I don't know what people think when I tell them that I haven't been bored in six years or so. Some laugh and some just give me a weird look. There have been quite a few who have rolled their eyes when I tell them the secret to not being bored. It is so simple, maybe even too simple for some people. But it works.
Choose To Become Fascinated
That is it.
I learned this valuable technique from Jim Rohn years ago. I was listening to one of his audio programs, I don't recall which one right now, and he was talking about choosing to be fascinated instead of being frustrated. The example that he gave was, if you are stuck in traffic, instead of being frustrated, become fascinated about why there are so many cars on the road. That idea resonated with me and I realized that I could choose to be fascinated anywhere, anytime, about pretty much anything. I haven't been bored since. I have been in boring settings. I have been in boring classes where I haven't learned anything. But I found something to be fascinated about.
1. How the human body works - How could someone not be fascinated by the fact that your heart beats, carrying blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen. Then, that blood carries the oxygen all over your body to the cells that need it. At the same time the blood is picking up stuff that you don't need and sending it back to the lungs so that you can breath it out. And all of this is happening WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO THINK ABOUT IT! It's amazing. And don't even get me started on your pancreas. Thinking about how the body works keeps me full of awe, which is never boring.
2. People- I am an introvert. I am fascinated by people though. So, even though I may not be talking and socializing when I am with a group of people, I am always trying to learn something about the dynamic that is happening and something about the people who are there.
When I am feeling talkative and social, which does happen when I feel like I am in my element, then I have learned to ask lots of questions. At first I used to worry that I might be offending people when I ask a bunch of questions, but I have found that people respond well when you are genuinely interested in them. I do usually warn people that I ask tons of questions though. Oh, and that they don't have to answer them. They can tell me to shut up and mind my own business if they want to.
3. Gratitude- It is really hard to be bored when you focus on being grateful. I am headed into surgery today to remove a benign tumor in my hand and am a little nervous. The odds are heavily in my favor that I come out of the procedure alive and well. But I get nervous about it. That nervousness has led me to, at least try, to be more patient, to be more kind, and to tell my family that I love them. I am grateful for them. I am grateful that I have food to eat, when there are a lot of people who go without food. I am grateful for a home, when there are too many who do not have a home. I could go on and on. But if you are ever feeling bored, try listing things that you are genuinely grateful for.
4. Get Busy- Find something that you are passionate about and throw yourself into it. You would be amazed at how productive your thinking can become when you are trying to solve challenges that are keeping you from realizing something that you are really passionate about. And, if you are really passionate about something, doing brings joy and satisfaction. Even if you can't be doing that things all the time, you could be thinking of ways to be able to do it more or coming up with ways to be better at it. You may think that practicing a skill is boring, but not if there is a why attached to it.
5. When All Else Fails- Just be fascinated with how boring what ever you are doing is. You may be somewhere that is legitimately boring. But you aren't bored, your fascinated.
There will be some of you who have heard me say this to you, probably until you were sick of hearing it. Let me know if you have tried it and how you have made this idea work for you. If this is your first time learning these little tricks. Give them a try and let me know if they work for you.
Algeo, Matthew. "The Amazing Race: How a Highly Heated Walk-Off Between America's Top Pedestrians Created Modern Spectator Sports" Mental Floss March/April 2015: 48-53. Print.