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"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded: questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful:  consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

Dissolving Boredom: Choosing The Next Thing to Do
George Pitagorsky

In recent weeks I have run across several people who reported that they were bored with their jobs or their lives. Children are easily bored when there is nothing to do. Boredom is a challenge to meditators, artists, business people and just about everyone else faced with repetitiveness and a lack of distraction
When we focus in on boredom as an interesting and important subject, boredom is no longer boring. Let's explore that paradox.

" Boredom is an unpleasant emotion experienced when we are not interested in whatever is taking place in or around us. It occurs when we are not sufficiently challenged by or attracted to current conditions. Sometimes it occurs when we don't understand a topic and lose interest in it, other times it arises because we understand it too easily. Boredom is characterized by anxiety. Boredom is unpleasant; there is a natural tendency to find a way to eliminate it. Boredom fuels the continuous search for something (anything) to do." [1]
Infinite Abyss
Philosophers from Nietzsche to Erich Fromm have expounded on boredom. Blaise Pascal has stated that

"we seek rest in a struggle against some obstacles. And when we have overcome these, rest proves unbearable because of the boredom it produces", and goes on that  "only an infinite and immutable object - that is, God himself - can fill this infinite abyss."[2]
Rest proves unbearable. It's boring. It feels like your falling into an infinite abyss. There is no ground, no points of reference - free fall. When this sense of being in free fall feels frightening, we call it boredom. When the sense of free fall into the abyss feels exciting and you let go, it is ultimate sky diving, presence, flow.
Reaction and Response
As with all negative emotions, the knee jerk reaction to boredom is to eliminate it, drive it away or bury it. We don't like the feeling of being bored so we seek an escape - anything from getting lost in fantasizing to finding something new that, at least for the moment, isn't boring.
There is another option. Instead of eliminating boredom by changing your situation observe it as an object of mindfulness. Mindful observation is alert, ardent, interested, clearly knowing, objective and without needing things to be different than they can be. These qualities make things, even boredom, not boring. You explore how it feels, where the sensations are being felt, whether they are pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, what thoughts are coming up around it and how the breath is.
It is quite simple, stay with the boredom, don't do anything except objectively observe boredom's bodily sensations and thoughts boredom will dissolve.
Fierce Practice
While simple, this is not easy. It means staying with the boredom until it dissolves. Since boredom does not feel good, there is the strong natural reaction of pulling back from it, finding the escape from the abyss. One asks, "How long will it take for the boredom to dissolve and be replaced by the next mood or emotion?" Thinking, "If it's only a minute or two I can handle it. But what if its longer?"
The intention to be responsive as opposed to reactive fuels the practice and resolve to stay with the boredom. Practicing mindfulness, you understand there is an intricate web that is unfolding around. You see that things are continuously changing, that the intricacies are interesting in their complexity and beauty. You look at boredom and make friends with it.
You see through the need to make things come, stay or go away. Because you are observing it all, including your negative feelings, you are not identified with it. You can decide rather than react.
This is a fierce practice, it requires the attitude that you will not move, no matter what. You will rest in the present moment. Even if you were to explode into a million pieces, never to be seen again, you will stay with the physical and psychological pain of being bored. At the same time, relaxed and at ease.
Let yourself know that the abyss is bottomless, so that if you can get over the fear of falling, there is no problem. No one has ever actually died of boredom. Just observe boredom dissolving and transforming into interest, satisfaction and happiness.
Choosing the Next Thing to Do
Being comfortable with boredom you can make skillful choices. You don't escape into an activity. You decide to move on to something that is more likely to keep your interest and is worthwhile. It might be a career choice or a new project or new partner.
You take the time to choose well while remembering that whatever you choose will most probably get old and boring from time to time.
Say you decide to be a performer. The performance itself, the creative moments, are never boring. The times between gigs, the day to day activities of cooking, shopping, relating, getting the next job, etc. can be. Say you choose a super interesting and meaningful project, exciting until the waiting and repetitiveness of getting it done begins to bore you.
The bottom line is that you can let yourself be bored but nothing can bore you. The way you engage with your situation and your attitude make the difference between the same thing being boring or interesting and uplifting. Make friends with boredom. Explore it. Disengage from the sensations, feelings and thoughts of boredom so you can objectively observe them and watch them change.
Root Causes
Then, there is the question of the root cause of the feelings that come up when there are no distractions - restlessness, dwelling on the future or past. It is here that real transformation takes place.
Ah, but, that's another article.
[1] Pitagorsky, George, Breaking Through Boredom, Breakthrough Newsletter March 2012, http://www.pitagorskyconsulting.com/breakthrough_v4_i3.html
[2] Pascal, Blaise; Ariew, Roger (2005).  Pensées. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub. Co.  ISBN  978-0-87220-717-2. Retrieved 2009-07-27. [26]

© 2018 George Pitagorsky
An Introduction to VTMM 

"For those in the Project Management profession, check out An Introduction to Virtual Team Maturity Model by Dr. Ralf Friedrich and Andrea Keil  
With global projects getting more complex, virtual teams are established to bring together experts from different fields and cultures. Challenged by different communication pattern and work habits, these teams need a fast and effective assessment of their teamwork to initiate efficient adjustments. 
We introduce an assessment for virtual teamwork based on the Virtual Team Maturity Model (VTMM®). The model focuses on internal team processes necessary to compensate for missing face-to-face interaction. The VTMM® model defines meta-processes, which help create a highly motivated virtual project team, leading to trust, cohesion and consequently an improved team performance.
A Case Study demonstrates the effects of an VTMM® assessment and implementation of corresponding measures for improvement on virtual team performance. It shows how the VTMM not only provides a procedure to identify key elements of virtual team performance, but also delivers cost-efficient applicable solutions to enhance them.

Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness


questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

  Learn More

New Book:
Managing Expectations: A Mindful Approach to Achieving Success   provides a compassionate, practical process for satisfying expectations in any situation. Essential reading for leaders seeking to ensure expectations are rational, mutually understood, and accepted by all those with a stake in the project. 

Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky
Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.


Read More
The Zen Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.

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