I am hearing more and more that boredom is the main reason people are questioning their current career trajectory. Is boredom the quickest path to burnout? As I coach professionals questioning their waning ambition, my goal is to reignite their passion and their purpose for their work.
Are you back in the office, still working remotely, or a hybrid of both? Regardless of your circumstances, read more below about new ways to reengage at work with passion and purpose in this month’s newsletter.
And you will no doubt be inspired by Simone Biles, this month’s UnStoppable woman who continues to challenge herself in extraordinary ways, overcoming obstacles to return to the glaring spotlight of competitive gymnastics.
I’m doing a Yurchenko Double Pike Vault flip over the news that Simone Biles, the seven-time gold medal Olympian, is returning to competition in August.
Back in 2021, most were shocked to learn that Simone withdrew from the Olympics at the top of her game. “Walking away from the Olympic Games was a win in itself. I know a lot of people thought I failed because they expected me to go out with five or six medals, but walking out of it was my biggest win,” Biles said in a conversation with Brené Brown at the Simmons Leadership Conference. She was quoted in People magazine as saying:
Simone’s openness about her struggles with physical and mental illness has given countless others comfort in her candor. Just imagine the pressure she must have felt making this momentous decision. She could have pushed through and competed, but instead, she listened to her inner voice that was warning her to stop. By saying, “No, I can’t do this, it’s not right,” she bravely rejected the long tradition of stoicism in sports — no pain, no gain. She set a new standard for self-care. In removing herself from the competition, except for her time on the balance beam, for which she won a bronze, she exemplified selflessness so her team could go after the overall medal.
It’s a lesson for us all, but especially for women whose own self-care often goes by the wayside in service of others — children, partner, parents, and friends. To those who thought Simone chose to stop, look again. Here she is, back on the beam, truly UNSTOPPABLE.
As a child, I learned never to say “I’m bored.” Once the words flew out of my mouth my parents would snap into action, inevitably giving me a list of unpleasant chores like cleaning out garbage cans that always made me regret what I had said.
According to the recent Gallup Poll, overall satisfaction amongst U.S. employees, 80% of American workers are suffering from an increasing lack of satisfaction, resulting in ‘Quiet Quitting’ and ‘Boreout’. Both are defined as chronic boredom – the experience that one’s work is pointless and unfulfilling. The result is employee lethargy, lower creativity and productivity, an increase in health problems, high staff turnover, and early retirement. A recent McKinsey survey reports that 74% of HR leaders in the U.S. are committed to making mental health a top priority.
Unlike our ancestors, many of us no longer have to worry about survival. For example, tasks like cooking and sourcing ingredients that once took hours can now be done in a fraction of the time, thanks to state-of-the-art appliances and online shopping. With an array of infinite options, our minds now have to work harder to occupy that extra time we have available to feel sated and accomplished.
I don’t know of any job or occupation that doesn’t have repetitive bits which contribute to our work boredom. As my dear friend Rob, a 40-year-old veteran of the film industry asks, “How do we keep the fountain of newness flowing?”
If you find yourself experiencing BOREOUT…