“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity” – Dorothy Parker
This statement in itself suggests that boredom needs a cure. We tend to steer away from boredom and try to escape it at all costs. Nobody likes to be bored, but it’s not in fact as negative as perceived. There is plenty of research confirming the opposite – the benefits of boredom; what are these and what happens if we allow ourselves to be bored?
Curiosity will be sure to follow naturally. Being bored enhances brain function and creativity, and to be creative, both imagination and curiosity are imperative. Hence curiosity being the cure for boredom.
Truth is that we never stop being curious, we simply fill our lives with distractions that often drown out our natural curiosity. Bernard Baruch captures this perfectly in his quote that, “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.”
These days in the constant frenzy of life with all its demands – with distractions of multitasking to try and achieve the impossible task of getting everything done as well as our all consuming draw towards our devices and the digital world – it is more than likely nobody would have even seen the apple fall!
It is important to make space for opportunities such as this – however tempting it may be to rather fill up our time with doing instead of just being instead. Take time to switch off, ponder life, develop curiosity and ask ‘why?’
Who knows where this may lead? It could be an opportunity for reflection on what we want in life and we may be surprised by something entirely new. One thing is for sure, we are unable to develop or evolve if we accept things blindly and without questioning.
Michelle Mackay, Head of Creative Education at Bauer Academy, says to demonstrate this, “There’s an old story I love to tell about someone who cooks a roast and cuts either end off the joint before putting it in the oven. When questioned about why they do that (does it make it more succulent? Help with the cooking process?) they said they didn’t know, it’s how their mother always did it. Curious, they then asked the mum who said she learned it from her own mother but didn’t know the reason for it. When they finally asked the grandmother about it, she laughed and said that she used to have a small oven so had to cut the ends off to fit the roast into the oven. Nothing to do with the actual cooking and a waste of meat for a couple of generations worth of roasts.”
With every answer found, more questions will arise!
Our goal is not to reach our potential – it’s to keep developing our potential. So let your mind wander and keep the questions coming. Try to see the world differently and try something new. Explore and nurture your curiosity, there’s a reason there is no cure.
We at WellsFaber are happy to advise, let us answer your questions and let us help you to thrive.