Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity. – Robert M. Pirsig
A client and I were having a discussion about how he’s prone to having periods high productivity followed by not so productive ones. It’s something he’s come to accept about himself and it isn’t a major issue. However, lately he’s been trying to combat boredom while touring and it’s something he’s grown tired of.
I can totally relate to that. The same kind of feeling would hit me while getting to the next level in my career or place. Basically just playing the waiting game. Sometimes you were in places where you didn’t have access to the distractions and comforts of home. This would be dealt with by finding a party or just accepting boredom and going to sleep.
I shared some things that worked for me to pass the time productively. Reading books, asking yourself 100 questions, picking 2 objects and finding as many uses for them as possible etc.
Somehow, I realized I could create some serious fun just by playing with thoughts. This was what I was explaining to him and I could see that childlike grin come upon his face. It’s weird that we forget how we used that creativity to come up with our own fun. It’s really wonderful when you regain that sense of play and connect with that inner child.
A while ago I came across the japanese art of “chindōgu”. The translation would mean “strage tool” but the english term became “unuseless”. It’s basically the art of creating solutions everyday problems.
However, the solutions create so many new problems (embarrassment being a big one!) that they just aren’t useful. Hence, “unuseless”.
Playing games like this with your mind is pure stupid fun but at the same time it’s a highly productive use of our time. It’s like exercise for the mind and we never know when we just might stumble across something that’ll lead us to the next big insight!
When you pay attention to boredom it gets unbelievably interesting. – Jon Kabat-Zinn