Take a few seconds to imagine something. You’re out at some networking event three drinks in, forcing dry conversation with people you know nothing about, and frankly don’t care to. “Hey how’s it going? What do you do?” Every time you hear “I’m good, what about you?” a little piece of you dies inside, compounding to the point you want to mosey on over to the corner and cry. “Why do I get bored easily at events like this?”, you plead with yourself. Aside from having a choice to actually be there, the following is a fact of meeting random people at random places: most people are boring.
Yes, that includes you.
Ah yes, boring people. It makes introverts want to tuck their knees into their chest and weep in the corner, and even gets the best of seasoned extroverts who somehow find socializing in public settings invigorating: people can be dry and fucking boring.
Why You, And Most Other People, Are Boring
“Not again…” you silently plead as the conversation stutters from awkward small talk like a stalled engine.
No one really enjoys the small banter that begins most conversations, but it’s a necessary evil engaging with another person. It’s the human version of dogs sniffing each others butts. It’s that terrible, initial “get to you know you” stage. And small talk is the window to opening things up. Extroverts use it to open up about someone’s life, which is what drives them. Introverts use it because, well, they have to.
No one really enjoys awkward silence as two people struggle to chat, either. On a normal day, this would only happen at the very start of a conversation. And in an ideal world, all it takes is asking one question to engage the other person and have them start talking nonstop about something they love or believe in. Part of being a good conversationalist is finding these triggers in others and opening the flood gates, but even if you don’t consider yourself a good conversationalist, talking with someone new doesn’t have to be misery.
The reason why it usually is, unfortunately, is simple: we don’t have much to talk about.
Ask a few people (even your own friends) what they enjoy doing when they’re not at work, and chances are you’ll get a long, awkward pause on a consistent basis.
Wait a minute! Can it be that everyone has so many hobbies and passions to fill their free time, they don’t know what to say first?
Nope. Unfortunately, no one knows what to do with their free time anymore. This dangerous line between life’s daily routine (work) and life’s unrestricted time (free time) leads to an entire generation of untapped potential: those who waste their well-deserved talent on absolute crap, without even realizing it.
Want to know why you ask yourself the simple question “why do I get bored easily?” so many times? You don’t have any hobbies or passions.
You Need To Explore Hobbies And Passions
Pursuing your dreams in today’s society is considered the ultimate redemption. Yet chances are, a vast majority of your friends are doing things they define as second rate, and it’s usually their career that suffers. It’s their “it pays the bills” job. Why? Why, in a time of ultimate choice, are Generation Z and Millennials finding themselves stuck in a rut, leading you to get bored easily? The kind where you just go home, sleep it off, and start the cycle again tomorrow?
It starts in the precious few hours of free time between getting home and going to bed. The 5 to 9 to counter the 9 to 5. But there’s one big problem. Having ultimate choice leads to one big fat realization that humans are, in fact, lazy and don’t want to work hard. For better or worse, this is human nature. You want the easy way out to conserve energy. If you go back thousands of years, it makes sense when we lived in caves and fended for ourselves. Why expend useless energy when you need it to run for your life from a saber toothed tiger or run during a hunt? Those days are over, though.
After you graduated from high school, you probably got a warning to structure your time in college. No more relying on your parents for the daily schedule. It was weird and hard, if you even remember. Then after you graduated college, most of you were given a similar warning: you’ll have so much free time now, that unless you structure your time wisely it’ll pass in the blink of an eye.
So after a few years blaze by, what happens? You realize their warnings were right. A lot of time got wasted, and flew by, because you didn’t really structure or plan anything; you just went through the daily motions of life. Shit, so you think you’ve learned your lesson. But the problem is you don’t; you don’t really change this trend because of human nature so you’re stuck. It’s easier to take the path of least resistance in an effort to conserve energy. Especially true when you find out just how mentally taxing a full-time job is.
In a spot of ultimate freedom, the chance to do whatever you want gets wasted since most people choose to do absolutely nothing. There is no structure, there is no work to figure out what tickles your fancy, and there is no step forward. Exploring interests, passions, a side hustle, or even a new career takes a backseat as you zone out over the TV.
And when ultimately asked by someone what you enjoy doing outside of work, you really have no answer besides hanging out with friends, watching TV, scrolling through social media, or going to the gym.
“Why do I get bored easily?”
No wonder you find everyone else so boring when you talk to them. You’re one of them.
How Do You Find Stuff To Pursue, Then?
When you were in elementary or middle school, you’d cringe when some “old person” (probably your age now) showed you the latest coins or stamps in their collection. You’d think how in the flying fuck is this interesting? Then you grew up and realized that even though it still sounds boring, these people dedicated their time towards something that brought them immense pleasure. Something that meant escaping from the daily bullshit being thrown their way. A chance to forget about time, forget about the corporate meetings they had to run at work tomorrow, forget about the personal problems that plague them from time to time.
So how do you find this same joy?
Sorry to say there is no master plan, or any plan, on how to find your passions. No one else can pinpoint what invigorates you, and only you. You can only find a bit of guidance, but even that is sketchy. Don’t believe anyone who says they can nail down your passions for you.
The reality is, you find them one of two ways:
- Spotting patterns, and
Spotting The Patterns
Over time, things catch your attention. In many instances, it takes effort to start putting the pieces together. Here’s a good example: let’s say you’re watching TV, and a commercial comes on for Michelin tires.
But they’re touting its incredible ability to grip the road under any conditions. So what do they do? They liken it to a Formula 1 race car hugging turns on a track. Every few seconds, they switch between showing a passenger car with these tires on and a Formula 1 race car on a track. For a moment, you think how cool it would be to have been a professional race car driver. But then the thought immediately drops from your head as the commercial continues, because you realize that unless you started racing as a young child the dream is effectively dead. Then a few weeks later, another commercial comes on for a new sports car, and this time they show a professional driver with a helmet taking the car on a closed track to highlight its capabilities. Again you think how cool it would be to take a car on a track like that.
If you put some effort into spotting patterns, you’ll probably realize that maybe, just maybe, you have an interest in racing cars and you should look into it. No, you don’t have to be a professional driver. It turns out this is totally a hobby and passion that many people engage in on local tracks. They buy a used sports car, tune it, and go to local track meets to race.
But if you never put the pieces together, it blows right by you and you’re none the wiser. And you’re still the same person asking the same question: “why do I get bored easily?”
Taking Action And Doing
If you put in enough work to spot the patterns, the harder part comes into play: trying, exploring, and doing. Reading another self-help article online won’t bring you any closer to your answers. But it’s a nice start, so thanks for reading.
Let’s assume you put the pieces together and found out racing cars could be something to pursue. What’s the next step? You could easily just daydream about it and move on with your life. Or, you could search online to find the next local track meet and go, sans racing car. Maybe even persuade some enthusiast to give you a ride around the track. One thing leads to another, and you’ve got yourself a hobby and a passion that you can endlessly talk about the next time someone asks what you do for fun, outside of work.
The same applies for any pattern you spot: if you catch yourself noticing it or thinking about it on multiple occasions, it’s time to put in a little elbow grease and start exploring. Exploring can be as simple as opening a new tab on your browser, navigating to Google.com, and searching for answers. Exploring can also be as complex as the previous example: showing up to an event and trying it first hand. Maybe a Google search quells your interest in a potential hobby and you move on. Maybe it takes showing up somewhere and trying it to quell the interest. It happens.
But you won’t know a hobby or a passion until you do it. And that’s the important part.
And the most important part? You’re no longer a boring person, and you’ll no longer ask yourself “why do I get bored easily”. Who knows, maybe it’s a chance to make it a side-hustle, and even a full-time job if you’re a) good at it b) love it c) can make money off of it. Either way, you’ll actually have stuff to talk about to friends and strangers. Stuff that lights you up inside.
In fact, you may take pity on others who don’t have an answer to their free time.