Watch the Trailer to the Boredom Documentary
While many don’t believe it, boredom has been my biggest life challenge. People say, “look at everything you’ve accomplished and how productive you are–how could you possibly be bored?”
Yes, I’ve turned my disadvantage into advantage, by being a role model for positive creation. But alas, that hasn’t alleviated the challenge altogether.
The answers might be simple to some. Walks, sunsets, people-watching, and reading are all popular examples of things to do when bored. But none of them really work for me, partly because of my sight limitations. Even more than that, boredom is not about not having anything to do. Rather, It is about not having the desire to do anything. That’s very different.
So now that I’m bored again, I’ve decided to teach some of the thoughts that have helped me surpass my boredom over the years. It has worked for me, so it may work for you, too.
1. Boredom Is Really Freedom
Out of all the challenges in life, most people could only dream of the luxury of boredom. Think about it. It means there’s nothing that you currently “have to” do. Most people live in a perpetual state of putting out fires, doing things last minute, catching up, falling behind, and getting in trouble.
While there may be overriding life responsibilities, they are not pressing right now (otherwise you’d be doing them). Most people have such ongoing life issues, health obstacles, and relationship struggles, that their mind is totally stressed out about those things and they are always doing things just to take care of those things. They don’t have time to be bored.
Boredom is the freedom to be without all of that.
2. Infinite Choice Can Be Overwhelming
I realized that compared to most people in the world, we have more options and choices about what we can do. However, the mind chatter that comes into play is that we don’t want to do that, we’ve already done too much of that, we shouldn’t do that, or we’ll never be able to do that.
Favorite music, movies, hobbies, or friends definitely help sometimes. An interesting question to consider is, why don’t we allow ourselves to do things which we know can take us away from our boredom? What’s up with that human condition?
It’s not in selecting from the choices we have, but an inner calling to come up with something completely new…
3. It is Psychological Discipline
Just do it! Force yourself to do something. The hardest part is starting. Where we can get stuck is the stubborn chatter that really just wants to keep saying the same stuff over and over and over again.
The current session of boredom we may experience will always be the most difficult, because we are in it. A good life strategy is to consider the solutions to our problems when we are NOT inside of those problems. In other words, we need to anticipate:
When you are not bored, make a list of things you can think or do when you are bored. By making the list in a good place, you will know it is a good list. And when you read the list from a bad place, you won’t dismiss it as easily.
4. Why Rush When You Can Take It Easy?
Ironically, I found myself hurrying to do things only then to get bored. Why? Why not just do things more leisurely? Why not smell the roses?
For example, have you been skimming through this article? I bet some people are just reading the numbered points and will miss this paragraph. It’s OK. There’s value in that and that’s why I design the articles for people who like to just get the major nuggets.
But life is all about balance. And perhaps we will find even more interesting nuggets when we learn to look past the obvious nuggets and dive into things just a little deeper.
5. The Problem Is The Answer
Life is all about experiences. Although some experience we would prefer over others, it is the spectrum of experience that allows us to conjure that discernment in the first place. Sometimes, it is just about experiencing the boredom for that which it is.
What we resist persists. I don’t know why life is so paradoxical that way, but it is. When we learn to accept that, then we create the opportunity for life giving us new stimulus.
Scott Michael said, “People don’t become successful in spite of their challenges. People become successful because of them.”
6. Time Will Tell
Boredom is not permanent. This too shall pass. Of course, that doesn’t help in the moment. But patience is a virtue, and it may be time to cultivate that.
What’s awesome is that surprise things may take us out of boredom. That unexpected phone call or that new television premier that we forgot about could totally get us back into a place of loving life. Expect the unexpected.
In fact, what’s most surprising for me is how far I’ve come in my life without going mentally crazy from boredom! It certainly feels like I will, but I never do. And nor will you.
Let’s love the world together…
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary
P.S. Watch this great movie excerpt from “Dinner With Andrei” talking about boredom.