Boredom, My Personal Journey — Part 1

Here are some words from a fellow blogger’s page that I kind of borrowed.  Thanks Syd for the idea:

York University professor John Eastwood explains that boredom is just “wanting to, but being unable to engage in satisfying activity.”  He goes on to distinguish boredom from apathy.  “The [bored] person is not engaged but wants to be.  With apathy, he said, there is no urge to do something.”

The above quote really got me to thinking about my life so I am going to spend the next couple of posts on the topic of boredom. Boredom and apathy, where to begin?  I am going to give you one of my conclusions about this before I even start the discussion. I am doing that so you might be able to understand where I am coming from.  Here goes:

While it is easy to say boredom is “wanting to, but being unable to engage in satisfying activity” we must understand that there are other reasons for being bored.  It is sometimes too convenient to put boxes around people where they simply don’t fit and I refuse to be put into an ill-fitting box, or just about any box for that matter. 🙂 

I will readily admit that I get bored easily.  I have been plagued, or blessed depending on how you look at it, with boredom my entire life.  That is one reason why this blog is so widely focused. I would simply get too bored with constantly covering the same small niche as so many of my blogger friends seem to do so well.

BoredWhen I was a kid I got bored easily. When something got my attention it usually got my “total” attention.  Things have not changed much with me in that regard. That is I often focus exclusively on the goal at hand. My wife would certainly attest to that fact.

In grade school once I learned how to do something for instance long division I was ready to move on to the next thing. But the problem was that the teacher often insisted that we go over long division again and again and again as some of the other kids just couldn’t get it… I often shut down when that happened.

I’m sure that if I were a kid today I would be on Ritalin and would be diagnosed as ADD. I was just not interested in doing long division practices after I had learned how to do it.  I often got into trouble in that regard. In early high school I read a biography of Albert Einstein and discovered that he had a similar time in school. He was diagnosed as being apathetic.  I am not comparing myself with Einstein but I did find out later in life that I have a pretty high IQ so maybe that was at least partially the cause of my lack of attention.

This sort of problem plagued me through my high school years. Things just came too easy for me and I got bored and drifted off into another world and therefore was identified as “not paying attention”.

Next time I will talk about how my boredom affected me in my corporate life and beyond.  I think even at this point you get the idea that it was not that I was “unable to engage in satisfying activity”, I would have certainly engaged in a satisfying activity if it had been presented to me.

2 thoughts on “Boredom, My Personal Journey — Part 1

  • Okay, but what about finding your own satisfying activiity, or creating satisfying activities within your work environment? Sometimes we have to find our own activities.

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    • Hi barb, Well that is what I did in school; I created my own satisfying activities. That is what got me in trouble, the teacher always wanted me to pay attention to her activities, not my invented ones. 🙂

      But being bored easily means that when I do create satisfying activities they only last for a certain period of time and then they get boring. More on that tomorrow, but I think you get the idea; I’m just a kid who needs constant stimulation. Always have been and probably always will be……

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