I’m never bored, and I’m proud of that. Well I was, until today. Being bored is important.
What the hell does that mean?
The field of boredom, is where ideas grow. This means that you won’t have great idea’s when you’re doom scrolling on social media or knee deep in your 24th cat video.
If you don’t have idea’s then you won’t have new experience. Boredom is the field where we get creative. Most importantly, it allows our minds to wander. Boredom is important. Yes, you read that right, boredom is important.
To cure boredom we have Netflix, Spotify, Instagram, amongst hundreds of other apps. At no point can we ever be bored, and this is a problem. I believed not being bored was great. I believed being bored was the problem. Solving this problem meant I was clever. I must be really resourceful. I had a strange pride in this. Completely built on a false heuristic. The problem, is thinking curing boredom is the solution.
Boredom in a digital age
The problem, more specifically, is to do with how we keep entertained in the digital age. There’s endless amounts of tech fighting for our attention, meaning you can’t be bored. Notifications continually popping up and pings making us look at something, preventing our minds from wandering. We need to embrace our boredom and explore more creative ways of entertaining ourselves. Going back to a high school passion of drawing or covering a new guitar tune every day for 30 days. Being activities.
I love the idea of doing vs being written here by Zindel Segal. I view watching tv or using social media as “doing” activities. You are doing a thing. Versus creating or exploring as being activities. You are being creative. Being in the zone. As Segal states in his article, the doing mode is about getting things done. Therefore to do in this case, is to stave off boredom. Doing is an important mode in many elements of life such as caring for your kids or keeping the house clean but it must work in tandem with being. Being present with your kids, being aware of when there’s too much unnecessary clutter in your house.
If you want to farm great ideas, because you want to live a better life, then you need to cultivate a field of boredom. An idea for this, is setting aside time where you are free from distraction. Literally looking at a blank wall for 15 minutes out of your busy day. Yup, instead of gaming or tweeting those important thoughts. Simply stare at a wall. This sounds boring I know.
This is different from meditation. There is no pressure to focus on the breath or be the super calm yogi you think you should be. Simply let your mind wander.
What’s going on in that marvellous creation between your ears? What if that’s when you think of a plot for your own Netflix series or a company that could rival Amazon? It probably won’t happen when you’re distracted.