Let me ask you this simple question. When was the last time you were bored–truly bored, and didn’t immediately grabbed your smart phone to escape from that weird feeling of boredom by checking your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? When was the last time you just sat still with that feeling, doing nothing else? When was the last time you actually let that feeling be felt? When?
This is the problem of our new technology era. We are surrounded by distractions. Smart phones, media, games, TV, music, drugs. Letting yourself to be bored is almost impossible.
When we are bored, we start having difficult, yet important, conversations with ourselves. Hey you dumbass Atul! What the hell are you doing with your life? Look at X, Y, Z. How successful they. Look how fracking awesome their life is. Why haven’t you still not done this? and that? You should have done this. You are an irresponsible person. Why didn’t yo….(Headphones plugged-in) And POOF! we escape to our own fictional reality.
No wonder CK Louise hates cellphones, and mainly the reason we use them.
But boredom is essential for creativity.
Consider these remarks by comedy writer Graham Linehan, in an interview for the Guardian:
“I have to use all these programs that cut off the internet, force me to be bored, because being bored is an essential part of writing, and the internet has made it very hard to be bored.”
Have you ever wondered why we get bored so fast during the most important hours of our life? While writing a paper, sitting in a class, reading, working or during any other crucial period. Whenever we set our mind to anything important, we experience mental resistance. And this resistance evokes boredom. We start thinking of hundred different things to do except for this important one– Facebook, Twitter, arranging the bookshelf, emailing an old friend, watching that movie, ordering pizza, flying to Italy…probably not the last one, but you get the point.
Resistance knows the amount of hard work and focus required for the task, and uses boredom to prods us away from the things that matter to us, while offering us all kinds of easy way out. Maybe that’s why Kingsley Amis said “the art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”
We don’t want to be bored because we are afraid of it. Yes, we are afraid of being bored. Why? Because we think that being bored= boring mind= boring person= boring life!
We are made to feel guilty for being bored –” Only a boring mind gets bored” –as if it is some kind of disorder. And, the funny thing here is the panic that boredom evoke in people. They can’t withstand the emptiness kindled by boredom. They expect every moment of their life to be full of continuous entertainment. Anything less than that is meaningless.
And guess what is thought to me a meaningful life? Being busy – 24/7. People think being busy is some kind of badge-of-honor. This is the modern epidemic and the root cause of stress and unhappiness.
Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855), considered the first true existentialist philosopher, in his book Either/Or: A Fragment of Life(penguin classics) explores precisely that — how our constant escapism from our own lives is our greatest source of unhappiness.
“Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.”
We are continuously trying to escape from the present moment. Either we are trapped in our past or worried about our future, but we rarely live in the moment. What we don’t realize is that we cannot change our past and it is quite impossible to plan for a secure future in this rapidly changing world. Yet, we do so, over and over again. Do you know what we can do? We can be grateful and enjoy this present moment. Every single second of it.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ― Bil Keane
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