Tracy O’Connor runs the ‘I Hate My Message Board’ blog and is the women that brought the infamous ‘Chicken in a Can‘ to the Internet, videoed her brother eating Silkworm Pupa and makes me laugh out loud more than any client I have ever worked with. Even if most of the time I have absolutely no idea why. That’s not to say I don’t have some hilarious and fun clients, because I do, it’s just that Tracy is a tad different.
I have been haranguing her to do me a guest post for some while and I’m delighted to say under pain of death and the threat of me publishing the nonsensical e-mails she sends me, she finally acquiesced. Other than read this post, I’d also encourage you to follow her on Twitter, just don’t expect anything she says to make any sense.
A Life Less Boring
I was reading a thread on my forum about a gifted child who is bored in school and blowing off his work. As you can probably guess, a few people chimed in to say that the child would simply have to adjust to living in a world where he is often bored and have to plug away anyway. But does he really have to? Perhaps somebody has to, but is that really what we want for our children? Or for ourselves?
During my life coaching with Tim, one of the hardest things for me to do was to admit, that yes, I did think that poking around in cans of weird food and making up answers to inexplicable questions was a fine and dandy way to spend the rest of my life and what’s more, I could somehow make it the cornerstone of my future career.
As much as I love doing it, it seemed too self indulgent to admit and more than a bit strange to think it was a goal worthy of coaching. I kind of wanted to tell him I wanted to go to law school and help refugees get asylum or make 10 million dollars in five years; you know, something like I imaged all of his other clients wanted to do.
Why did I feel it was self indulgent? Because it’s so amazingly fun and exciting that even the stuff that should bore me to tears seems to fly by when I’m doing it. The crap you couldn’t pay me to learn if I were doing it for somebody else isn’t drudgery, it’s a joy because it gets me one step closer to where I want to be.
I don’t even recognize myself some days, because although I am half Asian, half Puritan stock, the industry-ethic gene seemed to pass me by and I was that kid sitting bored in the classroom, unable to think about doing another worksheet because praise for doing well on a job you see no point in only motivates you so far.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we will have to make our children do things that they don’t particularly care to do for their own good, but how ass backwards is it to say “Oh well, that kid’s smart, smart people are going to be bored a lot, might as well get used to it now, poor thing”? It’s crazy, isn’t it? Yet I’m sure most of you are thinking, hey, get that kid some enrichment, help him find his passion, how cool is it that he has the potential to make so much of his life, you go smart boy!
Yet, when it comes to ourselves, how many of us are resigned to being bored much of the time? Plugging away because we feel we’ve got no other options and feeling more drained as each day goes by?
I felt that way for a long time, I figured that the correct and proper thing for me to do was go back to school, get a degree in something that paid a decent enough salary and once we got the kids started on their adult lives, maybe there would be enough left over for the husband and I to take some cruises. And I don’t even like boats, it just seemed like that was the kind of thing I should want to do when I was retired.
The thing is, when you’re doing something you love, you’ve got as much downtime and busywork as any other working person, you’ve probably got to deal with the same amount of dolts and dullards, but you don’t have that same feeling of crushing boredom. There are tasks that aren’t exciting or even unpleasant and then there is boredom.
Boredom isn’t a lack of things to do, most of the time when I’ve been bored there have been excessive piles of crap to do; boredom is a lack of motivation and energy. Boredom is your passion calling to you “Hey, what about me? When are you going to feed me?” and you, because of fear, lack of confidence, whatever, refusing to answer so it shuts down all systems until you pay it some attention.
I believe when people are bored, when they are rushing through and don’t seem to care, that’s a symptom worth noting and something to be dealt with. Of course, we’ll all have those random days when we can’t be bothered and it’s usually nothing more than fatigue, weather or hormones but being chronically bored doesn’t fit in with my notion of us as a can-do, peppy sort of species.
We didn’t evolve these big brains to sit around feeling like we don’t want to do anything.
It’s been my observation that lazy people are usually bored people and bored people are usually afraid people.
If you’re bored with your life, and it’s not something requiring treatment like depression, go ahead and ask yourself why? Write down the answers and then look at the answers and ask yourself again, why?
Now, I live on the same planet as the rest of you with mortgages and health insurance needs and liking to eat every day, and I understand if you can’t immediately make a drastic change to whatever it is that’s stopping you from going for your passion.
I understand if you’re afraid and imagining all the scary things that could happen. But what I won’t understand is saying “oh well, this is just the way it is, better get used to it. Sigh”. You deserve better than that, you really do, and if you don’t believe me stop now and read some of Tim’s posts on self confidence and work on getting some.
Now, write down what you really want to be doing. Where is it that your passion and your talents meet to create something extraordinary? Not what you think you should want to do or what you think other people would find exciting and interesting, but what you’d do if nobody was looking.
Well, not everything you’d do, this is a family blog. Indulge in daydreams, tell yourself a story where you’re living the life you want to live.
Editors Note: A family blog? I think she is confused with mylovelycuddlyblog.com. Please feel free to tell us everything in the comments and a link back to a webcam would be nice too.
Better, yet, act it out. Practice your acceptance speech for the Nobel prize in the bathroom mirror. Flip through magazines and decide what you’ll wear to the premiere of your movie. Be a total goofball about it, because goofy makes you happy and happy sets you on fire.
When you’re on fire, ask yourself, how can I move towards having more of this in my life? It doesn’t necessarily mean finding a way to quit your job and do this full time straightaway. Currently, I only work on my blog and other online ventures very part time, but that’s enough to make doing all the scut work a mom of five must do seem not so bad.
The thing is, when you’re feeding your passion it says okay, I’m being taken care of, you can go do all that other stuff for a bit as long as you promise to come back and give me more cookies. Passion isn’t totally unreasonable, it just wants some tender loving care.
A life of boredom is not an inevitability, it’s totally optional. You can lead a life where you feel engaged, motivated and ready to kick butt; it might not be easy to start taking those steps but once you do, watch out! You won’t believe how you managed to put up with anything less for so long.
You can read more from Tracy at I Hate My Message Board
Next Post: How To Get A Free Flight or Hotel Upgrade
I have written a long post on using advanced language patterns, NLP and some sleight of mouth. I have been umming and ahing over whether to post it, but have finally decided with the encouragement of no less than two people on Twitter, to go for it. I may get some grief for shaky ethics, but what the hell; somebody told me my use of the ‘F’ bomb in the last post was tame. Are there grades of ‘F’ bomb depending on the gratuitousness? I’m fucked if I know.