Being boring is one of my greatest fears. I mean, besides being eaten by an animal, clowns, or falling down the stairs. Boring scares me. Boringness to me is a bump-on-a-log type thing - nothingness, uselessness, turd-like.
I’ve always been terrified if I live an extensively boring life for 50, 70, 90 years, then I would have been a wasteland of existence. Or worse, I may have brought down others along the way. It’s not that I need to jump up and down and shoot off firecrackers every day, but I certainly don’t want to be the catalyst for waste-of-time business meetings, palpable yawning, or flagrant nod-offs. Therefore, I pay attention to it.
I pay attention to it because I want my life to be stimulating and because it makes others’ lives more invigorating. At times, my job in communications takes me to areas that may not be interesting to some – it’s my job to turn that around. And frankly, I enjoy turning the boring into the interesting!
Here’s why being interesting matters, personally and in business…
It’s been proven to increase purchases. Well you say, so do items that also feature pretty girls, puppies, and the word “you.” Yes, they do, because they are more interesting with those added features - sometimes even more interesting than the item itself! Let’s review a product that used ‘interesting’ to increase sales – how about beer.
According to USA Today, the Most Interesting Man in the World has increased sales of Dos Equis nearly 35% during the nine-year campaign. These are shockingly high numbers for any beer, and even more so when you consider the poor state of mass-market beer against craft breweries. The art of selling taps into our emotions, our wants and our likes, and pulls us closer. Interesting things are equivalent.
We learn something.
Uninteresting people learn little. Why? Because they are nauseatingly predictable, they watch too much TV and only the most popular TV programs, they eat the same foods over and over, they talk about the weather, they read from sources that always are on point with their beliefs, they repel us with too many examples to prove their point – wait…what?
Interesting people learn much. Why? Because they are adventurists, they ask deeper questions, they tell their stories, and they are always searching for knowledge. Dale Carnegie famously said, “To be interesting, be interested.” A study published in 2010 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that people who engaged in a debate with a partner online rated the partner more favorably if they received a question from that partner, as opposed to participants whose partners asked no questions regarding their viewpoint.
It stimulates our mind.
New York Times best-selling author and developmental molecular biologist, John Medina, discovered that the brain has a very short attention span. It took us how long to figure this out? Thanks, John, for finally making it official. Our brains are attracted to intriguing, interesting, engaging people and things. Storytelling is a powerful way to move the mind. The human brain is stimulated by stories, and according to an infographic by OneSpot’s “The Science of Storytelling”, 92% of customers want brands to produce content that feels more like a story.
Boring is dreadful.
Boredom is generally viewed as an unpleasant emotional state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity. Psychology Today tells us that boredom is a universal experience. Almost everyone suffers from it during their lives. Boredom is predictive of loneliness, anger, sadness, and worry. Boredom is such a motivating force that people do all kinds of things to ease the pain. The chronically bored are at higher risk for drug addiction, alcoholism, and compulsive gambling.
The Lazy Law states: “The lazier you are, the less interesting you will be.” The opposite of ‘lazy’ is ‘energetic.’ Even the word itself is more interesting to say! Therefore – may I have your attention people who wish to be more interesting – let’s get off our duff and ‘be interested.’
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freedom at work