When’s the last time you were bored? I mean really bored. Think about it. I’m not talking about 'wasting time on your smart phone' bored. I mean really, really bored. I mean bored to the point of almost restless energy. I mean so bored that you began to talk to yourself about how bored you were!
If you’re like most people (and chances are, you are; that’s why it’s ‘like most people’) the answer is, “I can’t remember.” We’re so plugged in, wired in, and tuned in that we have forgotten what it’s like to be really bored.
When my boys (I have three) say to me, “Dad, I’m bored!” my response is always the same. “Great! It’s good to be bored sometimes.”
See, when we’re bored, that’s when our imagination kicks in. I’m not talking about tapping into someone else’s imagination. I mean our own. When we’re bored, we allow our creativity to work its way out from the recesses of our minds.
Think about it. It’s from boredom that our greatest games as children were created. I’m not talking about video games. I’m talking about those games where it was you and some friends, and you were lucky if there was a stick or a can around to help with the creation of the game. But either way (with or without props), it was all up to your imagination. And the more ‘bored’ you were, the faster you likely created your way out of that boredom.
I realize it makes me sound like some old fashioned curmudgeon, but kids these days need to be bored (You kids get off my lawn!) I would even argue that adults these days need to be bored!
So go be bored. Sometime today, put everything aside. Turn off the phone (and don’t just put it on silent, because you’re still going to check it.) Get away from your desk or your classroom or your office. Find some place where you can sit. And then…do nothing.
It’s not going to be easy. At first, you’re going to think about all the things you “should” be doing. But eventually, you’ll get to the point of boredom. And you never know what you’ll think of next…