Remember when you first got your job? Remember how excited you were?

Remember when you first heard about your promotion, how you were bouncing off the walls and posting your news everywhere?

What happened? When did your passion and excitement die away, and perhaps more importantly, why did your passion and excitement die away? And, possibly most important of all, how can you get it back?

It is common for the job, task, project, position, etc. that thrills us at the beginning to start to lose its shiny appeal after not too much time. The concept is called the Hedonic Treadmill. As humans we get used to new shiny objects. We get used to them quickly. We are actually seeking changes and new experiences, and we get tired and bored with what is.

So the job or project that seemed so wonderful not so long ago now is less than enticing. What can you do about that?

There are ways we can “trick” ourselves into getting re-excited by what’s in front of us, and they’re relatively simple. Bottom-line, you’re trying to create change where there may not have been change, in order to satisfy your need for variety and newness. When you’re feeling a bit bored or tired, try these:

  • Get new perspectives – ask a friend or colleague (or two) what they think about your task or project. Ask for their viewpoint or their ideas. Chances are their new way of viewing things will re-ignite you.
  • Bring someone new onto your team – even if it’s just for one meeting, bringing someone new into your discussions and/or planning meetings not only adds a new perspective, but it also changes the dynamics of the team which can spark new ideas and new dynamics.
  • Look (harder) for what matters to you – we are most engaged when what we’re doing matters to us. When it aligns with our values and interests. If you can look hard to find an aspect of your work that’s in line with your principles, you will most likely be more pulled into your work.
  • Take a break – sometimes all we need is a breather from what’s right in front of us in order to see it anew (and to care anew). If you’re finding your project to be “same old, same old,” step as far away from it as you can without dropping anything important – for an hour, a day, a week – so that you can come back refreshed and caring.
  • Pretend you care – it’s this weird thing about us, another bias if you will. If we think we care about something, then we care about something. And sometimes we can trick ourselves into being excited by pretending to be excited. Because we wouldn’t act excited if we weren’t really that way. That would be dumb. Sometimes simply by smiling and thinking, “cool I get to do this,” we can convince ourselves to be passionate about something again.

We do our best work when we’re excited about our work, and we’re the most fulfilled when our day job fills us with passion. This excitement and passion are important things not to lose, but they can easily slip away simply as we get used to what we have or what we’re doing on a daily basis.

By finding ways to bring change – change of perspective, attitude, people, etc. – we can bring our passion and excitement back.

How have you gotten yourself excited when you felt a bit bored?
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