I feel this is the world we live in since 2007. Everything you can imagine is available right in your hand, taking away every possible space for boredom in your head.
For every creative person this is suicide. I find this part of the article utterly important: „People who are bored think more creatively than those who aren’t.“.
I explicitly take time off every day where I can get bored.
One of my greater recent personal concerns has been why my 'new ideas' bin remains empty for so much longer than it used to. Several culprits exist, but it's clear that constantly having a way to amuse or inform myself with a wide variety of fresh, new entertainment or factual minutiae to "fill in the cracks" of my day is a major perpetrator. I just remarked yesterday how I don't hardly mind standing in line any more.
Back when I worked on a production line (with the shortest breaks allowed by law), I would fill napkins with all kinds of scribbles for at least half of my break time. A similar thing happened with text files in a very different setting, when my duties consisted of waiting for a phone to occasionally ring.
The big question is how to properly cultivate the type of boredom that leads to this creative mental state. Neither of those situations I mentioned are ones I would choose to experience again.
Take a drive anywhere with no set destination.
Use public transit alone also would work .
Go to a library and read a book that you may or may not like.
Go to an art museum and look at one painting .
Distracted means never dealing with any of the difficult aspects of being a person. With bored, at least, you might get around to looking at some of that.
I often wonder if The Government shut down Starbucks and Candy Crush, how many days it would be before a full revolution.
The only time I can experience the brain-dead zombie state that is boredom is when I have to pay attention to a mind-numbingly inefficient task I am powerless to improve, like passively listening for hours to an auditorium university lecture that makes the mind rebel against the inefficiency (despite I love learning, but using other means).
Frustration seems more like one that stimulates creativity as it motivates to find workarounds or new directions.
Even in the bathroom, many of us are accustomed to reading news, watching youtube, etc. It's only when really cut off from TV, internet, etc. that the mind decompresses and starts generating ideas again. (This is not strictly true, as some reactionary thoughts are ideas - solutions to problems presented by external information.)
Also, the thought of people not knowing what a phone book is made me realize I'm old. What a strange feeling.
Occasionally you'll see a media distribution company executive pass along the outskirts of their habitat, cribbing notes on tactics that will be needed in their own coming days.
Come on guys, really? I feel like they gushingly name-dropped Steve Jobs in the title of this article's page for no other reason than to rank higher in search results, considering they barely mention him in the article.
But all around the edge of the room was optional extra-credit work. Different teachers had different things. One had worksheets. One had piles and piles of Games magazines. One had puzzles.
There was a huge contrast between my mindset when doing boring pencil problems and my mindset when doing fun logic puzzles. But those mindsets would often overlap. I'd be constantly looking for patterns in the math problems (to avoid boredom). And some of the games magazine brain puzzlers could only be solved with repetitive trial-and-error grunt work.
My gut sense is that when it comes to teaching and learning, boredom is not a thing to be avoided, but a thing to be harnessed.
I'll have to read this Bored and Brilliant book and see if it has any evidence to support or contradict that belief.
Stopped here. (Got bored!). This just isn't true. Boredom might just be evolutionarily neutral. Or it might be negative but outweighed by other features of our species which compensate for its negative effects. Or it might just not have enough of an effect on mating rates to be selected for at all. You're doing biology wrong.
Charles Darwin. Wrote a damned book on the subject. And somehow I'd been entirely unaware of the fact until a few months ago.
Also my kids never say "That's not fair" because my instant responce to that one is "Life isn't fair and might as well learn that now." If anyone asks what's fair "Sport should be fair and elections and well ..."
So my philosophy of dealing with lack of understanding is to help them to concentrate on facts. To concentrate on doing whats right not whats fair nor easy. :)
> In the best case, they'll rebel against you. In the worst case, they give up and accept learned helplessness.
Nah my two oldest, foster kids I adopted, both graduated college this May. It wasn't fair when my son, their brother died of bone caner when he was 12. It wasn't fair when my 12 year old's bio dad took a baseball bat to their biological mother's head the same year my son was diagnosed.
They learned that they have to work twice as hard because life isn't fair. It isn't fair that my oldest son is pulled over 8-12 times a year for DWB. It isn't fair that kids outside our city get two or three times the educational funding for their public school. The inherent fairness is from humans' selfishness streak usually and doing what is right in the moment is hard. My other kids are also pretty darn tenacious. I kind of see the White Evangelicals (Which I guess I am one of them) feel they are the most discriminated population when it's the opposite.
At least my two cents :)
Question for the meditators out there, is your practice just time for mind-wandering?
There's another thing that I do that I found supportive, but perhaps again this is deviating from meditation. I count my breaths to keep track of how many minutes for each meditation that I do and I associate each number that I count with a feeling, memory, or emotion that I want to affirm in my life. It's kind of the opposite of mind-wandering, more like planting or reminding yourself of good thoughts. For example, #9 I think about what it feels like to be grateful even for a seemingly difficult circumstance, it's never going to be quite like this again and what unique aspects of it are actually good.
thanks for sharing!
... added to http://github.com/globalcitizen/taoup ;)
Laziness is the father of Efficiency.
Peter Toohey. Boredom: A Lively History