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Bored No More

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Oh the things you will see on any given day on the internet.  I found this little video amusing but also quite thought provoking.

I almost can’t remember reacting like that to anything.  Our brains are amazing things but once they have too much stored in them, the first thing to go is wonderment.

Brains are a sophisticated predicting machine of sorts.  Pattern-recognition and stored experiences made so many things we take for granted possible.  I know when I see an open flame not to stick my hand in it.  I didn’t know that the first time but I learned it quickly enough and now it’s not likely I could ever voluntarily check to see if fire is hot.  My brain predicts that it will be and I believe it.

I can be taken by surprise now and again and that’s why I can relate to the kid’s experience.  Nothing quite beats a ‘Holy fucking shit that was awesome!’ moment.  I think we seek them out when we take something to the extreme (with sports, drugs, sex, even religious or spiritual seeking).  I was looking for a quote to go along with this inquiry and I found this:

Isn’t history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom? — Emile M. Cioran

These days people equate contentment with boredom.  Doing the same old thing over and over becomes rote.  There are times when I get completely bored with the mundane tasks of house cleaning and personal hygiene.  Why can’t things just stay clean?  Ugh!  This again?

I imagine, on a deep subconscious level, we look forward to and even create conflict because we fear boredom.  Wars are pretty exciting, no?  Not only do we engage in them, we make movies and TV shows and write books and articles about them long after they’ve ended.  There is always some confrontation occurring somewhere on the planet at all times.

Perhaps it’s not that we can’t get along.  Perhaps it’s because we don’t really want to.  That would eventually get boring.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we might have the thought that Peace is dull.  We even joke about Heaven (the ultimate place of peace and bliss) being one long snoozefest.  Who wants to sit around playing harps all day?

2009-08-27-heaven

Maybe if we ever outgrow our fear of boredom then we’ll finally give peace a chance.  But not until we truly get bored of all the fighting.  Then the calm will the the most exciting thing ever.

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Why so bored?

One man’s boredom is another man’s pleasure.

What I think boredom is can be summed up thus — If you’re bored then you’re not really paying attention.

The more open my mind becomes, the less susceptible I am to boredom.  Life is endlessly fascinating and it’s just getting more so.  Everything feels like it’s speeding up and getting more extreme.  What’s there to be bored with?

Consciously or not, you make a choice about everything.  You can choose to enjoy something that is happening or you can choose to be bored by it.  The thing in question has no inherent reactionary impact on you whatsoever, except to the extent that you allow it to.

Boredom can be a way to avoid having to deal with an emotional reaction you’re having to what’s going on.  Or it can be a way to feel above it all.  It’s not a right or wrong thing, but if you find yourself bored more often than not, what’s that say about you?

What about the things that make you angry?  Or the things that make you sad?  If you really can pick and choose how things impact you emotionally, would you keep choosing those knee-jerk emotions to the situations in which they normally arise?

I get pissed off the moment I hit some traffic.  Not because I might be late or I can’t get where I’m going, but just because it’s there.  It’s even worse when I can’t find the source of the traffic beyond just too many fucking cars on the road all at the same time.  There has to be a reason why?!?!

My blood pressure went up from this picture alone.

It does take some effort to re-wire your automatic responses.  We live on auto-pilot for so much of our lives and we don’t even realize it.  Probably why people can actually fall prey to boredom in a time of so much to do.  You’re bored because you aren’t even present to your surroundings.

I have days where I’m flipping through the channels on TV and can’t find one thing that interests me.  That really is my own fucking fault.  I could choose to be interested in America Ninja Warrior or Days of Our Lives if I really chose to be.  But then again, would I really want to?  Computer says no.

“I once thought I had mono for an entire year.  It turned out I was just really bored.” –Wayne Campbell