Make Boredom the Enemy, Not Failure

I’m 13 years late to the party, but I finally got around to reading Tim Ferris’s book, “The 4-Hour Work Week.” Very early on, Tim said something that I’ve found myself coming back to again and again.

He talked about opposites, proclaiming that whilst love is the opposite of hate, the opposite of happiness isn’t in fact misery, but boredom. He suggests that we follow a path of what excites us, rather than seeking happiness itself.

It’s this line that really got me though:

“Remember, boredom is the enemy, not some abstract ‘failure’.”

I mean, just think about that. If boredom was the thing we truly feared, as opposed to the potential for failure, then how might our thoughts, actions and decisions change?

Consider that I’m tempted to put off making a difficult phone call, or a presentation, or really anything that I genuinely want to do but feel super anxious about…

How might my feelings about the situation change, if I viewed boredom as the enemy rather than failure? 

I mean… a presentation is going to inject something different – and exciting – into my life, whether it goes badly or not. Just as an uncomfortable phone call, no matter how unpleasant or awkward, is going to provide me with a memory that stands out from the dull in the rest of my day.

Perhaps then, the situation itself isn’t so scary after all.

In fact, not doing it and remaining in safe, comfortable mediocrity, might actually be the more frightening option.



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