November 14, 2017
Author: Bianca Yang
I get bored easily.
This is a problem because this prevents me from getting good at anything. You can only achieve excellence and mastery by fighting through years of boredom and frustration and pain and backtracking. But why is excellence and mastery necessary? I am putting mastery as my goal to motivate myself to try harder. If I can get recognized for any single thing, I can loosen the reins a little and go enjoy myself either by pouring myself even more wholeheartedly into what I got really good at or go do something else more interesting.
But boredom is a beautiful thing. I may have already written about this, but I think the point is worth repeating: boredom is the privilege of a free mind. I am a largely reactive person, so boredom stimulates me to go find something else to do. I want to be feel happy, productive, anything but bored, so I will do anything to relieve my mental fog. Games don’t help. Reading can help. Schoolwork can help. Going out with friends helps. Cooking helps. Exercise helps. The key challenge here is habit hacking.
I want to make sure that I have something useful to turn to when I feel bored. Habits are one of our most powerful psychological tools for reengineering behavior. Change is hard, but if we can associate change with a pleasurable feeling, we can rewire our preferences and become more productive. If I can rewire my brain to associate boredom with being creative and getting healthy and hanging out with friends and getting better at life, then I will move closer to becoming the kind of person I want to be.
Boredom is not necessarily is a bad thing. The worst part of boredom was how I used to use games and anime and manga to escape from reality and avoid my responsibilities. I still do avoid my responsibilities and let emails and other assignments pile up, but I’ve certainly gotten better at managing my emotional state and dealing with what I should be dealing with. I’m unreasonable and timid, but I will one day become that unreasonable person who tries to mold the world to her vision and ends up changing the world along the way.
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