Falling in love with boredom

I had a phone call yesterday with someone I admire. We were speaking about various matters. Then the discussion came down to my career and how I got to be where I am. We were discussing the significance of a college degree to a successful career in software engineering.

I understand many factors lead to success, and it is wrong to say this is the only way or another path leads nowhere. A lot of the time, success can be attributed to just “being in the right place at the right time.”

However, I remembered one thing that is crucial to getting anywhere with coding or any job that requires a laptop, which is:

Sitting in front of a computer, staring at a screen for 4+ hours a day, every day, for the rest of your life.

This might be scary for some, and understandably so. At the same time, it could be fascinating to someone else.

Atomic Habits

I was listening to an audiobook by James Clear called Atomic Habits. In this, he says pretty much the same thing. He narrates:

The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom.

James Clear

He goes on to say, “The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.” Because habits become less interesting and less satisfying as they become routine.

Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated, but what makes the difference here is to continue when it is no longer interesting.

Like James says in his book:

Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.

While it is certainly true for programming, it is also true for pretty much anything we want in life that has meaning, purpose, and value.

Having said that, there are ways and means to make your job interesting. But that would be a different post altogether.