Careful… I’m about to illuminate a truth that everyone knows
[think of it as a red pill moment]
but few will admit to – or do anything about.
OK. Here goes.
The reason you’re so p***ed off at work is that you’re bored.
[wait for shrieks of indignation from the ‘upwardly mobile’, or shrugs of ‘so’ from the not so upwardly mobile]
The reason you’re bored is because you are woefully underusing what you were born with and have subsequently developed: your mind, body, heart and soul.
Because you’re woefully underusing what you were born with and have subsequently developed, you are putting on weight, damaging your personal relationships and, yes, driving the future of life on this planet into the great landfill.
Because you’re bored.
Next time you’re in a meeting that nobody wants, without a clear remit, without a clear outcome, where everyone seems so keen to ‘build’ on someone else’s point so passive-aggressively, where use of ‘And’ and not ‘But’ has become a practiced art of the subtly raised eyebrow, where nothing gets done for the many $’000s of dollars compensation present in the room
[if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need this posting more than anyone]
pause and take a look around the room. All of that energy is being spent trying to stimulate mind, body, heart and soul – as if there was something real happening. Fight, fright, flight – our basic physical response to attack. Tension in the neck, legs, arms and face – our natural instinct to embodiment. Being with others in a collaborative quest – our natural proclivity to reciprocity. Passionate commitment to something we believe in – our search for meaning beyond ourselves.
That’s what we are. And because we spend so much time denying what we are
[reciprocity in the dog-eat-dog world of capitalist norms, anyone?]
the energy is wasted. And we get bored. So we invent crises just to avoid admitting that we’re bored and not expending anywhere near the energy we could if we truly became engaged in the world as a whole person.
Notice I didn’t say, engaged in work as a whole person.
Because one of the greatest boredom myths is that a strongly aligned working experience can cure everything. It can’t. Yet, every day billions of people enter the work-place
[yeah, like that’s a concept that even makes sense anymore…]
with a silent prayer in their sub-conscious: Lord protect me from becoming too bored.
And work becomes a huge distraction from all the potential you are choosing not to use.
So, the next time you catch yourself in the moment, arguing a point that doesn’t need to be argued, about something that doesn’t matter – stop and think on how it’s protecting you from becoming too bored. And decide whether that’s a deal you want to make or not.
If it is, then the following symptoms are likely to develop shortly, if they aren’t already present:
- Buying consumer electronics for meaningless technological advantage over ‘good-enough’ existing possessions
- Going out to dinner because it’s that time of day, not because of hunger
- Sitting watching television programs you don’t like because your partner likes them
- Engaging in office politics to perpetuate insignificant power struggles
- Invading nearby countries just to make use of the military machine you’ve been growing over the years
[that last one might be a stretch for some of us]
So, which is it going to be – extending some of your potential into the world with all the risk and return that can offer, or settling for a stunted life denying yourself and building endless hedges against boredom.
This badconsultant knows which one he chooses.