This is what my mom told me... when I told her I was bored.
"Read a book!" Or, "go back to bed." Or, "play outside." Or, "smart kids don't get bored."
I think this has some truth to it. When smart people (CEOs, scientists, astronauts, etc) recount their childhoods, they never talk about being bored. They talk about dissecting animals, building things, and taking apart electronics. They talk about sitting outside wondering why birds chirp or how a toaster works. My friend Will wrote an interesting post on this phenomenon.
He brought up an interesting point: "Am I doomed if I wasn't building supercomputers by age four?"
Maybe. But I don't think so... I hope not. I think that when geniuses are interviewed, they tell the interesting stories. They don't talk about sitting around being bored. They draw links (some real and some not) between their childhood tendencies and their adult success. I started thinking about my childhood and what I'd share...
I wouldn't talk about the time I bought fake onion rings at the dollar store when I was hugry. I woudln't talk about being sent to the principals office. I woudln't talk about getting bored. I woudln't talk about eating goldfish at my kitchen counter after soccer practice.
I'd probably talk about the handfull of times I took apart electronics - but I'd say I did this all the time. I'd talk about my two small business ventuers (when I was in middle school) - and I'd subtly imply that I had participated in more projects. I'd talk about the elaborate fake zoos I created on the floor - and I'd tie them to the intricate products I've created.
My thought is that everyone, no matter how smart, has at least a few great childhood stories. In other words: No, you shouldn't be worried if you haven't built a supercomputer by now.
And with regards to getting bored.... I'm sure everyone is bored at times. Smart kids get bored. Dumb kids get bored. But nobody who makes it, decides to talks about it.
That said... smart kids probably get bored less.