Why Wildly Successful People Choose To Embrace Boredom

In 1949, 19 year-old Warren Buffet picked up a book that he claimed changed his life. The book was Security Analysis, written by Benjamin Graham, and it helped shape Warren Buffet’s investing philosophy.

The book was so important, in fact, that Buffet decided that he would not make another investment until he understood every detail of the book. So he decided to read it again…and again. He read that book 12 times before he allowed himself to get back into the investing game (he had been buying stocks since the age of 11). [1]

Despite what you may be thinking, Buffet did not particularly enjoy the book. In fact, the process of reading it over and over again was probably as boring to him as it would be to any of us. However, Buffet chose to embrace this boredom because knew just how important that book was.

In fact, according to Yahoo Finance, if Buffet’s formula for success could be described in one word, it would simply be called “boring”. Wonderfully, profitably, enjoyably boring. [2]


Many of us believe that if we are to pursue something then we must have a deep passion for it. We feel that we must be able to become “hyped up” and “motivated” to get it done from our inner desires and passions.  

This philosophy leads us to be extremely motivated at the beginning of the journey, when everything is new and exciting, but eventually this excitement wears off. We hit a point in the middle of the journey where our initial drive seems to have left us.

Our alarm clock goes off early and all we want to do is get more sleep.

We get home tired from work and the last thing we want to do is go to the gym.

Tedious work begins to pile up and we start procrastinating.

At this point, 92% of us will give up on our goal. When we do not find our passion and motivation, we will start coming up with reasons why we can skip working toward our goal today and make up for it tomorrow.

Then tomorrow turns into the next day. Then, before we know it, we have completely strayed from the path that we had once set for ourselves.  

These moments are painful and quite simply boring. To get through them, we must learn how to follow the lead of top performers like Warren Buffet and begin to embrace boredom.


When I was an undergraduate, I began by majoring in psychology. I had a fascination with the brain, and I loved all of the psychology classes that I had taken in high school. However, when I got to college, I had to take several psychology classes that were extremely boring.

Research methods, quantitative statistics, and many other dry scientific classes.

These classes bored me to death. And I mistakenly believed that I was not as passionate about psychology as I had once thought. So I switched my major and bounced around many different fields including software programming, sales, and marketing. 

But all of these other fields had their own boring classes! Any path that we choose to go down is going to have certain points that are extremely boring, yet extremely necessary in order to achieve success.  

Those psychology classes that I was taking in college were extremely important for laying the foundation of understanding how to begin thinking like a scientist. Just like Security Analysis was extremely important for Buffet to begin thinking like a smart investor.  

On the journey toward your goal, it is inevitable that you are going to face boring moments. There are going to be times when you simply do not want to do the monotonous work that is required. But if you can push through these moments of boredom, you will be able to accomplish those things that you are truly passionate about – and see the incredible results. 


So how do we get better at embracing the boring moments ahead?

Here are scientifically proven ways to embrace boredom and achieve more.


As mentioned earlier, the first step to embracing boredom is to understand that it does not signify a lack of passion. You are simply not going to be excited by every step in your journey – and that is OK.

The important thing to remember in these boring moments is the purpose behind why you are doing them. Warren Buffet may not have been passionate about the finer details of security analysis, but he was passionate about becoming a great investor. He was passionate about helping businesses grow and he was passionate about making his shareholders money.  

When you face those boring points in the journey, remember your purpose. Remember that greater reason why you chose this path in the first place. That is where your true passion will be found.


We have a natural tendency to put off doing our boring things until later. They are what Mark Twain called our “frogs". Those ugly, disgusting things on our to-do lists that we want to procrastinate more than anything.

Unfortunately, the later we put these off, the less willpower we will have to complete them. Our willpower is the highest in the morning – provided we had a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. So the sooner in the day that we take on the boring tasks that we need to get done, the easier they will be to complete.  [3]

So understand the importance of getting the boring things done, and get them off of your to-do list as early as possible.


The best way to get a boring thing off of your to-do list is to avoid being overwhelmed by the prospect of doing it. Many people believe that the task will be much more painful and boring than it actually is, so they put it off until later. 

To avoid this perspective use the Pomodoro Technique. This technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and following it with a 5-minute break. Then repeat until the boring task is complete. This is enough time for you to make significant progress without being completely overwhelmed and tempted to procrastinate. [4]


There is, perhaps, no more boring journey than in becoming a world-class endurance athlete. Imagine just how boring it would be to get up every single day and run for hours on end. Nothing really changes; just the same one foot in front of the other, over and over again. 

Yet, elite endurance athletes do not see it this way. They fall in love with the process of getting better. Every day is a new challenge to see if they can go farther, become faster and get one step closer to becoming a champion. Sure, some days are harder and more boring than others. But by falling in love with the process, they are not nearly as bad as they could be.

In your own journey, find ways that you can fall in love with the process. Begin to track your progress, begin to find the little things that you like, and begin to love the process of getting better. This perspective will help you push through those long, hard, and boring days.


One of the great myths in our society is that you must have passion for something at all times. If you do not, then it means that you need to switch to something else. This is completely false. In the journey to accomplishing any goal there are going to be moments that are quite simply boring.

We must learn to embrace this boredom. It is an important and necessary step in proving how badly we really want something. If we can remember our purpose, get the boring things done first, avoid being overwhelmed and fall in love with the process, then we will be able to push through these boring moments. If you can embrace these boring points, you will be able to truly enjoy the fun, exciting, and successful points.


  1. Buffet, W. (2011, April 3). Warren Buffett - The Book that Changed My Life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbPxMJY3PE
  2. Warren Buffett's secrets, our 10 favorite quotes & one you won't find. (2013, December 25). http://finance.yahoo.com/news/warren-buffett-secrets-10-favorite-194528953.html
  3. Baumeister, R., & Tierney, J. (2011). Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength. New York: Penguin Press.
  4. Allen, D. (2001). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. New York: Viking.