If you’re a teenager, college student, or still don’t see the world through the eyes of an adult, then you may not appreciate what I’m about to say. I definitely wouldn’t have when I was younger.
I recently started warming up to the idea of letting myself get bored. And when I say bored, I don’t mean aimlessly scrolling through Instagram or looking at click bait-y articles on Facebook. I mean no screens, no music, no nothing bored. Just sitting alone, by myself, with my thoughts.
And it’s kind of an amazing experience.
Because when you stop and think about it, sitting alone, being “bored” with your thoughts is what lets new ideas and inspiration flow in. Boredom is how creativity thrives. Without boredom, we’re just always consuming, but when you slow down to just sit and do nothing, you’d be amazed what your mind can come up with.
But I can’t take the credit for this revelation of mine. I think for as long as I’ve had a laptop in my life (so, almost 10 years now), I’ve avoided boredom like the plague. I mean, why else would I watch “get ready with me” and other anti-climactic vlogs on YouTube?
No, I discovered the beauty of this whole “sit and be” practice thanks to my business coach, and I’m so grateful. But I have to admit, at first, I thought it was nonsense.
“Just sit and be for at least an hour every day.”
I thought I’d never heard anything more insane. And some days, I still fight it. “There’s too much to do.” “That’s not productive.” “I don’t have time; I’m working on a deadline.”
But you know what? The best ideas I’ve had lately, the biggest revelations, the new opportunities I’ve uncovered—they’ve all been uncovered after I gave myself some time to “just be” and embrace the “boredom.”
I don’t even know if “boredom” is the right word for it.
I think that, when you’re a kid, you decide that you’re bored the moment you’re not occupied with something. At least, that’s how I remember feeling as a kid (and I was not a high-energy child, by the way).
But with all the devices, the screens, social media, texting, email, wifi, and the non-stop distractions we’ve all grown accustomed to in today’s world, it’s starting to feel like true “boredom” or true “alone time” isn’t even really a thing anymore. And, though I wouldn’t have said this when I was younger, that is actually a real shame.
Because when we don’t stop and think for ourselves, we become more easily influenced by the garbage we’re constantly taking in. Even worse, we don’t live to our full potential.
Great music isn’t written with the TV on. Great books aren’t written while scrolling through Facebook. And life-changing new products don’t get invented while listening to some dopey podcast.
I’m not saying to abandon all media entirely, but I think we all need a healthier balance of media and “boredom” in our free time.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions; I prefer setting goals and creating positive habits, regardless of what time of year it is. So instead of waiting for 2019, I’m going to make a change today, and build in 1 hour every day where I can just sit and be alone with my thoughts. I can’t wait to see what happens!
Will you try it too?