Boredom is good. And yet people complain about being bored like it’s a bad thing. Boredom can stem from a complete loss of interest in a topic or situation and can even appear apathetic, but if you harness the opportunity it presents, you can use it to open new doors and ideas that can make you more productive, and more interesting.
Most people would lament (whine) when they are bored, like they’ve been afflicted with some ailment, and expect someone or something to ‘fix’ the situation because they don’t see boredom as something they brought upon themselves. In fact, boredom is a state of mind completely within your control and you can choose to wander aimlessly until something snaps you out of it or you can recognize it for the opportunity it is.
Boredom, for some, can cause indifference – they just don’t care anymore. This indifference expands to other aspects of their life and they are not motivated to do anything about it. This is when you need to step back and look at the big picture, everything in your life, because all of it has led to this state of mind and when redirected can effectively lead you back out, to a better place.
I have a friend who fell into a rut. She had a secure (conservative) job, a steady (reliable) relationship and what she termed a ‘predictable existence’. Her life lacked excitement. In short she was bored. You could liken her life to that of someone with less and tell her to be grateful for what she has (cause we all know how well that works), or you could encourage her to use her boredom as the springboard to better things. After making a pro/con list we discovered she actually liked the security of her job and was grateful for her ‘reliable’ relationship. Her ‘dawning’ came when we explored her need for personal time, hobbies, specifically. She loved art and had always wanted to learn to paint but time, money, and encouragement always seemed to be lacking. Over the course of the next few days we scouted out a local school that offered classes twice a week at reasonable rates and with little prompting she enrolled. This simple change blossomed into a life-long love of all things art and now, six years later, she dabbles in pottery and jewelry making, mostly as a hobby, but she has had offers to buy her pieces, much to her delight. She has never claimed to be bored since and admitted recently that she credits that very boredom for her newfound passion. For her it was a matter of changing her routine to include time for herself, something she’d never done.
Acknowledging boredom is the first step in dealing with it. You’ve already recognized that you have lost interest in a situation; you’ve either plateaued, ie, you’ve gotten what you can/need out of it, or you simply recognized you have no interest in it and need to move on. Either way, it spurs you to action.
Recognizing your boredom can prompt you to study a new interest, look for a new hobby, meet new people; all good indicators that you are learning and growing, constantly. Boredom tells you to expand your horizons and stimulate your mind. It can be positive. It can be negative. It can also be the very motivator you need. It’s up to you. I wish you a lifetime of boredom!