When I was in school my neighbors loved me. Yet they all complained of one thing. They always complained that I never left my room, I never “go out”, I wasn’t fun, and that I had a boring life.
They were right. I couldn’t even dance, nor sing. But they were wrong about one thing. I didn’t have a boring life.
I had a thrilling life – an exhilarating one.
You see, I could spend days indoors scribbling ideas or marks on paper. I could spend entire weekends reading fascinating books, and go hours upon hours watching educational videos on YouTube. Heck! even when I was not doing any of those, I usually kept myself busy with a movie.
My life was anything but boring. The only difference between me and the celebrities that we see on Instagram is that whilst they rode on flashy cars, and enjoy snow skating, I was rather thrilled by reading the 10th blog post by Mark Manson.
I was fascinated by the ideas explored in “The Black Swan”. The narration of human history in “Sapiens” made my weekends. “The 48 Laws Of Power” was enough thriller for the month, and “Rich Dad Poor Dad” was a documentary I could enjoy the 7th time.
Where do I start? There were so many books to read.
Then there was the Art. Oh, my dear art. How I love transforming meaningless dirt strokes on paper on paper into marvels to stare at – creating the illusion of depth on a plain surface.
Besides, when I’m not ravaging another book, or sketching the 30th eye, I was busy condensing the complex and convoluted ideas I had soaked up from reading and watching so much content into blog posts and books.
All I needed was a good book – a book with an interesting, fresh, and well-presented idea, argument, or concept.
My life was anything but boring.
WHY YOU GET BORED – I’m so bored, what should I do?
A slap to the face response would be, “You are bored because you’re wasting your life”
But, no, I like to be gentler with my presentation of painful facts.
I would like to say, “You are bored because you are not doing something meaningful with your life”.
Okay, that still sounded bad. Let me rephrase.
“you are bored because you are wasting your time”.
Wait, that was worse.
I wasn’t bored because I was doing things that I enjoyed. Therefore, you don’t have to start writing or sketching, or even attempt to lock yourself up in a room fondling the pages of books.
What it means is that you should look for the things that excite you – yet challenges you.
You are bored because you live your life like the 5-year-old whose toys were seized. The only difference now is that you are the one seizing your toys.
I know, I know. You don’t like reading, writing, or even drawing. You think you would enjoy partying, eating pizza, drinking booze, or having sex. Except that you don’t have a fancy car or enough money to throw a pool party, or a jet to skydive from. You have only 3 friends and they are all far away.
– There is no internet
– No friends
– No money
– Not even an examination, or a pet to play with
You have the perfect formula for boredom.
However, my only question is that, have you tried out something more mundane. Like, what have you experimented with?
Have you tried singing…like, really singing professionally? Training your vocals, and attempting to pitch higher than you’ve ever done before? Have you ever tried running, or swimming, or even coding?
Have you explored the innumerable activities that exist in this world?
- – Making wigs.
- – Sewing.
- – Gardening.
- – Rearing livestock/poultry.
- – Training a dog.
- – Teaching younger kids.
- – Learning sign language.
- – Swimming.
- – Video editing.
- – Bead making.
- – Running – like, marathon and sprints.
- – Starting a side hustle, etc.…
There are countless things you can learn to do.
What have you tested?
Most times we get things twisted. What would make you happy isn’t necessarily riding a supercar. What would make you happy is more closely linked to working hard on something that enables you to purchase that hot ride – that is when you are most likely to enjoy vamping those engines and screeching those tires.
WHAT KILLS BOREDOM – what should you do when you’re bored?
What kills boredom isn’t fun but rather meaning.
“Fun” does a great job of distracting you from the fact that time is fast fleeting. It’s like a kid closing her eyes in hope that a monster doesn’t get to her. Fun is the last thing you should be hoping for when bored.
The shining sword that kills boredom is judicious usage of time – meaningful usage of time. You can make each second count. Your ability to achieve something each ticking moment. Fun gives the illusion of achieving something.
Sure, it can be exhausting to start and keep working on a project. It is tiring to draw for several hours without a break. Your eyes would itch, and roll backward from reading for hours. But that is the idea. Your aim should be to drain your energy gouge so that each passing tick feels well spent.
Boredom is caused by having too much energy and very little to do.
Get something doing. Not just anything, but something that brings increase to your life.
HOW I KILL BOREDOM – how to pass time
When I introduce myself, it usually sounds a bit confusing.
I usually say “I’m an artist, writer, blogger, and thinker. I also love reading and playing chess.”. If you’ve had the leisure of exploring any of those categories/titles, then you would quickly realize that they are all full of drudgery and pain.
Art is a painstaking activity with little pay and lots of criticism. It takes both endurance, passion, and a little bit of madness to press on. It takes years to become an outstanding one. Art by definition is the creation of things people don’t need. Without Art, life would go on, but just a bit less aesthetic. Besides, there are flowers, and mountains, and desert dunes. What else could be more beautiful than a butterfly on a purple hibiscus?
Writing is worse. People write till they die and no one even takes notice of them or the writings. It takes countless hours of research and insane creativity to hold your thought together and pen them down. It takes even more skill to grab people’s attention for more than 3 seconds – not to talk about through the volume of a book.
Blogging is an endless quest to please search engine algorithms or answer the question of billions of people. It is a quest to answer questions millions of others have already answered – possibly better than you. It is an endeavor that takes years of investing time, money, energy, and attention. And most times, they still fail spectacularly.
Thinking is perhaps the hardest job in the observable universe. And that is why many people don’t engage in it. When last did you call someone and they told you, “sorry, I can’t come today, I just want to think”? It rarely happens. It is a bit embracing to tell someone you are thinking. This is because it is both painful and time-consuming, with a little promise of yielding any result other than anxiety, or objections.
Yet, these are the activities I use to kill my boredom.
They are the activities thousands of sages and stoics use to kill boredom.
HOW YOU CAN KILL BOREDOM – best ways to kill time
To overcome boredom, you don’t need more fun things to do, you need more meaningful things.
For you, this could be
- – Signing up for a piano lesson.
- – Joining a dance class.
- – Starting a course on Video editing.
- – Visiting places, and learning about their culture.
- – Volunteering to work for a non-profit organization.
- – Networking (both online and offline) .
- – Reaching out to prospects (there are literally millions of people to reach out to).
- – Learning how to communicate better (this includes telephone conversations and real-life convos).
- – Learning a new language.
- – Working out.
- – Reading a new book.
- – Painting a landscape.
- – Playing a challenging/educational game (like chess or monopoly).
- – Starting a business (even if it’s an online business you can dedicate 2 hours every day to it).
HOW I LIVED FOR MONTHS ALONE WITHOUT EVER FEELING BORED
This should have probably started this whole boredom article, but here we have it. A story about how I lived alone for six months without feeling bored a bit.
If you know my story, then you would know that isolation was the beginning of my healing journey.
I was an asocial kid who managed to dock tape his unstable psyche for years with the help of great friends and religion. Deep inside, I felt inferior and unworthy, plus a little spice of suicidal tendencies. But it never blew up because I had a great family and religious beliefs that helped me find meaning in life.
But when I left all that – my family and religious beliefs – I was headed for disaster. The only salvation I had was a great network of friends in school who helped me readjust to the new life in school. New distractions from my empty self.
For over 3 years I lived in complete bliss and obliviousness to my freckle mental health, and gross incompetency.
I was the asocial, shy, misogynistic, stupid, lazy, entitled, materialistic, and naive kid who daydreamed of having a sexy girlfriend, and plenty of cash.
But everything fell apart in my 4th year in school. It was time for Industrial training and every student was required to go look for a place to learn. So, within the twinkling of an eye, everyone was gone, and so was the duct tape of friendships (that was serving as bandages to the bullet holes in my life).
Suddenly I was able to clearly see how unstable my life was. All my suppressed feelings bubbled up. The more days I spent alone doing nothing and drowning in boredom, the more unsavory realizations crawled out of the darkest pits in my mind. I was spiraling into the darkest depths of hell. I saw myself for what I was – a failure, a loser, a pest, a fool, and all other evil, negative and aggressive thoughts one could harbor against oneself.
But then something magical happened.
I don’t know how or why, but for some reason, I sought help. The result was reading books like “The Subtle Art…”, “You Are A Badass”, “Rejection Proof”, “How To Win Friends And Influence People”, and several other self-help books.
I got drawn into the self-help world and soon discovered that each book I read drew me a little bit out of the depths of darkness. And soon I was able to see the light.
My salvation – being “born again”, – lead to a decision to learn how to write better, draw better, start a blog, start making my money, go out and talk to ladies. I became bolder, and before I knew it, I was biting off more than I could chew in life, and chewing it nonetheless.
Boredom, depression, darkness, and all negativity soon evaporated from my life.
Ever since then, I have always been engaged: Writing, drawing, reading, painting, optimizing my website, writing copies, learning art, learning more and more. Joggling more and more balls up to the extent that I now feel like I don’t have enough time for myself.
In fact, boredom has been utterly expelled from my life. It has been exorcised like a demon (which it is).
Every free time I get is an escape from the monstrous work that remains undone. It is an opportunity to recharge, not an avenue to sit on that energy and watch the time zoom away.
This is the balance for success: Work hard, but give yourself time to recharge. The only “sin” is misusing your energy and time, or worse, doing nothing with it.
IN CONCLUSION – This is how to never be bored again
It is, therefore, logical to conclude that boredom is a crime against oneself. It is a negligence of your duty to yourself and the world. It is a waste of the two most precious substances in the universe – that is, energy and time.
Your duty is to find what is most meaningful, and exciting enough to light up your day, and then do it. If you can do this, you would never be bored again.
I’m an artist, writer, and thinker. I also love reading and playing chess.