Boredom: I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Posted: May 7, 2012 in Random

Dictionary.com defines boredom as “the state of being bored;  tedium; ennui.”  When I saw this definition, I thought to myself, “what is the point of this definition?”

Wikipedia, on the other hand, defines boredom as “an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and is not interested in their surroundings.” After reading this, I thought to myself, “thank you for being more useful than Dictionary.com, Wikipedia.”

It’s common to hear someone say, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.” Well, my thought is that the second statement is false. You simply don’t like any of your options. It’s like when someone says, “There are 500 channels, but nothing’s on.” What they really mean is, “There are 500 channels, but nothing’s on that I want to watch right now.” There’s plenty on TV. There’s plenty of things to do in general.  It’s just whether or not you like your options.

I find that I’m “bored” when I have to do one thing but I’d rather do just about anything else.  Or perhaps what I want to do costs more money than I’d rather spend. I think that money is a big source of boredom. If you can’t afford to do options A, B, or C, and you’re left with options D thru Z but don’t care for any of those, then you’re bored.

Realizing this has set me free. Whenever I start to think, “I’m bored,” I look at what my options are.  If I have something that I absolutely must do, then I power thru it. If all of my options are optional, then I make myself pick something.  Once I actually take that first step and make a choice, I’m at least doing something as opposed to sitting around complaining about being bored. Maybe what I end up doing wouldn’t be my first choice if circumstances were ideal, but it’s still something that I can enjoy. It’s just a matter of taking that first step.

How does that make you feel?

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