|We rely on constant external stimulus to keep us entertained|
© olly - Fotolia.com
I fear I may be losing the ability to harness the power of my own imagination to fill the empty spaces during my day and I exclusively seek outside sources of entertainment to do this for me. Yesterday, while sitting in the car waiting for my daughter to finish some errands my iPhone went flat...no more Scramble with Friends, Facebook checking, Tweeting....I was lost, I felt isolated and bored. I realised then that this feeling of boredom was something I had not experienced for a very long time.
Why do we fear boredom? Solitary confinement, with a complete lack of mental stimulation, is considered one of the ultimate tortures, and do admit that the thought of that sends a shiver up my spine.
We need to start treating boredom as an opportunity, it is the gateway to creativity. When you are able to empty your mind of external distractions you can fill it with your own imagination...far more exciting and fascinating than any game, website or movie you could involve yourself with. In our world of distractions and "always on" connections, loneliness should be treated as a rare pleasure, something we have very little opportunity to experience.
Physically I am alone at the moment, but my twitter stream is on the right of my screen, my Facebook page to the left, so there is always someone "speaking" to me, always something external demanding my attention. Boredom gives us a chance to "reset" our brains, but we just don't let ourselves do this anymore. What is the first thing you do when you wake in the morning...for many of you I bet it is to grab your mobile phone, check twitter, Facebook and email. I remember a time when I would wake up and I would just lie there and think, imagine and travel somewhere else in my mind. I miss that!
|Reset your imagination and see what grows|
© Mopic - Fotolia.com
We are not born with this need for external stimulation...put a 3 year old in a room without TV, without any overt entertainment and they will make their own, a box, a blanket...anything, or even the lack of it, can spark their imagination. Put a 14 year old in the same room and they only thing they will think about it how they can get out and get back online.
I plan to take my own advice, I want to experience that feeling again and give my imagination a chance to explore and create. We need to be bored, we need to be alone, but many of us have forgotten how. Claim back boredom and loneliness - these are not negative states of mind, they are opportunities, welcome them and make the most of what they can offer.
I challenge you all to disconnect for an hour, each and every day, reset your imagination...who knows what gems you may come up with when you let yourself loose inside your own mind.