For the sake of the post, let’s imagine a man named Paul. Paul here constantly has burning passions to start an endeavor whether it be a new skill, craft, sport, etc. This time he wants to start learning the piano. He watches dozens of videos of guys covering popular, complicated songs with, it seems, little effort. This only fuels his motivation even more. Paul immediately goes out to buy a keyboard and sits down and begins trying to learn a song. After 15-20 minutes of hitting wrong notes repeating mundane finger positions, he gets annoyed and turns on the TV. “I’ll continue practicing tomorrow”, he says. The next day his “passion” begins to fade and he practices even less, causing more frustration. He finally moves on from his “dreams” of playing the piano until he gets another “burning passion” to do something else.
Some of us are like Paul. We are filled with extreme motivation to begin something but we never get even close to finishing it. As soon as we’re hit with something that’ll take time to overcome, we get bored of the repetitive, mundane work that is necessary to do to improve. We then push the endeavor under the rug.
Living in a modern society, we are introduced to a phenomenon called free time. As people, we try to fill this time as much as much as possible to avoid being bored. We look towards sources of entertainment away from work or anything challenging requiring effort, to pass the time. After a while, we grow increasingly impatient when doing tasks. We wish for something with a faster pace and is instantly enjoyable. Our work or endeavors then take less of a priority in our lives. We never do master or finish what we wanted to do as a result.
How to Endure Boredom
Before you even set down to work or to learn to master a skill, pick one that actually gets you excited. Right off the bat, if what you’re doing doesn’t even get you motivated just thinking about it, you’ll have an extremely hard time just starting. Like that old quote, pick something that’ll excite you so your work provides you with pleasure. Going back to Paul, he picked something that excited him, learning the piano.
At some point, you’ll hit a stage when your endeavor feels like work. This occurs with everything worth mastering. There are two steps to counter this and help you endure the work to continue improving.
First, you have to focus on your long-term goal. Remind yourself why you’re doing this and that this work is required to get to the level you want to be. Remember your long-term goal and it’ll provide you with motivation to endure.
Secondly, enjoy your improvement. When pushing through your obstacles, you’ll start to see yourself becoming better and better at what you do. You’ll understand your craft more deeply and you’ll actually be impressed with yourself. The only thing you want to do now is continue. Paul was missing these steps. He forgot about the long-term goal and didn’t even last long enough to see his improvement.
As you endure more work you begin to craft your own impeccable work ethic to be used when enduring any task. It is important to keep sharpening our ability to endure as we do not want to give into distractions to wander us away from our goals. We want to push towards our long-term goals which would give us more satisfaction than any immediate pleasure. You’ll be glad you’ve stuck it out and will find ways to go even further.