Reflections On Boredom in Mongolia
Date- April 17, 2019
Written by George Balarezo, Intrepid Global Citizen
A long queue awaited us at the border and we were ready to jump right into the mess. Lines of cars were waiting for hours as bored passengers were having picnics on the side of the road. Locals were standing around shooting the breeze with one another, anything but stressed out.
Many inhabitants of the economically developed world thinks their time is so valuable, however all you need to do is be present and focused on something and one can be entertained for hours. People in Mongolia know how to make the best of situations that those in my home country would consider a “big waste of time.”
Boredom is the greatest educator in the world. It has always forced me to create my own entertainment. Striking up conversations with those around me while having nothing to do or nowhere to go has lead me to life changing conversations. I am so glad I did not grow up with a computer in my hand to distract me from the things that are important in my life. Computers and electronic devices distract me from my boredom. Looking closer at my surroundings has often lead me to life realizations. I can’t learn anything new consuming the same media, watching the same TV station or same Youtube channel. Boredom breeds creativity and new ideas. Simply by sitting and doing nothing, I have had some of the most creative ideas in my life. My mind relaxes when I am bored. When I was doing nothing, I decided to create a new class to teach at my university and ideas kept popping into my head. When I was sitting in silence, book ideas kept creeping into my imagination and now several are becoming reality. When I was bored and doing nothing, my ideas for this post came to light in a simple manner. Ideas pop into my head and become words and actions and boredom is my empty canvas.
Science suggests that creative ideas result when alpha waves while relaxes with their eyes closed, when we are daydreaming or doing aerobic exercise. New ideas do not magically pop into our heads when our boredom stresses us out. Allow boredom to become part of your daily routine to unleash the artist within you. Learn from the Mongolians the art of enjoying your boredom. Wouldn’t life be so much sweeter if all of humanity learned the skill of patience and waiting?