It is a well-known fact that your emotional attitude usually has far more to do with producing fatigue than does physical exertion. Many years ago, Joseh E. Barmack, Ph.D., published in the Archives of Psychology a report of some of his experiments, showing how boredom produces fatigue.
Dr. Barmack put a group of students through a series of tests in which he knew they could have little interest. The result? The students felt tired and sleepy, complained of headaches and eyestrain, and felt irritable. In some cases, even their stomachs were upset. Was it all “imagination?” No. Metabolism tests that were taken of these students showed that the blood pressure of the body and the consumption of oxygen actually decrease when people are bored, and that the whole metabolism picks up immediately as soon as they begin to feel interest and pleasure in their work.
When Dr. Edward Thorndike of Columbia was conducting experiments in fatigue, he kept your men awake for almost a week by keeping them constantly interested. After much investigation, Dr. Thorndike is reported to have said: “Boredom is the only real cause of diminution of work.”
By thinking the right thoughts, you can make any job less distasteful. Of course, your boss wants you to be interested in your job so that he or she will make more money. But forget about your boss’s motivation and think only of what getting interested in your job will do for you. Remind yourself that it may double the amount of happiness you get out of life, for you spend about one half of your waking hours at your work, and if you don’t find happiness in your work, you may never find it anywhere.
Keep reminding yourself that getting interested in your job will take your mind off your worries, and in the long run, will probably bring promotion and increased pay. And even if it doesn’t do that, it will reduce fatigue to a minimum and help you enjoy your hours of leisure.
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