On Boredom and Pain: Two Crucial Aspects of Success

Img courtesy of http://imboredatwork.org
Img courtesy of http://imboredatwork.org

Can you have success without routine? I found a short video on Facebook and wanted to share my thoughts on it with you (and I really wish I could find it but it’s been a while and I can’t seem to dig it up from my timeline. Booo me, I know). The theme of success has been an important part of my life in the past 6 months or so (well, let’s say my entire life, but the following ideas have awakened my philosophical interest lately). It’s about being persistent with your trade in order to achieve success. According to this insight, the most successful people are not the ones who are the most talented or who have the most diverse skill set (even though both characteristics help) but the ones who commit to the “boring” task.

Repeating a task over and over again until you finally succeed – the key to fulfilling one’s dream? It’s not as farfetched as it might seem. Indeed, when we remember our childhood or younger years, then repetition was always a crucial part of our lives. For example, when learning to speak another language in middle and high school. In order to gain a full understanding of French and Latin, I always had to repeat the vocabulary – every single day. To achieve success in dancing and gymnastics, I had to practice until the sun dropped, otherwise I would have failed miserably (which eventually happened, but because I lost my interest not because of my skill set).

Repeating, persisting, enduringthese three aspects were always part of my student life. Even when graduating high school and then going on to college, I wouldn’t have known how to get an advanced degree without the repetitive tasks of studying and repeating. How I envied people who could just read and memorize a page instantaneously, whereas I had to sit and study for long hours. Alas, I was happy that the tedious “student” years were over (just a little over 4 years ago), but then I found out that we are always a student of life and that if we don’t repeat certain tasks every day, we are bound to fail. Be it picking up a new hobby, a new vocation, or just going on to grad school – repetition is part of learning the new ins and outs of everything.

I’ve also come across an insightful article written by Mark Manson. In this article “The Most Important Question of your life” he illustrates why some people succeed and why others don’t. Similar to the “boring task” theory, he illustrates how we describe the pain we have to go through in order to achieve success. Is your goal of becoming a skillful writer/ photographer/ whatever your heart desires enough to make you work for free for years to come without an end in sight? “Only” to reap the rewards of a bigger network or a better portfolio? Do you want to work 12 hours a day for an endless amount of time until you finally have achieved a manager position? Or would you rather spend your energy on working 8 hours a day and then going on to pursue a hobby for the remaining 4 hours a day? Or perhaps just working and then do nothing but become dissatisfied with what life has to offer?

Pain will always be a part of our lives – no matter what. It’s not about living without any pain (because that life does not exist). It’s about this question: What is the pain that you want to sustain? And once you have come clean with your fear of failure and priorities, you will be able to give a more heart-felt answer.

Both thought processes symbolize the same to me: Boredom and pain – sometimes it can be the very same thing. Repetition can become mind-numbing but sometimes most of the time it’s a crucial part in order to become skilled at and recognized with something. How do deal with the mind-numbing part of achieving success? My guess is with attitude and justification – in making the means meet the ends.

One thing does not go well with these ideas – procrastinating. Which is why, once again, procrastination stands for the fear of failure. You cannot believe how much I have procrastinated lately. Pretty much in every aspect of my life! All of those half-written articles lining up in the WordPress queue – needing that one final touch before hitting that publication button. Then, not going out there and shooting the crap out of my camera because of the bitter cold weather, the rainy days, and other excuses (it’s true, we’ve had a tough winter). And of course not finding a Spanish language or salsa course yet, as was my goal for pretty much the past 3 years. True, sometimes it’s just not the right time – the funds are missing or priorities shift. But if not at the moment when will be the right time?

Boredom and pain – it’s a concept I had to digest at first but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. It explains why we start things and then drop them a few days/ weeks/ months later without gaining any further insight into them. Does this mean failure? Not necessarily, it just means we didn’t want to endure the pain to the end. Are we not capable of enduring the pain? I believe everyone is capable of anything, if we truly believe in ourselves and our advancement in this world. But first we need to awaken our interest and then we need to gauge whether or not this will really be the right path to pursue.

What is your experience with boredom and pain in order to achieve your goals or even your success?

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