Month: June 2010

The Value in Boredom

Peter Bregman – Harvard Business Review – “Why I Returned My iPad”:

Being bored is a precious thing, a state of mind we should pursue. Once boredom sets in, our minds begin to wander, looking for something exciting, something interesting to land on. And that’s where creativity arises.

And another quote, which I don’t know the source of:

To be bored is to stop reacting to the external world, and to explore the internal one. It is in reflection that people often discover something new, whether it is an epiphany about a relationship or a new theory about the way the universe works. Granted many people emerge from boredom feeling that they have accomplished nothing. But is accomplishment really the point of life? There is a strong argument that boredom – so often parodied as a glassy-eyed drooling state of nothingness – is an essential human emotion that underlies art, literature, philosophy, science, and even love.

If you think of boredom as the prelude to creativity, and loneliness as the prelude to engagement of the imagination, then they are good things. They are doorways to something better, as opposed to something to be abhorred and eradicated immediately.