Friday, August 25, 2006

How to Defeat Boredom

I found a post by Noah at okdork.com regarding life and boredom. He puts this line in quotes:
Life is inherently boring so we spend it doing things to maximize enjoyment.


This is something I've thought about quite a bit over the years. In the context of wasted time, it's easy to see that many of us have spent a great deal of time being bored. The problem lies in the fact that we often don't know how to snap out of it, especially during our younger years.

How is it possible to be bored when there is so much information, so much stimulation, so much choice, everywhere around us? Today's world is full of so much. With the modern media and web, there's an unlimited amount of information to be absorbed at any given time. It's easy to be overwhelmed by it all. There's simply too much.

At the end of his post, Noah asks a few questions that he's been pondering:

1. Are you really doing what's the optimal thing right now?
2. What do you want to be accomplishing while you are here on Earth?
3. Are you living the life you want to be living?


These are good questions to ask yourself. There is an idea that's not mentioned, but I think is implied in this article. That is the concept of passion. I think the key to defeating boredom and finding fulfillment in life is following your passions. Boredom is the feeling of not wanting to do anything, of not having passion.

I've blogged before on the topic of doing what is expected by others rather than what we want. It's very difficult to find passion in doing something that you don't want to do. Were you passionate about cleaning your room as a teenager? Feel free to insert any menial or unpleasant task into that last question.

Certainly, when there is a larger goal in mind, it's easier to perform a task with gusto. If you're visualizing what you're going to do with that big fat allowance of $5 a week after you've raked the leaves, you're not too upset about the current chore. This makes it easier to see the connection between passion and goals.

The two are necessarily intertwined. I've also posted about setting goals. I believe this is a key to having passion in life. Each of us needs to decide what is important to us as individuals and set goals for achieving in those areas. Only then will we be able to defeat boredom and pursue our desires with passion.

Yes, we'll still have to unclog a toilet from time to time, but our larger goals in life will be pursued with passion. The smaller, less pleasant tasks will be much more easily overcome and boredom will be a thing of the past.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous noah kagan said...

Ray,

Really well done and thought out post. I think you said it right that it is all about passion and finding someting you love to do. I think a few interesting problems are that there are two many choices which make life hard. I will write about this soon.

Also, sometimes its hard for people (including me) to figure out what they are passionate about.

Lastly, one of the hard part about setting goals is that you are aren't satisfied after you complete them sometimes. My stepfather wanted to be a successful engineer and he expected that to give him a good life. It did and he accomplished it but now he is wanting more..

just some thoughts. nice post!

8/25/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

Very true about wanting more after completing goals. I just finished up a degree that I've been working on for years and now I'm wondering what the heck I'm going to do. I basked in the glow of accomplishment for about five minutes before I started thinking about what's next.

Thanks for stopping by, Noah. I'm looking forward to reading your post.

8/25/2006 10:16:00 PM  

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