“Boredom is not an end-product, is comparatively rather an early stage in life and art. You’ve got to go by or past or through boredom, as through a filter, before the clear product emerges.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
Every job, every assignment, every piece of music, every everything in this world has boring parts.
Every comedian knows the setup is as important as the punch line. Every musician brings the music down in order to emphasize the piece’s climax. A pro football player has to stand at the line of scrimmage doing nothing before he can score the game winning touchdown.
But we don’t want to talk about the boring. We want the highlight reel. ESPN only shows you the touchdown, not long wait the line of scrimmage. The audience roars (internally) when the chorus erupts at the end of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, not when they are standing silent. We laugh hysterically when Bill Cosby delivers the punch line, but not at the setup.
It may be boring, but that tedious and rote work is necessary to get to the exciting stuff. It’s no different than the boring part of your volunteer work. You’ve got to pull the weeds in order to feed the hungry. You’ve got to pick up the trash to keep the park clean. You’ve got to pay the electricity bill to keep the lights on at the homeless shelter.
The list is endless, but when you’ve got boring work to do, you don’t have to be bored. If it helps, try to keep the touchdown, the climax, and the euphoria in mind while working through a muddle. The exciting moments and the boring go together.
Boring, yes. Bored, no.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Made up the visitor packets for my Toastmasters club. It was routine, dull, monotonous, and boring. Bored, however, I was not.