Chuck Carroll

Allowing Yourself To Be Bored

Published: 2024-06-05

I find that when I strip out digital distractions and allow myself to feel boredom, I'm more motivated to do more fulfilling things and come up with my most interesting ideas.

Boredom has allowed me to discover hobbies and interests outside of digital entertainment. Boredom is what pushes me to read, to write, to meditate (where I come face to face with boredom, my distracted mind, and the void). It's when I feel bored that I decide to pick up a new hobby or skill or improve upon and existing one. I start tinkering with things and learning. I start to plan.

If I spent most or all of my free time scrolling social media, playing video games, binge-watching Netflix or some idiot on YouTube, this website certainly wouldn't exist. I would have not found the courage to step on the mats and train jiu-jitsu. Nor would I have decided to go back to school in my thirties to try something new. Boredom is essential to growth.

I wonder if our digital activities were thoroughly tracked and we were given a daily report on how many minutes and hours we spent doing them, would we find that information both surprising and/or depressing?

I'm not saying that digital entertainment is evil and no one should consume it - there's a time and a place. However, I do believe that the majority of our free time shouldn't be wasted on things that don't matter. Boredom is a gift and we should use it.