Embrace Boredom[For Creativity and Mastery]

Joe Bartley , age 89 got a job in a bar after he put in advertisement in paper which said “Save me from dying of boredom!” and that he needed a job.

As Dr. Sandi Mann, the author of The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom is Good, explains: “The more entertained we are, the more entertainment we need to feel satisfied. The more we fill our world with fast-moving, high-intensity, ever-changing stimulation, the more we get used to that and the less tolerant we become of lower levels.”

Wired wrote – “Philosophers have intuited this for centuries; Kierkegaard described boredom as a prequel to creation: “The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.”

Dorothy Parker said “the cure for boredom is curiosity”

By stopping ourselves from ever being bored, we risk feeding our curiosity with constant tidbits of intellectual junk food and blunt its appetite for the sustained curiosity which is the lifeblood of great literature, science and innovation.

The British Psychological Society in England showed in a research on the matter that workers given a very boring routine job to do were much more creative immediately afterwards than workers who were not bored.

Talking to neuroscientists, Zomorodi learned that there’s a scientific reason why her brain was most creative when she was bored. When we’re bored and doing humdrum administrative tasks, our body goes into autopilot mode and that’s where our brain’s synapses start firing in new ways.

Boredom challenges you to do higher things since your creative juices are satisfied with your current activities (it can push you to do new things or set higher goals)

We need to stop thinking about how to get less bored and encourage how to get more boredom.

Hans whilhelm wrote a book when is was really bored (totally Bored Borris) and another time about ( Never lonely again book) – both children’s book. Another time with “friends are forever book”. He embraces boredom coupled with his own experiences and comes up with creative work and books.

He wrote more than 200 books (Also random house suggested him to start a book club). He says  We have given up our only luxury in our lives and that is time. Boredom: he says it worked for him and if you want to try it, do the following a) Feel the emotion in the body b) Love the emotion c) Be ready to be inspired (or be ready to be kissed by the muses )

Think of boredom as an empty playground. If you leave it becomes barren land and your mind will starve(depression and anxiety). If you tame it, it becomes a garden or a forest and you can flourish

According to  Cindy Foley  Leaving children to embrace boredom helped them to be more creative. The following is the pattern she found in her children when bored a) Wonder and curiosity b) Collaboration and negotiating Ideas c) Experimentation

As Naval said you need free time in your business to think – 

“If you don’t have a day or two days a week in your calendar where you’re not always in meetings, and you’re not always busy, then you’re not going to be able to think. You’re not going to be able to have good ideas for your business. You’re not going to be able to make good judgments. I also encourage taking at least one day a week preferably two, because if you budget two, you’ll end up with one. A day our two on your calendar where you just have time to think. It’s only after you’re bored that you have great ideas. It’s never going to be when you’re stressed, or busy, running around or rushed. Make the time.”

Robert Greene said you need to handle boredom to master yourself and craft – 

 “We too could have some or all of that power by a patient immersion in any field of study. Many people cannot handle the boredom this might entail; they fear starting out on such an arduous process. They prefer their distractions, dreams, and illusions, never aware of the higher pleasures that are there for those who choose to master themselves and a craft.” 

To go a little philosophical, as Eckhart Tolle asks you –
“ Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not “yours,” not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go.
Nothing that comes and goes is you.
“I am bored.” Who knows this?
“I am angry, sad, afraid.” Who knows this?
You are the knowing, not the condition that is known. “

Next time you get bored – Embrace it.


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