Since the coming of the Industrial Revolution, humankind has been troubled by boredom. “People literally spend their entire lives running from it, filling every nook and cranny with things to occupy our attention,” says YouTuber Nathaniel Drew. In his video titled ‘How to deal with boredom (especially right now!)’, he tackles the problems of the society’s obsession with productivity, and how it can be good to be bored.
Drew explains how there is a difference between doing things that are good for you, and mindlessly just doing work. He says, “I feel like I need to stay occupied with creative projects more or less all the time… (but) I know that just staying busy is yet another way to stay distracted and fulfill these desires to be productive.” Drew recommends just living in the moment. Grab a pen and paper and be bored, and see how thoughts, amazing, incredible, creative thoughts will start flying through the mind. He says, “I’ve had this thought that maybe boredom is this evolutionary trait that is a part of all of us as a way to incite us to engage in all our environments.” He further explains, “The more space you give yourself to do this, the more you open yourself up to creativity, the more ideas start to pour in.”
“Attention is a very powerful thing, and it works in two ways, you can get attention and you can pay attention and there’s a very big different between the two,” Drew says, “It is undeniable, in my opinion, better to focus on giving attention, than to focus on getting it.” He believes that one’s creativity flourishes when one combines the act of being bored and paying attention, and that this combination inspires great creativity.
He summarises by saying, “A lot of people, myself included, are afraid of boredom and what it represents. It’s uncomfortable but what I’m proposing here is that maybe it’s built into us for a reason, and not something to mindlessly run from. That’s where I think things can potentially become destructive. Mindlessly running from this is how you end up using your time and energy in a poor, unintentional way and that usually looks like excessive distractions or entertainment.”
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