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Let's get bored!

Dec 22, 2022


Something to Try...

These holidays, try being bored.

(Okay, this is not your typical "something to try" tip, so bear with me here!)

Take time to sit in situations where your mind craves something to do. 

Notice it.

Say to yourself, “I am bored now.”

Then say, “Great - enjoy it.”

Practice this in short bursts every day.

See what happens.

... and 3 Reasons Why

  1. For most of us, boredom is a craving. A response to the lack of interesting mental stimulation. Not that mental stimulation is in itself a ‘bad' thing. It’s just these days, most of that stimulation comes from devices that may as well be hard-wired to our brains. What does it mean to feel that craving but not to take the path of instant satisfaction? To allow the craving to emerge into something less familiar, something more beautiful? Do this by allowing yourself time for noticing, sensing, wondering, creating. Boredom is the invitation to discover what’s been papered over by the noisy world we’ve created. To replace “busyness” with something more meaningful.
  2. The sheer amount of mental stimulation most of us experience each day means our brains simply don’t get enough time to recover. For athletes, recovery is a very deliberate, and essential, thing. Without recovery, there is no performance. Treat your brain like the athlete in your skull. It’s not enough to simply believe in recovery. ‘Do' recovery.
  3. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, “I'm a big believer in boredom. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity, and out of curiosity comes everything.” Boredom is the space for possibility to emerge. New ideas, new quests, new questions.

    It reminds me of another quote, from the Buddhist monk Shunryu Suzuki: “In the beginners mind there are many possibilities. In the exert’s mind there are few.” Could boredom be the space where you choose to stop being an expert, and be a beginner?

If you want to watch a great little video on the value of boredom (and the cost of avoiding it), I recommend "Why Boredom is Good for You”. It talks to the connection between boredom and increased levels of creativity, altruism, self-awareness and the idea of "autobiographical planning".

So next time you find yourself reaching for your phone in a moment of boredom, take the chance to revisit this email or watch that video!

Oh and yes, this post is written with a particular person in mind. 

Me. 😉 

Have a wonderful break, and I'll see you in 2023!



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