How bored can you be?

“I’m bored,” my son often says.

He uses it as a justification for distraction. Boredom is bad, he thinks, so something external should be sought so the boredom can end.

But the mind is a muscle. And boredom can make it stronger.

  • In rock climbing, aerobic restoration and capillarization (ARC) training is the foundation of high-end performance. But it’s tedious.
  • In endurance sports, regeneration training (at 70% or less of maximum) is crucial to train fast. But it’s super easy and, for most, super slow.
  • In investing, thorough research and time arbitrage are the keys to long-term wealth creation. The best investments are often like watching paint dry, except paint dries faster.
  • In forestry, a tree that is a “fast-grower” takes 10-15 years to mature.

We can’t escape that things of real value take a long time to develop. Real success is a long process and demands patience. Long periods of boredom are mandatory. The more boredom that we can tolerate, the more likely we’ll succeed.

So when my son is looking for an escape and says, “I’m bored,” I respond with, “Good, it’ll make you stronger.”