the means to achieving those goals.

But there is another part of you that has a short attention span, that demands instant gratification, and it wants it now.

In my experience you can not fight boredom, and with all due respect to James Clear - and I have much respect for  him - you can not love boredom.

So what to do? How do you deal with boredom?

Short answer - sit with it.

Longer answer, take a mindful approach to the feelings associated with boredom. Just sit quietly for a moment, take a deep breath and observe the feelings and emotions and thoughts that are associated with your boredom, and that arise.

When I do this I observe some or all of the following:

  • Frustration
  • Impatience
  • Irritation
  • Resistance
  • Anger
  • Arrogance


    Boredom? I could sum it all up as an overall composite feeling of being thoroughly pissed off at the mind-numbing tedium of the present moment.









Ok now we know what we're dealing with, so what to do?

The next step is to apply the transformative power of acceptance.

This is a simple yet extremely powerful mindfulness practise that will release you from the grip of these thoughts and emotional responses to doing what you need to do.

Here is how to practise acceptance.

Follow these brief and simple steps and your boredom and associated feelings will disappear, you will feel calm, centred and ready to do what you need to do.

If you feel any kind of resistance to doing this - just do it anyway and see what happens. It just could be one of most productive 5 minutes you have spent for a while!



    Feel the boredom and do it anyway!









Next Article: The Luck Factor - 4 Principles

Return from "Boredom" to: Walking The Talk

Contact me





Zen-Tools.Net



English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese


LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Going With The Flow - The Balance Of Being And Doing

    Steer The Boat Each Day Rather Than Plan Ahead Way Into The Future. Going with the flow is about learning to become comfortable with uncertainty, and learning how to exploit the potential hidden withi…

    Read More

  2. 8 Principles For Success

    A Timeless Foundation On Which To Build Your Success. There are Universal laws and processes that work to support us and guarantee that we achieve all our goals. But first we need to know what they ar…

    Read More

  3. The Loving Father

    A Love That Will Not Let You Go. I had a loving father. I knew that I did, but I never felt it. My father was a good man but very damaged and unable to show his feelings. So I grew up knowing in my he…

    Read More

  4. Your Ebenezer Stone Of Help

    How To Stay Connected To Your True Source Of Power. Approximately 2,500 years ago the Israeli town of Kafr Qasim was close to the site of two battles between the ancient Israelis and their neighbours…

    Read More

  5. The Stockdale Paradox

    How To Deal With The Attrition Factor. The Stockdale Paradox is named after the late James Stockdale, former vice presidential candidate, naval commander and prisoner of war during the American-Vietna…

    Read More

  6. Embrace Your Fear Of Failure And Uncertainty

    We Celebrate Success And Ignore Failure. Numerous studies have been undertaken on successful people to understand what it was that they did to become so successful, how they did it and when they did i…

    Read More

  7. The Wilderness Years - 3 Keys To An Exit

    How You Got Into The Wilderness Matters Less Than The Lessons To Be Learnt There. The wilderness years can be described as any lengthy time, longer than a year, that is spend aimlessly; without an imm…

    Read More

  8. Boredom – Your Greatest Threat to Results

    We Live In A World That Glorifies The Results And Not The Process. We all know what we should be doing, but the trouble with that is that sooner of later we get bored. The enjoyment fades, the excitem…

    Read More

  9. The Luck Factor - 4 Basic Principles

    You Can Master The Art of Creating Your Own Luck By Mastering 4 Key Principles "The Luck Factor" is the title of a book published 20 years ago based on the research of Professor Richard Wiseman who fo…

    Read More

  10. Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success

    Just Because You Have A Spectacular Failure Doesn’t Mean The Game Is Over. The thought that you could fail can really slow you down. But the problem is not the failure, the problem is your relationshi…

    Read More

  11. Lost, Stuck & Going Round In Circles?

    Are You Lost In Transition? To be in an alien North African city, late in the evening, in the dark, completely lost in transition from the main market square back to the obscure location of our Riad…

    Read More

  12. Seeing Is Believing Or Is It?

    Do You Believe What You See Or Do You See What You Believe? Like the characters in "The Matrix" we are fooled by the illusion that what we see is how things really are. Why? Because this is the mind's…

    Read More

  13. What Difference Did You Make?

    What Impact Will You Leave In The Lives Of Others? If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of yo…

    Read More

  14. Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

    If You Want Others To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. If You Want To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. Compassion is derived from the Latin words "com pati" meaning to suffer with. It has been defined as…

    Read More

  15. The Placebo Effect - 2 Key Takeaways

    The Power Of Expectation Of An Outcome Regardless Of The Lack Of Any Substance To That Expectation. Traditionally, the placebo effect occurs when false, or dummy, treatments of inert substances [that…

    Read More

  16. The Red Pill

    This Is What Will Happen After You Take It. "This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in y…

    Read More

  17. Transformational Life Hacks

    This Has To Be One Of The Best Ways For Living The Best Life You Can Possibly Live. An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivi…

    Read More

  18. This Too Shall Pass

    The Blessing And The Curse Of Impermanence. There is a story of a king who sought wisdom. Eventually he heard of a man living in a remote part of the kingdom who had a reputation for great wisdom. The…

    Read More

  19. The Stories We Tell Ourselves

    The Stories That We Tell Ourselves Are A Matter Of Choice. The stories we tell ourselves form the backcloth and the tapestry of our lives. These narratives shape and define our sense of self and how a…

    Read More

  20. Who Do You Trust?

    Trust Is A Choice And It Creates Your Reality. Nothing in life is permanent and nothing lasts forever. Every relationship ends in tears. Somebody leaves or somebody dies. This is how things are. This…

    Read More

  21. How Positive Asymmetry Can Transform Your Life

    Finding This Hidden Value Is The Key To A Huge Upside. Most of us spend our lives working to linear rules where there is an equal relationship between effort and result. Work hard you get a result. Wo…

    Read More

  22. 5 Tips For Developing A Growth Mindset

    How To Be There When Preparation Meets Opportunity. The growth mindset holds the core belief that your intelligence and personality is something you can develop and that you can expand and grow. The p…

    Read More

  23. Lost For Words? Experience Truth

    If you can't think of the right thing to say, say nothing. The concepts we employ, the categorizations we apply and the words we choose and use to articulate a direct experience put us in a double bi…

    Read More

  24. Belief - A Terrible Tyrant Or An Empowering Servant

    To Believe Or Not To Believe - That Is The Question. Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its beliefs and dogmas. The religious and cultural beliefs that sanction and allow or impose…

    Read More

  25. How To Avoid Herd Mentality

    How To Stay Far From The Madding Crowd. Herd mentality describes how we make decisions based on what everyone else is thinking and doing. It is also known as a mob or crowd mentality. We follow the he…

    Read More

  26. Are You Trying To Teach A Cat To Bark?

    We Suffer Every Time We Believe A Thought That Argues With What Is. When your mind is perfectly clear, what is, is what you want. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try…

    Read More

  27. The Value Of Slack

    Slack Is The Capacity To Effect Change And The Resource To Deal With The Unexpected. Many organizations are obsessed with efficiency and try to ensure that every resource is fully utilized to its full…

    Read More

  28. 6 Tips To Help You Stop Trying Too Hard

    Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at non-action. We are brought up to believe that we get what we want in life as a result of what we do, by the actions that we take, that ha…

    Read More

  29. Your Point Of Focus

    Is It Helping You Or Hindering You? Your point of focus is the central point of your attention. Your point of focus is a binary choice and the result of that choice is critical to your happiness, your…

    Read More

  30. Your Secret For Success

    To accomplish any success in life, you must identify accurately what it is that you hunger for, thirst for and long for. The purpose of this article is to look at the foundation of the secret for succ…

    Read More





The Balanced Life



The Balanced Toolkit



3 Keys Solutions


Get new posts by email:



Support This Site