Boredom is a canvas for the creative mind.
But boredom “feels bad”. Why?
Dopamine. Excitement feels good, full stop. And “the next thing” feels much better than “nothing”.
Boredom is step one to creative work.
* * *
How do I find boredom?
Cut out dopaminergic activities. In my experience, abstention is more effective than moderation.
Social media, the news, doom scrolling, clicking through, over and over. Email, even, if you’re loaded to the gills with work. Drugs, sex, and even rock and roll, unfortunately.
Wipe the canvas clean and remove the addiction to dopamine.
* * *
In my experience, the changes in fluid memory alone are worth the sacrifice. Avoiding the inundation of negativity or comparison certainly helps mental health as well.
But mostly, while boredom doesn’t feel great, it’s an instigating emotion, a necessary first step.
Boredom + patience = the next thing.
So seek boredom. It is the well from which your most interesting, exciting, and rewarding work is drawn.
Add time. Wander in it.
Eventually something fun and satisfying arises. Eventually a skill is developed. Life will slow down and become more juicy.
Avoid the draw to “fill time”. Your mind, simply put, is more interesting. Enjoy it.