Immunity to Boredom

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I Wish I Was Immune To Boredom

Thoughts On…

  1. Enhancing Desire for Exercise
  2. Boredom (eye roll)

Enhancing Desire for Exercise

“Whatever you love about life, it gets better and you enjoy it more when you do it in a fit, capable body.  When working out reminds you that you are doing it to enjoy the things you love with the people you love, it becomes less of a chore and obligation and instead transforms into an activity that enhances and expands your ability to fully participate in your own life.”

– Jonathan

The above quote has become a core belief of me.  I first said it more than a decade ago and I recently used it to frame-up an at-home workout I just finished creating for AARP. (Yes, I will share with you soon through this newsletter when it is published.) 

The quote above is how I summarized the underlying concept of the emotional shift I created in the workout at the beginning. 

With everyone working out at home now, it’s become even harder to stay fit for those who have not discovered the emotional relevance of exercise.  (Another term I first used several years ago that makes a consistent appearance in my coaching.) It’s unique for everyone. Without it, exercise is a chore, a to-do list item, something to get done.  With the emotional relevance of exercise in the front of your mind, it becomes an opportunity to develop a greater ability to fully participate in your own life.

Boredom…in Song

“If you’re bored than you’re boring.” – lyric from “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger

“Boredom sets into the boring mind.” – lyric from “The Struggle Within” by Metallica

These two song lyrics sum up how I feel when I hear someone complain about being bored.  On the one hand, I sympathize because it would be a terrible state to be in.  On the other, I mentally roll my eyes. 

With a curious mind at this time in history with our near limitless ability to access information, no one should ever be bored.  This is a perfect time to brush up on a basic understanding of our immune system as one highly relevant example (I recommend the book An Elegant Defense). Instead everyone’s hyperventilating over the exploits of the Tiger King.

Here is a fascinating passage on boredom from cognitive neuroscientist James Danckert:

“Long before the pandemic, research demonstrated that people prone to boredom often react to the signal poorly: They are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, compulsively gamble and obsessively use smartphones. What these responses all have in common is that they momentarily eradicate the discontent that comes from being bored. But while playing video games for hours may be a surefire way to kill time, it can’t truly remedy boredom. When we engage in activities passively, simply to fill the time, we fail to truly listen to boredom’s message: It is a spur to purposeful activities that make use of our skills and talents.
Boredom forces us to ask a critical question: What matters most to us? What boredom won’t do, however, is provide the answer.”

James Danckert

There’s your two-part blog.  Two seemingly unrelated concepts – exercise inspiration and boredom – which, when you consider it more fully, are heavily related.

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