We avoid being bored most of the time. Since phones have become our reliable companions (pending your battery doesn’t drain as fast as my mine), we have trained ourselves to never spend a minute unoccupied. As soon as the moment of boredom creeps up we fill it with an app on our device. Anything to kill the time. Looking at the short time we spend on this earth, we spend so much of it waiting for stuff to be over with. For the weekend to come, for the time in the waiting room to be over, for the weeks to pass till we go on vacation. We rarely just be. Yet being is so important. You are called a human being and not a human doing for a reason. Existing, being is the one task we receive when we come into this world and yet, we spend so much of our lives not fulfilling this duty we are given. We fill it with TikTok videos or Reddit anything to escape that feeling of existing, the awareness of our being.
Many of us are afraid of the space being bored creates. We are scared what we will find in the void. Yet it is in that void that you will find yourself. In these moments of silence, you will find the essence of being, even if you don’t notice it. Let me show you. In times when you are bored:
- You may feel unhappy, sad or restless
Ask yourself why. There is a reason these feelings are popping up so ask yourself what you want to change about your life. If you keep repeating how much you have to do, ask yourself how you can do less. If you are unhappy ask yourself about what and if there are any ways you can change your mindset and see the situation differently. These feelings will always be there if you do not address them. For now they are in the background and only pop up when you create time for them. Soon enough they will take over. Like food that is under your fridge, you won’t notice it for a while but one day it will start smelling and you will notice a much more disgusting situation under your fridge than if you would have just picked it up when it rolled under. Don’t let your feelings become a rotten, moldy tomato.
- You will discover your passion
What are you most likely think of when you have nothing to do? Of what you want to do. Of the things that will bring you joy. Of the things you feel like doing. Let these things pop up and take note of them. Remember not to be judgemental. If it is watching TV, doing the dishes or taking a nap then do it! Whatever calls to you is what you feel you need. In the words of Fran Lebowitz – there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If it brings you pleasure, why feel guilty about it? Just do what makes you feel good, what else could be the essence of our being?
- You will be more creative
Famous writers, philosophers and mathematicians all had their greatest ideas when they were bored. Heck, I was bored and decided to write about it, that’s how this post came about. In order to have new ideas, you need time. Now we have so many things to fill our time but think of the things you could have written or done if you had given yourself more time. Perhaps you would be like Kafka writing all night instead of scrolling through instagram, or like Socrates going on long walks talking about life instead of projects at work or writing music like Mozart instead of drinking out with friends over loud music. You can’t be bored once to create. There is a lot of constant boredom needed for you to evolve and develop in your boredom so embrace it as much as you can.
Boredom may seem like something you should avoid but ask yourself why? Where does this need come from to avoid it? Instead, sit with it for a second. Everyone has a space where they do their best thinking, create that space just to be, to feel or to ponder. Be with yourself and existing a little. See what comes out of just being.