Growing up in the middle of nowhere, without cable television, before the internet, there were often times when my brother and sister and I found ourselves looking for more to do. I loved baseball, but I didn’t have anyone to pitch to me. My sister loved her dolls, but tea parties were uneventful with just her. My brother loved his video game but playing himself over and over again could get dull.
No matter how dull it got, however, we knew enough to never use the phrase I’m Bored.
We were farm kids. If we ever said we were bored, there was always manure to fork, hay to stack, cattle to brush, or a barn to clean. If living on five cleared acres with a woods behind us with two to siblings wasn’t enough to keep us entertained. my parents could find something for us to do and ease our boredom. They didn’t even need to think about it. They could think of hours of work to do outside before even considering the mountains of laundry that three kids can generate inside. It didn’t take us long to learn this lesson and scrub our vocabulary of the never to use phrase.
Lately, though, this little, seemingly harmless phrase as snuck back into my lexicon. After spending weeks on the road training and seeing new people every day, settling down and working in my office isn’t just less than glamorous, it’s boring. It’s boring, however, for the same reasons that life on the farm as a kid seemed boring. It isn’t that there isn’t anything to do, it’s just that there isn’t anything that I want to do and there’s a big difference.
When I was a boy, I wanted to play baseball, not fork manure out of steer pens. Today, I want to craft messages, inspire change and teach, not bother myself with the less exciting parts of office work. But the lesson transfers. When I was a boy, the only way I was allowed to play, was if I worked first. The faster I forked pens, the more time I had to hit balls into the pasture. Today, if I want to have any authority as a speaker, I have to work first and the faster I do, the more time I have to craft messages. The challenge before all of us is that the longer we’re in a role, the more efficient we become at completing some of the basic, sometimes dull tasks of the day.
This is where I am and why I find myself using that phrase that I grew up not using. But I’m committed to working myself out of it and that’s why I’m making this offer to my friends; let me help you prepare for your presentations, speeches or interviews. If you have any big projects in the month of April, send me a message and I will help you 100% free of charge with no strings attached. I’m sure there’s plenty to be done, let’s work together and I can keep myself from using that never to use phrase; I’m Bored.