‘ A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men, of men unduly divorced from the slow processes of nature, of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers as though they were cut flowers in a vase’
-Betrand Russell, British philosopher.
As defined in the pages of Wikipedia, ‘boredom is an emotional or psychological state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, is not interested in his or her surroundings, or feels that a day or period is dull or tedious.’ It is highly likely that you may be going through this post because of this psychological state of not having anything in particular to do.
One of the most underrated emotion in our society is that of boredom. How many times have you come across a conversation which goes along the lines of: ‘I am so bored’. To think of it, it is surprising that even in today’s day and age, people can possibly find a way to get bored. With all the progress made in technology and with all the gadgets that we have to keep us occupied, it turns out that our attention spans and our abilities to focus are declining at an unprecedented rate. At least that’s what the people with the fancy degrees have to say about the whole situation- how people are getting more handicapped in terms effectively using their time and how in general our society is suffering from these repercussions. That’s what you may have heard or read about in most sources, but have you ever considered this?
However cliche as this may sound, one afternoon when I had ‘nothing to do’ and was ‘bored’, I decided to do something worthwhile. So, I decided to put away all my distractions and tried to narrow down my thoughts as to what could be done. For this herculean task, I had to venture deep into my so-called hobbies and interests. After meticulously listing down all the possible avenues I could venture within, I realised how my boredom was actually acting as a stimulus to a more productive reaction.
Think about it- if I did not saturate all the so-called ‘distractions’ of my life, I wouldn’t have been led to the feeling of boredom. If I had not been bored, I would not have thought to do something productive and worthwhile. Boredom in my case thus acted as a stimulus to a reaction, which was that of more significance than the circumstances of the stimulus itself.
Like I’ve mentioned in the post, this duration of time in which you somehow manage to clear all the clutter from your minds can be the gamechanger. Ever notice how athletes walk into the stadium with large headphones on them or for that matter how Michael Phelps used music to block out any potential distraction from the exterior? The athletes do that to try and channel all of their attention into the task at hand. A similar clarity in thinking is achieved when we actually have nothing to do, as NOTHING is demanding our attention. Thus, if we channel our thoughts into a productive activity, the output of the same will increase manifolds.
So the next time you have nothing to do, don’t be disheartened and feel gutted.
Do you agree with the same? If not, feel free to voice your opinion.