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Dealing with boredom – Part 1

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” – Friedrich Nietzche (German philosopher of the Nineteenth century)
I learnt an effective method to handle boredom while doing my daily duties.

Based on suggestions offered by Dr Russ Harris in his The Happiness Trap and Simon Sanek’s Start with Why, I now have a question that I ask myself when I am unmotivated to do my job: What is the Value/principle/need that I seek to serve with this activity?

The answer to this question helps me reorganize my mental life, and come back to my task with a sense of purpose. The more I am connected to my value, the more I am enthusiastic. And as the French writer Emile Zola said, “I would rather die of passion than boredom.”

Let’s say you go to work daily and have set a goal to earn a million dollars. It’s quite possible that on some days you might forget your goal, or find it unattractive. Worse still, you may get influenced by your friends and colleagues who might casually speak about how terrible our lives are. Unknowingly your mind could drag to you to regret and confusion, and when you wake one morning you wonder as you stare at the bathroom mirror: ‘What the hell am I doing in life, why do I have to go to work?’ That’s when the mind would further moan, ‘Oh, I have no choice, I need that money’. Thus your day has begun with a feeling of helplessness, and you are now ready to avoid taking responsibility for your situation. Irritability sets in, your relations with family or spouse strains, and you feel sick going to work. To mitigate pain one may then drown himself in movies, booze or drugs. The cyclones in our inner world are relentless; you could be thrown off from happy and effective living because of a little inattention that slithers into the mind, and then turns into a blitzkrieg.

Ask a simple question to yourself
However you could now change your destiny by asking this simple question, ‘What is my need/value/principle that I seek to fulfil by going to work today?’
If this is the first time you are trying this, your mind may turn blank or even protest at such prodding. But if you pause, and reflect in a relaxed state, you might find the answer, ‘I need the money so that I can buy a bigger house’

To be continued…


  • Rasbhakti
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    LOL! even I ask this question some time.
    Waiting for part 2

  • Jagdish Yadav
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Such a relevant article. Waiting for part 2.

  • Ting-Yun
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:20 am

    looking forward for part 2:)

  • Rambhau Badode
    Posted March 2, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Exceedingly motivating,waiting for next segment

  • Apnav miglani
    Posted April 24, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Very interesting and thank you for giving such food for thought. It is very profund question to ask ‘What is my need/value/principle that I seek to fulfil by going to work today?’
    Thank you for sharing this. Looking forward for part 2.

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