Boredom is a Choice

Growing up, I always experienced a curious phenomenon - I was never bored. My friends often complained, "I don't have anything to do" or "I don't feel like doing anything". I didn't understand how this could happen.

Fueled by a large supply of books and the only-child-survival-strategy of endless self-entertainment, I always found myself creating imaginative scenarios (usually based around some computer game) in which I was a protagonist equipped with absurd amounts of (usually technologically suspect) weaponry.

I gave up computer games when I turned 18 to focus on music, but I never lost the imaginative sense of creativity. In "Open Curtain" from my album Soulfire, I say "Boredom is a choice" - a statement I definitely believe, but I heard an interesting twist on this idea while listening to motivational guru Tony Robbins recently.

Tony suggested that if you don't put an emotional concept into your language use, it doesn't exist. Think about that for a moment. If you never say "I'm bored" (even to yourself), then you're never bored.

After thinking about this, I found myself agreeing. We have feelings which are very nebulous... they're just sensations until we give them meaning.

For example, when someone is disagreeing with me, I can feel my anxiety level rise and my heart rate quicken. But that doesn't inherently mean anything. 

I choose how I want to channel that feeling. I can choose to be angry, or frustrated, or hurt, or amused, or even powerful. I can use their disagreement to show them something they may not have considered, or I can use it as a learning experience to discover a new perspective for myself. 

This is the reason I have never been bored in my life. Whenever I felt what people normally call boredom (a state of inaction), I either use that as motivation to go and accomplish something, or I'll take that moment to quietly reflect and rest. 

My interpretation of that state of being is what makes it my reality. If you say, "I'm bored", you're making yourself a victim. No one is entertaining you; no one is engaging you. 

But instead, if you take ownership of your time and activity, you'll see that these moments are the best opportunities you're given! You're in control! You get to decide what you want to do! Think of how often we have to do things that other people want us to do. How rare is it when we can determine our own actions and plans!

So the next time you're feeling inactive, ask yourself, "If I could do anything in the world right now, what would it be?" Now start doing it in your mind. Notice how you feel, how your body responds. Now put together a plan to do that activity.

You just turned "boredom" into the thing you most wanted to do in your entire life! 

Posted on September 11, 2014 .