Have you ever experienced a lack of interest or been bored with an activity? It is a safe bet that at some point in your life the answer would be in the affirmative. What is a definite sign that an activity, and it does not matter what activity that is, is going to not be interesting so boredom sets in?
One thing for certain, if the person doing the activity is not interested, it is likely the person is going to think the activity is not worthy of their time, so they become bored rather quickly. This may sound perfectly obvious - but let’s dig deeper into what is at the core of this issue.
Boredom is like mental fatigue. It can be caused by repetitive work or lack of interest in the details of activities. It can be caused by isolation, having nothing to do, or performing tasks that require continuous attention. But…generally, any experience that is predictable and repetitive can result in boredom.
In a college English Literature class, we were studying the dramatic plays of William Shakespeare. One day, we were discussing "Hamlet" when one of the students commented that he found the textbook, "The Complete Works of Shakespeare," boring to read and difficult to comprehend.
Suddenly, a collective hush engulfed the room. The professor, standing in front of the classroom, drew very erect. He said something that I still recall quite vividly. "Young man," he said, "there are boring books and then there are bored readers reading fascinating books. I am afraid you are one of the latter."
Some experts believe that boredom is a subtle form of negative thinking. Some folks have even defined boredom as hostility without enthusiasm. It is a surface-level pushing back that often contains elements of fear or anger, and sometimes both. Ultimately, it is an attitude, rather than a condition. And since attitudes are learned, they can be unlearned and replaced with more productive attitudes.
If you find yourself feeling bored, detached, or uninterested performing a task, in a class or in a conversation, ask yourself if there is something you are anxious or angry about. Look beneath the surface and see what is draining your enthusiasm. What might you be resisting or perhaps, avoiding?
Boredom can be a signal that you may be just a step away from going through some real growth. Some experts suggest that boredom can be a ‘call to action.’ It can be a catalyst for change. It can provide an opportunity for thought and reflection.
Boredom, like beauty, is strictly in the eye of the beholder. If you find yourself bored, it is time to look within and initiate meaningful change.