Using Boredom in Life to Fuel your Inspiration
Have you experienced that extreme level of frustration that comes from boredom? There is nothing quite like it. It is almost painful. Like you have lost all ability of finding meaning in life. The boredom in life becomes all consuming. All you can think about.
And then, something happens inside you. Enough is enough. You will no longer stand by and watch as your mind descends into madness. You pick up a paint brush, or a pen, a wooden spoon or a guitar and you start to create. Something has ignited the fire in you again.
The Digital Age has Taken our Boredom from Us
We forget this painful motivation in the digital age. We forget that feeling of inspiration. Gone are the days when boredom would drive us outside to climb trees and dream up imaginary kingdoms. But, what if we found our way back? What if we dropped all the surface level inspiration and delved deeper into our own creativity through pure, brilliant boredom?
Wouldn’t it be better if, instead, we changed our mindset from asking ‘how to stop being bored’ to asking ‘what is my boredom trying to tell me?’. What if the boredom in life is torturing us to express all that goodness out of us that we’ve been keeping locked up inside? The imagination that builds empires and turns dreams into reality!
I believe all humans are creative and when we are bored it is usually due to the lack of creative inspiration. Your mind is craving creativity! If you don’t see yourself as a creative, remember that ideas are creative. That means, whether you’re building a business empire or icing cupcakes it comes from a creative place within you.
Be advised, the results of embracing your boredom may bring you joy but the process is frustrating! The whole point of allowing yourself to be bored is to push your creative side to re-surface. It has been smothered by your plugged-in brain, but you can allow it to breathe again. After all, we are designed to be creative, it is at the core of all our achievements as human beings.
Remembering How to Daydream
Effectively when the boredom in life becomes too much your mind searches for ways to feel alive and stimulated again. Before you start desperately wondering how to stop being bored, realize this: when boredom sets in it’s not long before you start to daydream. This is the great gift that boredom has to offer us. We all love a good daydream, but have you considered that ALL the wonderful inventions and works of art in this world come from someone’s amazing imagination? In other words, their daydreams!
Our minds won’t stay still for long, they begin to wander from thought to thought. ‘What should I do now, I’m so bored!’. Inspiration is born out of the pure frustration of an active brain seeking to be rid of the boredom in life. A stream of ideas start to flow through your mind, until one of them jumps out at you. Inspiration! ‘That’s what I’ll do!’ You realize that all is not lost, life goes on. Inspiration rules the day!
If we don’t allow ourselves these moments of boredom, how will the ideas ever come in? It comes down to the simple rule that space can only ever be occupied by one thing at a time. If you are cramming your mind with work, worries and social media you are not allowing space for new, creative ideas. Now that you know that, wouldn’t you rather give space to creative ideas? Hmm?
Very Important Point
Do NOT be fooled into thinking scrolling on social media classifies as ‘being bored’. While I would 100% agree it is boring, it is definitely not the beneficial kind. It is in fact a trap! Your mind is not allowed the freedom to explore its own options for creativity. It is, in fact, doing the opposite of inspiring you. It is draining you.
Challenge yourself to be completely bored. Strangely enough even thinking about the posts and reels you are watching on social media is more productive than watching them! Why? Because, you are not ‘just observing’, you are actively thinking about the concepts and processes behind those posts. In other words, you are more likely to be wondering how they came up with the idea, or what set up they used to do a particular photo shoot etc. Why is this better? Because it means you are letting your creative brain process and come up with it’s own solutions instead of ‘accepting what is’ and moving on.
Let’s look at some opportunities to embrace the boredom. There are plenty in our daily lives. You will be surprised how many times in a day your autopilot kicks in and you revert to ‘the scroll’. Waiting in the car at school pick up. Standing in the que at the grocery store or waiting in the Doctor’s rooms. Be honest, do you get stuck in ‘the scroll’? If you recognize this as a problem, challenge yourself to sit with your thoughts. Your ‘boredom’.
See your Boredom in a Different Light
What if you recognized the potential in the boredom? What if you actually understood that on the other side of the boredom waits your creative expression? Would that make it easier to allow yourself that space? Try taking yourself off to the beach and just sitting, staring at the horizon. See if the boredom in life bothers you or if your mind is freed up to daydream (instead of scroll).
Really, it comes down to taking full advantage of the brilliance of your own mind. Stop living vicariously through others and instead tap into your own abilities. The world needs your ideas. Getting inspiration from others is great, and perfectly normal, but give your own creativity a chance to blossom and don’t assume that everyone else’s ideas are better than yours.
Let the Creative Ideas Flow
Here’s an exercise for you to try. Have a sheet of paper ready and just sit in your mind’s space for a while. Think of things that bring you joy. When the ideas start flowing, write them down and tear them up into individual pieces and place them in a jar. Call it your ‘Boredom Buster’ jar or ‘Inspo Jar’. Just the process of doing this will help you to feel inspired again.
Letting yourself find your creative spark again is what this world needs. We have become lost and need to find our way back. We need to connect with our truth again, look beyond the mundane and the meaningless. When you allow yourself to be completely and utterly bored you allow your inner truth a chance to speak. The boredom in life that would usually bother you now has a purpose.
Consider the Possible Gains
We all hate that feeling of being bored. But, I would love for you to be honest with yourself for a moment here. Try to imagine what benefits you get from an hour on social media (for example). Now try to imagine just 15min of boredom. Doing nothing. Your mind will be racing to find something to do.
Let’s imagine you’ve put away your phone and you’re bored senseless. 5min is discomfort, by 10min you’re going cuckoo. By 20min you’ve just got to do something. You get up, and you take action. Remember, no phone in site! The world is your oyster. What would you do?
Why don’t we take a different approach to the boredom in life and choose to see it as our very own blank canvas. Our opportunity to create anything our imagination can conjure up. Oh, what an exhilarating idea! Here’s the challenge. Stop reading, wherever you are in this boring old world. Look up from this page and out at the horizon. What visions and dreams come to you, just in that moment of freeing your mind? Imagine if you spend just a few more minutes in your own mind, unplugged so to speak.
If for No other Reason, just Allow Yourself some Space
If you’ve read this blog and find yourself thinking, sitting still for a few minutes isn’t going to inspire creativity in me, then let me say this. Allow yourself the space. Just the stillness and emptiness of what we consider boredom in life can be a healing process.
We are quick to think of sitting still as ‘boredom’ but removing yourself from the mundane, repetitive nature of our daily lives could actually be what you need. Disconnect in order to reconnect. Head for the mountains or the beach. Clear your head of the cobwebs and free up some space for inspiration. See your bored moments as an opportunity for your inner voice to be heard above all the ‘noise’ of daily life.
In essence this is a challenge to ‘do nothing in order to do something spectacular’. Have a little faith in your own capabilities. I hope you will see your bored moments with a little more understanding and a little less disdain from now on. Remember, there is an opportunity here to set your creativity free!
‘You have to let yourself get so bored that your mind has nothing better to do than tell itself a story.’ Neil Gaiman
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