Better to be Bored

The amount of entertainment available is practically infinite, which makes it both convenient and tempting to binge through life. It is fun, of course, but empty. Contrary to what your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) might tell you, bored minds are often productive.

If you have enough energy to be bored, then your mind has the ability to process and surface insights. Great ideas often sprout during a dull chore. Walking, waiting, getting groceries, grooming, cleaning, cooking, and eating are all common moments for interesting thoughts. It’s tempting to multitask by listening to a podcast or some other distraction. Many great insights are left to be discovered, after all; but have you properly reflected on all you already know, let alone the last thing you learned?

Boredom is uncomfortable. So is exercise; learning; honesty; competition; cooperation; and virtually anything meaningful, at least some of the time. How many hours have you killed by distraction? Do you end any days feeling older, but no better?

Creation, by almost every measure, is better than consumption. Why do you spend so much time consuming? Because it is easy, convenient, comfortable. It fills the gaps when you don’t know what to do. All you could and should have attempted remains, waiting for you to return from your trance. Perhaps you fear failing, and the judgement that follows. At least you can improve, and eventually succeed. If you need to fear criticism, fear being judged for risking nothing, and gaining the same.

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