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Boredom Is All in Your Mind

Boredom is a choice.

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It always makes my ears itch when someone says “I’m boooooooored!” My response is always the same. “Man, I’d give just about anything for a little bit of that!” I’ve always got stuff to do. I could use about 362 hours in every day. There’s always something buzzing around in my brain…ideas, thoughts, interests, curiosity, possibilities…

It’s especially disturbing to me as a hypnotist and understanding the incredible power of the mind and what’s possible to achieve when we put it to good use. I can’t stand to see people waste it.

My list of Stuff To Do just grows all the time. The more I learn, the less I know. The more minutes and days that fall behind me, the more precious the remaining ones become and I want to fill every single second of every single day with something useful, interesting, creative, fun or meaningful. The only way I might get to experience a little boredom is if I stick it on my list of Stuff To Do.

When my children were young, they’d come to me every now and then, shoulders drooping, face hanging on the floor with that familiar old dirge, “I’m boooooooooored!” I’d list countless options for them. Indoor games. Outdoor activities. Everything from puzzles, to reading, to making puppets, to painting, to Lego, to colouring, to playing tag, to going to the park, to board games, to seeing a friend, to household chores (oh, that one always went down well!!!). Nah, they didn’t want to do this, go there, play that.

But still, they were “booooooooored!”

I tried a new approach. “I’m not your social director.”

Weirdly, that seemed to be the only thing that ever made them go and find something to do. As soon as I quit listing the options, they had to figure it out for themselves.

When I ask people what hobbies or interests they have, I’m always astonished by how many of them say, “I don’t really have any.” Or they might be able to come up with one or two, and often they aren’t pursuing them. Or they say, “I always wanted to take piano lessons (or whatever).”

And I say, “So do it.”

More often than not, they say, “I’m too old” – to which I will invariably reply, “You still have a pulse.”

Suddenly, they’re “too busy.”

I ask what they do with their spare time. They’re too tired to do much after work so they watch TV. Ah, there’s nothing like a good dose of apathy to get you motivated for the really excellent bits of life! Throw in a side order of lethargy with a tall glass of monotony, and you’ll slide quite quickly and comfortably into a coma while you stare at that insipid box.

It’s no wonder they’re bored! What a dreadful existence! Work, coma, sleep. Work, coma, sleep. Yay. Can’t wait for a bit more of that. Keep it up and you might just find out where they got the expression, “bored to death.”

(Photo courtesy of freerangestock.com)

And then there are kids. They have access to more gadgets, opportunities and activities than any generation before, yet they’re booooooooored!

Frankly, I think they’ve had so much entertainment handed to them on a silver platter (or crammed down their poor little throats) they haven’t a clue how to entertain themselves any more. Don’t yell at me for generalising, please, and just take my point. I’m sure there are plenty of kids out there who do know how to use their imaginations and brains but as a society in general, I think this has become something of a problem.

And those kids are growing up (or have grown up) to be adults who are just as booooooooored.

There’s no earthly reason for it if you have a functioning brain. That’s all it takes. Well, that, and a dislike for your boredom. If you’re gonna gripe about it, then do something to change it. Don’t wait for a social director to appear out of nowhere (unless you’re on a cruise ship with a bunch of 132-year-olds. And if you are, I can guarantee that they’ll teach you how not to be bored because you don’t get to be 132 and on a cruise ship by sitting around being booooooooored!).

(Photo courtesy of freerangestock.com)

Think about what interests you. Dig deep. C’mon, you must remember a thing or two that you once said you wanted to do or learn someday. Check out some courses. Go to the library. Visit a nursing home. Find out what clubs, sports or activities are in your area. Go for a walk. Make a date with a friend. Make a date with yourself. Learn to cook or sew or shoot or paint or garden or build things or pick from a list of about nine million other options available to you. Create something. Write a poem. Play with clay. Be a volunteer.

The more you do, the more you may want to do because you will be stimulated and challenged and your happy brain will wake up and be as excited as a four-year-old on Christmas morning! Oooo, look at all the lovely presents! All those gifts of Things To Learn And Do! Once you open your mind to the world around you, you can’t possibly be boooooored. Unless you want to be.

Visit libertyforrest.com for more about this author.

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