Eps 42: Why People Are Afraid Of Boredom

Turquoise Ice, Lake Baikal, Russia

The other day I had lunch with my friend Philip. He is “This” at “this, that & the other”. We were talking about distraction and sedation. I had once said to him “clarity is so much more interesting than distraction” and it struck a chord. I can’t remember saying that but.. I totally agree with me! So funny to hear back things that apparently once came out of my own mouth. Makes you realize how important it is to choose our words mindfully. But that is not my topic of today.

Sometimes people find doing coaching sessions of meditation classes with me exhausting. It is an interesting phenomenon. For some of us there is always a battle going on between wanting to be open and truthful and hiding behind a mask of ‘no problem’. They want to in an environment where they can expand their minds but simultaneously want to control the process. That is tricky because you can’t expand the mind without giving up control. Enter exhaustion.

Openness seems demanding and energy consuming, so they prefer to cover up their tender heart. Vulnerability can sometimes make us nervous. It is uncomfortable to feel so real, so we want to numb ourselves. We look for some kind of anesthetic, anything that will provide us with entertainment. Then we can forget the discomfort of reality. People don’t want to live with their basic rawness for even fifteen minutes. When people say they are bored, often they mean that they don’t want to experience the sense of emptiness, which is also an expression of openness and vulnerability. So they pick up the newspaper or read anything else that’s lying around the room—even reading what it says on a cereal box to keep themselves entertained. The search for entertainment to babysit our boredom soon becomes legitimized as laziness or busy-ness. They go hand in hand and the one legitimizes the other. One way or the other: we keep the mind occupied constantly. As long the mind is occupied it stays numb.

If you are numb it is easier to be violent towards yourself and others. Actually, cultivating numbness is already an act of self-violence. And with the numbness comfortably in place you have a place where you can hide yourself for a very long time. Just take a good look at the photo. There are gems underneath the snow. For us it is the same but we lack courage to reveal ourselves.

Just look at yourself and look at how many opportunities you jump to numb yourself. How many ours in front of tv or internet? How many moments of safe and superficial conversation? How many mindless meals? How much hiding behind work and running around being important and stuff?

If your time on earth was limited would you recommend distraction over being real? Because your time on earth is limited, you know?


This is episode 42 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here or sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *