Don’t we hate that word? “Boredom” I used to, I even had a page bookmarked known as the boredom button, something like that. It’s a red button and some unexpected game pops up, or a magic trick. Just to “cure” my boredom, as for many others. There was a time in my childhood and pre-teens that I was known for not getting “bored”, ever. Just give me a place to sit calmly and I could just stay there for hours at a stretch without getting crazy. Today, I can’t even remember how I used to do that. I remember one time at my grandparents house I brought myself a chair at the balcony and stayed their for around 7 hours. It was only when I started to feel a bit cold and it was getting dark, it occurred to me that I didn’t even have lunch. So what was I doing? Imagining. Whenever I had an idea, like creating a watch tower in the jungle, I used to utter a soliloquy in brief and look forward to the two hours prior to sleep because then, I was going to create it. Where? In my head. You could say it was a habit of mine. But I think as kids we all had great imagination. Why so?
Imagine if Archimedes had a phone with him inside that washroom of his. Of which’s bath tub he had the epiphany for the problem he so prayed to solve. Cal Newport has a great analysis on our perception of time spent doing ‘nothing’. His book “Deep Work” that came out in 2016 is about how the masterpieces of the world and the so called “super performers” of various fields do it. How? The answer is simple; focus. Yeah its boring, and that’s exactly why its needed. See because we constantly scroll down miles and miles on our phones. Weather it be when waiting for our turn at a clinic, waiting in line for burgers or waiting for our date, the virtual companion is always there. This creates no space for our mind to wander of into the depths of our lives and surroundings. I could actually applaud you for reading this blog for this long, these days all we want is a 3 second slip of a cat barking and onto the next one. Our brains were never made for constant information, you can get it, but you won’t retain it. That takes time and repetition. What’s that? Boring.
See our brains these days are programmed for taking out that metal piece whenever we feel awkward, out of place, embarrassed to talk to the person next to us because we accidentally sneezed too loudly and God knows where and how. As you may notice those are the times when social bonds and social skills and polished. We are so afraid of boredom that we give a blind pass to the devoid of laser focus which we desire, that only comes with the acceptance and appreciation of boredom. I am so not making a case here to not use social media. I am sure some of you reading this have a business that runs because of social media, great, but do seriously use it “just-for-work”? Go take a walk and try to think of only one thought, a single string of thought. Its a simple but an effective test to know how deep is your wiring of the brain to the reliance of a constant ointment to boredom.
Last year I heard a talk of Simon Sinek, who is one of my favorite authors. He asked the audience to stop using phone to relieve boredom, look around, maybe start a small talk with the person next to you. You know when we hear great people being interviewed, they usually go like; I was sitting by myself and suddenly…blah blah blah. People lose their minds thinking why those epiphanies don’t come to them. Its simple, you don’t give your brain the time to ponder upon the information, the subconscious. I’ll make more posts on this topic, we will dive deeper into it and I’ll give you the theory and practical steps you may take to be more focused and fulfilled.
“(As Nietzsche said: “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.”)”