Here’s an amazing little concept I stumbled onto while having a conversation recently about creativity:
When you are a child and bored, you make up games or imagine pretend scenarios to entertain yourself. In essence, you look internally to find a solution to your boredom.
When you get to be an adult and find yourself bored, you inevitably turn to external things, and look for someone else to solve your boredom problem.
Think about it: When was the last time you were bored so you flipped through hundreds of TV channels looking for something to spark your interest? Maybe the browsing was done online instead? The media industry thrives because of this aspect of adulthood.
What would happen if, when bored, we recaptured a bit of the childhood method and dreamed inside our own minds instead? What if we invented a game for ourselves, or made up a pet dragon named Floyd? What if instead of merely watching Game of Thrones, we created our own fantasy world and cast of characters, whose adventures would be anything we could imagine?
I’m not advocating selling your TV and canceling Netflix (unless you find they have a hold on your life you aren’t happy with, then by all means sell and cancel away). Only that the next time you’re bored, think about why, and remember how you have everything you need to change that boredom into a magical experience. Maybe consider solving your boredom problem internally instead of trying to find someone else to be creative for you. You absolutely have the power, waiting patiently right inside your brain. It’s up to you if you want to use it.
Boredom, it turns out, is a self-inflicted wound.