I’ve been encouraging myself to feel bored.
It’s a remarkable experience!
One night last week in my one-line-a-day journal, I wrote “Bored. And Cold. Bored. Bored. Cold. Bored. Bored. What is this?!?”
After all, I do not do boredom.
In fact, I’ve always been rather judgmental of everything in the bored family: “bored,” “boring,” “boredom.”
Pshaw, no. I am a curious, interested, interesting sort, right? Right?!? (Or am I…?)
I used to chortle “Only boring people get bored” from my high horse. It was a lovely and self-reinforcing viewpoint, being above boredom.
My minutes and hours and days were full of everything BUT boredom.
I got curious about that – why?
Why the desire to be “not-bored”?
I have been playing with emotional states that I judge as being “less than.”
After all, I’ve been coaching for long enough to know that every single thought in my head is arbitrary and subject to evaluation. Many of those thoughts were programmed in via cultural messaging, perhaps not even “mine” in the first place.
So…let’s take those thoughts in my mind out for a walk on the wild side, eh? 😉
For the past few months, I’ve been studying dopamine, serotonin and other hormones.
I’ve been curious how much our modern life is literally engineered to be interesting.
Anna Lembke talks about this in her 2021 book “Dopamine Nation” (and you can read this article on The Guardian to get a taste of her work).
It’s fascinating how much of our life is largely focused on comfort and stimulation, or the pursuit thereof.
But…why is “interesting” considered better? (Unless you’re an advertiser…! Interesting keeps us plugged in and shopping!)
Is boring “less than” interesting?
Is average “less than” extraordinary?
Is lazy “less than” productive?
According to what source? Seriously, where do we learn our preferences?
I have decided to go on a journey of exploring my “less thans” to see what I learn about myself.
What inherited cultural messaging might surface when I go the other direction?
What limiting stories have I been telling myself over and over so often that they seem real and true?
I got bored last week. Booooooored.
And then – out of the blue – I got an idea that came in fierce, fast, like a lightning bolt.
Bored made space for a raw, bizarre, delicious creative impulse. That idea is so weird and bold and…fun!
Most of the people that I work with are high achievers.
You might place a high value on being “productive” and maximizing your minutes.
Listen, I’m not going to sell you on boredom as being “better than”.
In fact, “boring” is a thought/concept/feeling that is utterly neutral until you assign meaning to it.
Get curious why you believe the way you do.
Or not. Don’t get curious right away. Instead, give boredom a chance.
I now think that feeling bored may be vastly underrated.
So, dear reader, would you be up for the experiment?
Can you face boredom?
Learn to value and appreciate boredom?
You, too, might learn that less is more…
…and boredom can be a gateway to value, meaning, and creativity.
It’s a fun experiment to offer, anyway.
Try it and see what you learn for yourself!
P.S. Please click here to sign up for my free mini-class “3 Ways to Reduce Stress TODAY!”