Boredom Is Unacceptable!

It startles me to hear people complain that they are bored. I can’t imagine why anyone would choose to feel that way. There are books to read, thoughts to think, conversations to have!

When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.
Eric Hoffer

Are you expecting life to constantly entertain you? That’s your job! Seize the moment and make something of it!

The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, self-sufficiency and resourcefulness. People who wait around for life to supply their satisfaction usually find boredom instead.
Dr. William Menninger

As I wrote in an earlier post, I don’t want one hour to go by without learning something, deepening a relationship, doing satisfying work or just enjoying a good laugh.

Somebody’s boring me; I think it’s me.
Dylan Thomas

Before we go further, let me define what boredom is. Boredom is soul-draining tedium. It is not synonymous with “leisure” or “stillness” or “mindfulness” or “relaxation” or “recess” or “respite.” Those are all good things.

Let me also add that going full bore and relentlessly doing, doing, doing can be equally undersirable. As I wrote in my earlier post: Productive use of my time means anything from writing a blog post to reading a good book to spending time with friends and family to meditating to watching a favorite TV show to taking a much-needed nap. Balance is the operative word.

Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?
Friedrich Nietzche

At the very least, if you find yourself stuck somewhere with nothing to do and no one to talk to, take out the notebook you carry with you or find a piece of paper and write a letter, make a To Do list, whip up some affirmations or think up something else that’s constructive. Or, if the environment is conducive to it, close your eyes and breathe deeply or even meditate. Practicing stillness is just as productive as doing, doing, doing.

Being bored is an insult to oneself.
Jules Renard

The next time you feel bored, challenge yourself to reframe the moment as an opportunity to learn, to practice mindfulness, or simply to add some positive, loving energy to the world. When the sand is gone from the hourglass of your life, you don’t get a mulligan. Life is precious, time is precious, and the time you waste is gone forever.

If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Click here to see all my posts related to making the best use of your time.


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8 Responses to “Boredom Is Unacceptable!”

  1. Anne Says:

    I usually like your posts Phil, but this is a bit harsh!
    To be quite so damning over a feeling we all, surely, have experienced at some time or other. And maybe quite often. Sounds like some ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ coming into your processing here.
    Boredom can be marvelous. Why cover it up with a lot of doing. Do you really need to be quite so constantly busy and attaining something. Boredom’s not something to fear, it can be a wonderful messenger, a signpost. And sometimes it’s lovely just to rest in it.
    No need to run quite so fast from it, it might be offering you something you never knew was possible.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, I knew the tone was a bit harsher, Anne, but that was intentional. I wanted to make people think and perhaps jar them into action. I would agree with your comments if you substituted the word “leisure” or “stillness” or “mindfulness” or “relaxation” or “recess” or “respite” or something similar for the word “boredom.” What you described is not boredom; boredom is tedium, not a lovely place to rest.

    I agree that “doing” all the time is not a good idea. As I wrote in an earlier post that this post linked to: “Productive use of my time means anything from writing a blog post to reading a good book to spending time with friends and family to meditating to watching a favorite TV show to taking a much-needed nap. Balance is the operative word.”

    I think we are in agreement, Anne, and that any difference is a matter of semantics.

    NOTE: I added this info to the post itself to clarify what I mean by boredom. So thanks for the nudge!

  3. ArrVee Says:

    i did not see anything negative or harsh at all about this post. My take-away from this is that when one feels “bored” in the normal meaning of the word, one feels passively or helplessly constricted by the current situation, something one would have to endure. Just like any other situation however, one needs to strive to always make the most out of it, try to find the positive in it, or at least change one’s reaction to it. As well, one can take the opportunity to take a rest, for example, to “sharpen the saw” or replenish one’s source of strength or inspiration.

    even the title of the post means something to me – and this is to actively live the moment. This may mean different things to different people though, but the important thing is that one is actively getting something positive out of it.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Agreed, ArrVee. You’re also right that different words mean different things to different people, which is why I attempted to clarify what I was referring to.

  5. roxy johnstone Says:

    To me, boredom describes some sort of deficiency or lack in a person, not necessarily in a negative way. Because of this lack, something inside needs to be filled up by external things, which provide validation or stimulation. When this outside validation becomes missing, a person becomes “bored” and disssatisfied. Rather than practicing internal work to fill the void, a person constantly looks to the externals to fill them up. A shift needs to be made from boredom to practicing introspection and contemplation. Personally, I am so busy with living life that I welcome the time and moments to sit and just do nothing. In fact, when I get so busy I have no time to do this, I feel disconnected and resentful. I guess you could say I get bored with being so busy!!

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That’s an interesting perspective, Roxy. I certainly agree that we need to look for fulfillment from within rather than without. I imagine that people who shun introspection and require almost constant external stimulation of some kind can easily get bored if there is nothing in front of them that captures their attention. Ironically, their quest for stimulation, as you say, is within their reach at al times.

  7. jen Says:

    Hi the times when I feel bored is when I have spent the week around boring, morbid and negative people e.g. work folk! I am a sunshiney person so I like to surround myself with things and people that mirror that. So to get rid of this boredom feeling which feels tired and draining (must be the energy of the people) I meditate sometimes with or without music, take out my journal and read my affirmations, burn some selected essentials oils like lavender as it is known to cleanse the aura, work up some sweat at the gym and in some cases I call upon my heavenly helpers to remove the negative energy. I start to feel better and always feel a lovely warm healing energy around me helping me to raise my energy to keep the positive flowing through. yes at first I thought what you said was harsh but it has motivated me in some way. thanks

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    It sounds like you have some wonderful ways to get yourself back to being your natural “sunshiney” self, Jen. Well done! I’m glad you were motivated after reading this post!

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