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“‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.'” — Louis CK
J: Well I don’t have a creative mind and why would I explore the world when I am 12.
Me: What makes you so certain that you don’t have a creative mind?
J: I can’t even attempt to think of anything my friends can. All I can do is run scenarios of super heroes fighting and who would win.
Here’s the deal J:
1. Research indicates that the human brain isn’t even fully developed until about 25 years of age. Coming to conclusions that you’re not good at something before your brain is even fully developed is a bit premature, at best. Because even after your brain is fully developed, we always have the ability to focus on learning new skills and honing others.
2. If you’ve ever had a dream, you’re creative.
If you’ve ever worried, you’re creative.
If you’ve ever made a wish for something you don’t have, you’re creative.
If you’ve ever made up an excuse, you’re creative.
If you’ve ever run scenarios of super heroes fighting and who would win, you’re creative.
Congratulations, you have a creative mind.
3. You have been led to believe, or led yourself to believe, that you have to be exactly like your friends. And if you do not express your creativity in the same way, that you are somehow lacking in ability. This is not true.
Do all superheroes have the same powers? No, of course not. Neither do us mere mortals.
We all develop and learn at different rates. We all have things we are particularly good at and other areas where we need to work. Some people are more naturally inclined to doing certain things, but that doesn’t mean that others are incapable of learning those skills.
Even people who say they can’t draw can learn how to draw. It’s just that most choose not to. They don’t even try.
There are things you excel at (or will excel at once you discover them) that others your age do not. Give yourself a chance and stop telling yourself you’re not good at something just because you may not be a natural at it.
You are still young and may not yet have been introduced to whatever it is you excel at because it’s not a part of your “12 year old” world. But trust me, there is something — or even more likely, a whole series of things — that you do better than most people.
So rather than focus on what you think you can’t do well, focus on finding what you can and never be afraid to work on becoming better at something that you are not a natural at.
4. When you tell yourself you cannot do something — or you put artificial limits on yourself by stating “I do not have a creative mind” — you are greatly limiting what you can achieve (in your mind).
If Superman grew up telling himself he couldn’t fly, would he fly?
5. As for “exploring the world”, people often mistake exploring the world to mean extravagant travel — hopping on a plane or visiting a far away land. But the fact is, if you can take a walk, you can explore the world. In fact, some people explore the world with a magnifying lens or a microscope. Think smaller.
6. If you can read (and I know you can) — I suggest you do so — as you will use both your creative mind and explore the world — or other worlds. Reading will exercise your creative mind. And like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
But you have to be an active participant in the experience. You can’t just sit back and watch something. If you went to a gym and watched people work out, would that help you build muscles? No.
While watching movies or playing video games can extremely entertaining, they require little to no creativity/imagination because they feed creativity to you. Yes, video games can involve problem solving, but that’s not the same thing as exercising the creative side of your mind.
Many people say they don’t like to read, but many of these people simply haven’t found the types of books they like to read. Give it a chance. If you pick up a good book with a good story, you will be both learning and using your creative mind.
Like anything, it can take a little bit to get into, but if you give it a shot, it can actually be fun.
7. Whenever you’re bored, the key is to do something. You always have a choice.
And in this day and age of iphone and ipads and video games and the Internet, it takes more effort to remain “bored” than it does to find something interesting to occupy your time.
As has been said elsewhere, “If you’re bored, you’re boring.”
Because boring people sit around doing nothing.
You can always learn something new or practice something you want to become better at.
Even if you’re locked in a room without a book or a computer or a pen and a piece of paper, you can still use your brain to try to remember things you may have forgotten or use it to create stories in your mind.
There’s always something you can do that’s a lot better and more effective than sitting around saying, “I’m bored.”
I follow-up this post with: “How to overcome boredom.“