No matter the time of year, or who we are, boredom can hit us when we least expect it, and we find ourselves bored with work, relationships . . . even life.
Sometimes boredom sneaks up on us; other times it signals its intention from way off in the distance. Either way, boredom is something that leaves us uninterested and unengaged with the things we’re doing.
Life Is An Adventure
When I was a kid, I’d say, “I’m bored. I haven’t got anything to do.” What I was really saying was this: “I don’t have anything fun to do.” As kids, we still dream. We pick activities that spark our imagination and curiosity. We learn at an early age that the remedy to boredom is adventure and exploring the unknown.
As leaders, however, we spend very little energy on adventure and a great deal of time avoiding the unknown. Sadly, many of us no longer have the passion that comes with dreams, either.
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. The indulgence of following our dreams can be difficult, if not impossible, when there are house payments, children, pets, family, and a career. However, without a certain amount of passion in our lives, we become bored.
Leaders who are bored have lost the meaning of what they are doing in life.
Let me share a few secrets
As an FBI counterintelligence agent who exposed spies and recruited them to work for the U.S. Government, my first step in any investigation was to identify the target. This was more than just finding out name, rank, and serial number. Identifying the target meant digging beneath the surface to uncover the answer to my most important question: what were their dreams and goals? Once I had unlocked this secret, I knew how to move forward with the rest.
Leaders who are not pursuing their dreams and goals have no purpose in life and end up feeling bored and unfulfilled.
When we’re bored, we don’t take as much interest in our life—this makes us unfocused and vulnerable to the suggestions of others. It becomes a downward spiral because, instead of having a mission or life purpose of our own, we became more dependent upon the suggestions of others. As a counterintelligence agent, I studied how to exploit this vulnerability.
Don’t become bored with your own life. Here are three suggestions to give you life direction:
1. Find your passion.
Be curious about yourself! You are the most interesting person you know so dig down and find out all there is to discover. It will be the best adventure of your life.
When the FBI sets out to identify a target, one of our first courses of action is to set up surveillance. Observing movements can tell investigators a lot about the personality of the target. In the same way, you can conduct surveillance on yourself. Write in a journal what you’ve observed. A personal surveillance will help you find the answers to the following questions:
What do you truly love?
What were your favorite hobbies and past-times as a child??
What do you want to accomplish in life?
What are the obstacles stopping you?
What are your dreams?
What brings you pleasure?
What are the achievements, people, and events that move you?
What activities excite you so much that you don’t notice the time pass away?
Ask people who know you best to describe your greatest strengths and weaknesses. How do others perceive you? What do people love about you?
2. Write Your Mission Statement
Your life is worth setting noble goals for. Start with writing a personal mission statement. Keep your mission statement clear and concise. Ask yourself:
What is my calling?
What is my aim?
What inspires me the most?
What activity or service touches my core values and urges me on?
3. Establish Your Goals
What is your dream? If you don’t have a dream, how can it come true? A goal is a dream set to paper. Don’t just think it—ink it!
Here are some recommendations on how to set your goals:
Balance life – setting goals in only one area of life like rowing with one oar—you go round and round in one direction. If you concentrate all of your creativity and energy in one area of your life, you’re destined to be one-dimensional! Consider setting goals in these areas of life:
Be specific – when you walk into a restaurant, you don’t just say, “Bring me food!” Instead, you’re very specific. Use the same strategy with your goals.
Think Big – most people don’t aim too high and miss; instead, they aim too low and hit.
If a person is not following their dreams and passions, life becomes mundane and colorless. It no longer has meaning or purpose. We get bored when we’re not living up to our full potential. Life is too short to accept anything less than a passion-filled, exciting life. Do not be an old person who thinks about all the things they wish they had done, said, or experienced.
There is something inside of you that’s screaming to get out. Deep inside, you know what you want to do. You just need to find a way to let the answers out. The remedy for boredom—follow your dreams; they know the way . . .
What area of your life do you feel boredom? How does what you’re doing now fulfill your dreams? What is your remedy for boredom?
I hope to hear from you soon!
About LaRae Quy: I was an FBI agent, both a counterintelligence and undercover agent, for 25years. I exposed foreign spies and recruited them to work for the U.S.Government. After retiring from the FBI, I pursued graduate studies at SanFrancisco Theological Seminary. Now I empower others to seek out a deepermeaning for their lives and the way to achieve that goal via my blog Your Best Adventure.