Are you Bored or Boring?

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I get bored. Often. And usually when I get bored, I start to drift.

I’m just being honest. Doing the same thing over and over doesn’t engage me creatively or fill me up…it drives me CRAZY! I like new challenges. I like new projects and new opportunities. I like to be told something can’t be done and then to go out and do it. My creative muscles are best engaged when I have the chance to try things that maybe haven’t been done. But recently while reading an article, I learned something I think us busy creative people tend to overlook – the power of boredom.

I mean, our lives are fast. We work, create, dream, tweet, text, pin…and that’s before we even get out of bed.

But maybe there’s something missing from our lives and from our creative equation. Maybe we need to learn to embrace boredom.

Boredom stretches our imagination. We need a little bit of it in our lives in order to be our creative best. Our best ideas rarely appear when we’re busy…they usually show up when we find ourselves in a place of solitude – a quiet place where we can actually pause a little and reflect. A place where we can actually process and allow our ideas to develop.

Boredom also helps us figure out new solutions. When we shift from complaining about being bored and take the challenge of criticizing by creating, our boredom actually helps us create new solutions.

Boredom also gives us permission to have conversations we wouldn’t normally have, to explore things that normally wouldn’t intersect our worlds, and positions us in a place where we can actually do the things we enjoy. Like designing for fun and not function, writing a song, writing a novel, painting, or whatever it is that you once loved to do that filled you creatively.

It’s been said that “boredom is a creative state”. Sure, I know the push back: “boredom can be uncomfortable”. True, but discomfort usually creates the best art.

So embrace boredom. If it’s in your job, figure out how to make it exciting again. That’s a creative challenge. Further, find some time to get into places where you force yourself into “boredom” to uncover your creative best.

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