My five-year-old son started using a word that is really offensive to my ears: Bored.
“Dad, I am bored.” Or “Daddy, this is boring.”
I know that he picked this up from school because we don’t use this word in our household. Sadly, he uses it in the correct context. So from that, I know he has a good understanding of what it means. Still, I wouldn’t say I like it. Good for his grammar but bad for his attitude.
Boredom is a word I have never had much use for. Yes, I have experienced it, but I have not allowed the experience to define me or become habitual. Being bored screams that we see the world as fixated. Boredom is a lot like sleepwalking. Sure, you are up and moving around, but you are not with it and miss the magic. Boredom is a signal that we have to get off our ass and look at things from a new perspective.
When I was in early high school, my best friend and I used to sit on his back porch and dream up ways that things have never been done before. We did this because we were bored of feeling bored. We would look at routine things and come at it from absolute ridiculous angles. An example I remember we came up with: I will eat this taco from the middle bottom. We would laugh ourselves sick deliberately doing things in an asinine way for amusement. What a great time we had even when we got covered with taco innards by being silly. On another day, we played backyard baseball, swinging the bats upside down. We learned a lot about how hard it was to hit the ball with the handle side of the bat…you know…just in case we had to do it in a game.
Boredom chokes the present moment. Boredom is a condition of the brain that states there is nothing new to see here. So how does one break the chokehold of boredom?
Creativity is the exit sign to a life of boredom. Creativity opens a gateway of possibility for the mind.
The simplest way to go from boredom to creativity is to ask your mind (or child) a question. The brain is built to solve and will instantly jump on the opportunity to create.
The simplest questions work best. For task-related things, you may ask: What is another way I can do this? For situations where others are involved, you may ask: How can I make this person smile? Or, I wonder what this person is thinking (or feeling) at this moment?
The reason for this post comes down to this. Boredom is a terrible state of mind to be in. Every moment of the day contains magic in it if we remember to ask or look.
Think about this:
Your life is the first attempt. No one has ever had your attributes, challenges, and possibilities. You have never been done before….and neither has anyone else.
Life is always creating itself new. Things may seem the same or feel steady and fixated but don’t be fooled. The world, your life, is always in constant flux.
Creativity is the gateway to vitality and a life well-lived. If boredom is creeping in on you (or your child), it is time to ask better questions.
What can you create a little different today? Who can you connect with to break your static view of who they are? How can you approach today with renewed novelty that all things are not as our boredom has assumed?
Hmmm, I wonder how many different ways are there that I can drive into work?
Photo by Ricardo Annandale via Unsplash