Wednesday, May 02, 2012

boring is as boring does

That's up there with 'stupid is as stupid does'' really, isn't it?

I've been involved in an interesting thread discussion on facebook today about boredom.  Why do people get bored? what are they doing about it?

There's been lots of helpful comments about how BUSY everyone is, and how many couldn't comprehend boredom.

Certainly there are times in life when we have to do things that are boring.  For example, we might say we're bored with housework.  Or a book is boring.  Or our job is boring.  But I think stating a particular task as boring is different to being bored.   

I think its possible to be really busy, and still be bored.  I think it's possibly to have ones brain working hard, but still be bored.  And I think it's possible to be enjoying a task, but still be bored.    I even would go so far as to say its possibly to have a really full and seemingly challenging life and still feel ''bored''.  Because my argument is that the word bored is actually used by a lot of people as a broad term to cover a whole lot of other emotions/feelings, many of which we wouldn't really want to say out loud.

So is it possible to drill down into boredom and see what is really going on?  I think so.  In my business coaching life I use the ''5whys'' to get people thinking about planning and strategy. It's a great way to get thinking about an issue and really get to the heart of it.
for example
I'm bored at work
Because the job is not challenging
because i know it inside out
because I've been there so long....
because i don't think I can get another job......

I go through plenty of phases of feeling ''bored''.   I usually try to ''fix'' it by adding in more stuff to do.   And I already have a pretty busy life.  Which is how I realised that boredom couldn't be fixed with staying busy.  So maybe when I say ''I'm bored'' actually what I'm saying is
- I'm feeling unfulfilled
- I'm not content
- I'm disillusioned
- I'm tired
- I'm lonely

What I learned, is that for me, bored means that my emotional tank is a bit on the low side.  In other words,  I'm probably not bored at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy being bored occasionally. And I've notice that sometimes the best play experience come out of me letting my children be bored for awhile. But I totally get what you're saying about the difference between being bored WITH something or being boring. I think a lot of it is about initiative and attitude. :)