Why the most satisfied people understand this one secret mind strategy...
Hey Derek, do you ever get bored, mate?
Nah, mate! I have YouTube videos to escape to!
Good for you, mate!
See Exhibit A above - a recent conversation with my mate Derek.
In 2007, Derek was a prolific artist.
He'd knock the socks off people with glorious paintings featuring hamsters dressed up like real people.
But somewhere along the way, Derek lost his spark and his enthusiasm for creating much at all.
Now he does ‘just enough’ at his data-entry job to pay the bills. But most of his day is filled with catching up on his favourite gaming channels and giggling through the latest TikTok reels.
Good old Derek is rarely bored, you see.
And neither are millions of people across the planet, who clock up over five hours per day on their magical dopamine dispensers - also known as “smartphones.”
'We're not bored!' Millions cry in unison, setting off several mini-tsunamis.
Mark SugarMountain rubs his hands together, overjoyed at the lack of boredom he sees in the people who have joined his Tech Tribe, now fully immersed in his Metascape.
The trouble with fewer bored people is we have more deluded and soft-minded humans.
These people may have found a way to avoid boredom, but they've paid for it with their productivity and resilience.
When we respond to discomfort with a heady cocktail of dopamine-spiking stimulations, we reinforce the reality that we aren't much good at handling perceived hardship.
So when tough things do happen:
We lose a pet parakeet to the bird flu;
The food takes ages to arrive;
Our smirking boss drops overtime work in our inbox;
A man says a mean thing to us in the street;
Our wi-fi signal drops to one bar;
Or we're tasked with using our creative capacity to write an article.
We self-medicate further with food, games, pixel boobs, dopamine fixes and trips abroad.
So, Alex, what are you saying we do?
How do we get out of this pickle?
My answer: be ok with feeling bored. At least sometimes.
Re-introduce windows of controlled 'boredom' back into your life.
The discomfort resilience muscle has atrophied, but it can be strengthened again.
There is an untapped opportunity here, especially in this mad, busy world.
The next time you feel bored, become curious about the physical experience of boredom.
Watching our sensations of boredom does a cool thing:
Our stale, bored thinking is replaced by fresh thinking.
And this often happens quickly.
The feeling of boredom melts away.
Many want to escape, but not you.
Come back here and wait for a moment, will you?
Watch the feeling, the bored thinking dissolves, and you feel better.
Try it now.
You may now be rewarded with an interesting idea or insight.
By doing this regularly, you have two things that set you apart:
You are training yourself NOT to escape when you're uncomfortable. You literally become more mentally resilient.
You become a creativity engine. This is not an understatement. People will watch you in awe and wonder why you're so damn productive, coming up with all these kick-ass ideas.
You know the secret.
While Jessie, Derek, Carlos and Umbebwe scrambled to Netflix at the first sign of boredom,
You held fast.
You nudged shoulders with your new friend, Boredom.
Boredom acknowledged your friendship and gave the gift it was dying to share.
That's how you continue to win.
Thanks for reading.
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