One of my favorite teenage pop bands, the Pet Shop Boys, sang:
‘Cause we were never being boring
We had too much time to find for ourselves
And we were never being boring
We were never being bored …
Well, it remains a debate if ‘being boring’ is OK or not, but ‘being bored’ is certainly recommendable!
Most of us, especially if you are also a parent, think that the best you can do to your kids, your siblings and to anyone in your larger environment is to stimulate any activity, which hopefully will create yet another great learning opportunity or a chance to develop your brains and skills.
In reality the opposite is true! As we know from Flow-theory and Creativity research, we should strive to have a balance between inducing complexity and allowing for integration of life events, concepts and experiences. In other words, being bored is a vital experience: this passive mental phase, during which integrate our new impressions.
And more: being bored allows our kids and any adult to mobilize our inner resources, to invent new possible realities, to dream up new funny situations and solutions to problems. Being bored is the best way to reconnect with our inner creative child egostate, as Transactional Analysists would say.
Most parents and teacher surely agree that we want to raise self-reliant, autonomous individuals who can take initiatives and think for themselves. But filling a child’s time for them teaches nothing but dependence on external stimulus, whether material possessions or entertainment. Providing nurturing conditions and trusting children’s natural inclination to engage their minds is far more likely to produce independent, competent children, full of ideas.
So let me now go back to my old records and first CDs and look bored but enjoy rich inner-self and dream-up creative new ways to find even more time for myself, as the PSB sang it so wisely back in 1990!
Read more on what others think on the importance of being bored here.