Chapter 5 Even MORE Ways to Combat Boredom (Part Three of “Boredom” Series)

Exercise, exercise, and more exercise.  To combat boredom, it is always safe to look at others who are NOT bored at that moment and emulate what they are doing.  Have you ever seen a 10K race where everyone was bored?  Never.  They are running, huffing, puffing, engaged in the moment.  We are all physical bodies in need of movement.  Find all situations and carve out time periods in your day where you can get some exercise.


Sporting Events…As we mentioned previously, engaging in sports is a great way to combat boredom.  But what if you can’t or simply do not feel like running, biking, jogging, soccer, volleyball, etc.?  Then go to a stadium and watch a sporting event.  Once again, the rule applies.  Look at people who are NOT bored, and do the same.


Did you ever attend a baseball or football game where all the spectators were bored out of their skulls?  Never happens.  The sounds of the crowds, the screaming (and jeering), the umpires yelling, all the energy in the air.  Even the vendors selling hot dogs up and down the aisles.  There is no room for boredom anywhere in the stands.  Do so likewise and attend these “boredom busting” activities.


Become a “tourist” within your own town.  It may not be feasible financially to go to Venice right away.  But what about all the wonder in your nearest city?  Did you think about all the art galleries and museums…right in your own backyard?  Most people will drive a thousand miles to visit an art gallery in another city but completely ignore their own gems in their backyard.  For example in Chicago, we have the Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, the Lincoln Park Zoo.  All have free days, and you can get one of those free museum passes at your local Chicago Public Library.  The Lincoln Park Zoo is free all year around.   There is so much to see and wonder and imagine.  You need not look far to find fulfillment.


Talk to Strangers.  While it may be awkward to begin a conversation with someone randomly on a busy rush hour subway in the morning, how about a nice conversation with someone at your local grocery store.  There need not be any ulterior motive behind it.  If you are in the fruit and vegetable section, and you see someone buying a certain vegetable or fruit, casually mention to them what they plan on cooking with their new food item.  Mention a recipe of your own.  Take and evaluate a proper and appropriate time to chat with a stranger.  Maybe engage in a conversation at a book store while someone is reading a particular author or subject you are also keen about.  There is so much to learn about others, people…all people have an interesting side.  When the right moment arises, everyone has something they like to talk about.  There is no such thing as boredom in a bright and lively conversation.


Watch your local PBS station.  Boredom hits everyone from time to time, you just have to know yourself and what cures it when it happens.  Everyone has their own interests that they would like to explore.  I mentioned much of what passes as network television entertainment is vapid and empty.  But I neglected to mentioned soulful quality enriching television.  Particularly look at your local PBS station.  There are travel shows, cooking shows, documentaries on politics and countries and nature shows.


Read or write an interesting book or blog.  They say everyone has a novel inside them.  Explore your inner self and create your own story.  Maybe it is about a children’s book.  I remember one of my favorite books was about Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” books as a child.  The stories and pictures were so fascinating and enriching…with wonderful tales and words of wisdom.  Even if very few will end up reading it, the very act of creating stories will destroy any boredom which comes your way.  Even this blog is a great example of “boredom busters”.  I myself do get bored from time to time.  But by creating this blog and having many unique visitors, I gain such joy and happiness from my creative writing.  Find your own niche, and start writing away.  Visit other blogsites with similar interests and link back to them.  It can even be considered an interesting hobby.


About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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