Today I began with my writing exercise, it was boring, and I had an epiphany: Success doesn’t wait behind the big, courageous feats. Success can be really boring, too (if in an unexpected way).
It isn’t just writing for me, but it’s my present endeavour to talk to entirely random people, too. Both create a similar experience: At first, there were huge emotions, blocks, self-judgement, fears. Battling those isn’t easy or fun, but it’s entertaining for sure. It was such a huge step I had to conquer. Starting those things at all. Finding the path that works for me. Solving the puzzles. It brought me to my limits and beyond, it took me years.
First, you climb the mountain, and then there are the plains.
No one prepares you for what comes after the huge feat, the climb. I read a lot about how it would be a fight to write every single day. No one warned me that things might become easy – too easy. There is boredom just around the corner. And what do I do at this point? I tend to give up. I feel like I got all the juice out of it. I begin to find it too tiresome, not effective enough. I think there must be better, more efficient ways to play the game than to perform tasks with little to no amazing outcome. Pointless, unfulfilling. I move on.
So, the real quest follows after the tumultous beginning: I need to keep doing the thing even though it’s underwhelming in almost every way: It doesn’t produce cool results. It’s boring. It seems not to make any sense. It feels like a lot of lost love. For me it’s the opposite of the sunk cost bias (which makes me stick to things that really don’t make sense, but I already invested so much). In this case, I must cherish what I already invested and be ready to invest more, even though it doesn’t seem to make any sense in the first place.
I need to fill the page with nonsense, even if it’s too easy. I need to go out and talk to random people, even if it’s too easy. No matter how little comes out of either of them.
Boredom is actually magical.
I’m realising these days that not all the challenges in life are around courage, fire, great deeds. A lot of the magic happens because you stick to the plain, boring stuff. There is a crucial distinction though: While visibly, obviously there might be no difference to the stuff you have to do because someone told you so. But THIS stuff is something you chose. You create the difference in your mind and by conscious choice.
And over time, with patience, you will create a difference, because you become so good at it, that “others can’t ignore you”. This is far away, and yet there is somethin in this right now: It’s the epitome of unattachment. Does it matter I am bored? Does it matter what result I produce?
You never ever know which gems might show up. You never know about the THING that might follow right on the back of your last boring nonsense text, your last short and seemingly superficial conversation. The more opportunity you create, the more boredom you can be with, the more doggedly you stick to what matters most – the more reliable the next cool thing will show up. Promise.