“Boredom: the desire for desires.”
Visiting clients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I overheard a man I’m working with say, “There’s nothing to do in New York.” Immediately I thought, let’s go ahead and shelf that under things I never thought I’d hear in my life. To me, New York has always seemed to be one of those places that—whether you live there for a period of your life or only come to visit—is filled with things to do. You know, “The City that Never Sleeps.”
My client’s comment intrigued me. Since I feel that New York is a mecca of entertainment, I considered that maybe the issue was with him. Maybe he was bored. As soon as I thought the word “bored,” I flashed back to growing up and hearing my mom say, “Boredom is a sure sign for lack of intelligence.” I knew that couldn’t be it…not when the man who made this statement is someone with a Harvard MBA. In addition to being a Harvard grad, he’s also a prominent, well to do venture capitalist, and this is perhaps the worst thing: from the outside, he’s the kind of man who appears to have it all.
I started to wonder: what is behind my client’s belief that NYC is void of fun? Though I’ve lived in New York for over twelve years, I always feel there is adventure to be found there. My thoughts immediately went to the fact that this man is relatively new in town and perhaps has fewer friends in NYC than in his native Rio de Janeiro, but then I realized there is a deeper issue at hand. Though no one has come out and said it outright yet, he’s not the only one who feels this way.
I know and hear in their stories, that many of my colleagues and clients are bored. It’s interesting to think about, because I work with people who went to the best schools, have travelled the world, and have more money than they know what to do with (this is where I come in to advise them). Despite all that, there is a sense of discontent…an unfulfillment that pervades our conversations. And so I wonder, if they have everything, how could they be bored?
I haven’t (yet) had enough of the conversations that are direct and deep enough to bring to the surface the truer issues at hand here, but I’ll take a stab at solving the puzzle anyway. Maybe my colleagues, as accomplished as they are, do not feel that they are truly making a difference. Perhaps they have not contributed enough to society to generate a sense of satisfaction. Could this be the answer? That they are not giving enough of themselves to the world?
To borrow from Tony Robbins, “The secret to living is giving.” And maybe, just maybe, therein lies the secret to Happy Living. But I’ll let Mr. Gersper answer that 😉
Today’s post is from Nando Costa, a financial advisor, who we met at the great World Domination Summit in Portland.
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