Dont get bored

That's a heuristic I like the sound of.

Today was the end of a major chapter in my life: my first job working for a tech start-up.

As I look for my next adventure, I’ve realised I have more opportunities than ever before to craft the lifestyle that I want. But with great opportunities comes greater potential to miss them.

As we parted after Friday drinks, my now former boss gave me some advice I don’t want to forget. “Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get bored.”

Wow, I thought. I’ve never thought of avoiding boredom as a heuristic for decision making. Yet here’s evidence of a man who’s lived his life doing things that interest him, and it’s got him somewhere. I doubt that many people achieve that.

The important thing to note is that he is making a negative claim about what you should not do, instead of a positive claim about what you should do. The above statement is very different from saying, “Whatever you do, do what interests you most”. I can still pursue things like success, money and social influence if I feel like that’s important, but it cannot come at the expense of being getting bored with life.

When you think about it, what would you trade for a life of boredom? How much would you be willing to earn for a dull life? Is it possible to be happy if you are bored?

Imagine living your life not following money, not hedonism, not success, not fame or fortune, but just avoiding getting stuck in a position that loses your interest. What would that life look like?