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//Ep #85 Boredom

Ep #85 Boredom

Today we’re going to talk about boredom: what it is, and whether it is or isn’t an actual problem, and how you can handle it.  Is boredom a thought, circumstance, or feeling?

Its only your thoughts that make something boring, or not boring to you.  As long as you have a human mind, you don’t ever have to be bored.

One thing to also remember is that there’s nothing wrong with being bored.  On the other side of boredom is creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Understanding what boredom really is
  • Understanding the relationship between your thoughts and boredom
  • What you can do to be more productive when you feel bored

Listen to the Full Episode:

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  • Learn how you can enter to win one of five FREE coaching sessions here!
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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Alpha Male Coach Podcast, the only podcast that teaches men the cognitive mastery and alpha mindset that it takes to become an influential and irresistible man of confidence. Here’s your host certified life coach, an international man of mystery, Kevin Aillaud.

Kevin Aillaud:

What’s up my brothers? Welcome back to the Alpha Male Coach Podcast. I am your host Kevin Aillaud, and I have a bit of a confession to make. It’s not so much of a confession as much as it’s a disclosure because you guys that just hear me on the podcast, you guys that don’t see me, you guys that aren’t in the Spartans that aren’t in the Academy, you probably don’t know this. You may be able to hear a difference in my words, in my speaking. Here’s the thing. I got a little bit of Bell’s palsy going on. The left side of my face is numb and paralyzed. Now, it’s not from my roommates antifreeze marinade. Okay? That’s not how I got it.

Kevin Aillaud:

I actually got it … I had the chicken pox when I was a little kid and the chicken pox, it’s like a virus. It stays with you for your whole life. It’s still in my body. Right? So, it’s still in me and it flared up, I guess. So, what happened was it inflamed a nerve that runs through my, like a C7 area of my spine, the seventh cervical vertebrae of the spine and it’s been pinched. It’s a sensory motor nerve. So, it affects both the sensory, right? So, I have numbness. I can’t feel anything, but it’s also a motor nerve, so it affects muscles. It’s like I can’t move anything. I’ve got paralysis on the left side of my face. So, my eye is open. My left eye is not blinking, right? I’m putting drops in there to keep it moist, but it looks like I’ve got vulture eye like it just totally open and staring at you all the time.

Kevin Aillaud:

My speech is a little strange because the left side of my mouth is totally paralyzed. So when I drink, I drink out of the right side of my mouth, so I don’t drool. It’s a very interesting thing to have happened to me because it’s not permanent. It’s something that’s going to come back. I’m going to gain full recovery in that sensory motor nerve, the inflammation will go down. It’s interesting because it allows me to have a lot of gratitude. Gratitude for something that’s so easy to take for granted. Sensory motor facial nerves, it’s something we take for granted so easily. You think about people that have had strokes and that they have lost sensory motor nerves in their face and the left side of their body and it’s permanent, right? They don’t get it back. They don’t get that function back. To not have that, it makes me very grateful to have that.

Kevin Aillaud:

I don’t have it now, right? I don’t have it on the left side of my face, but to have it on the right side of my face, to have it throughout my body, to have the ability to just have control, it allows me to be in a very special place of gratitude, because I never thought that again, I would lose motor control in my face. It’s very interesting. So, if you hear me slurring or if you hear strange words, believe me, I’m not doing these podcasts drunk. I’m not on drugs. Well, I am on drugs, but they’re antiviral drugs.

Kevin Aillaud:

They’re steroid drugs for what’s happening with the chicken pox virus and the anti-inflammatory for the nerve. It’s not because I’m slurring, it’s not because I’m intoxicated, it’s because on the left side of my face, left side out of my mouth is paralyzed. So, I’m having a difficult time creating consonant aperture, right? Making F’s. Making F sound like I’m blowing air through my lips and my lips, I don’t have control. So, it might sound a little flapping.

Kevin Aillaud:

Anyway, I’ve got Bell’s palsy, guys. It’s going to last about eight weeks. You may hear some of that on the podcast. Like I say, it allows me for gratitude. I just pull that back in, because I’m so grateful for being able to control my face. So, it’s a very interesting thing. I think about stroke victims and I’m going to get my recovery. It’s going to be good. We’re good to go.

Kevin Aillaud:

This month in the Spartans we’re doing time. We’re talking about time management. So, closing out April and looking at April, I wanted to talk about boredom. I’m recording this episode during the voluntary self quarantine, you had social distancing period a lot of us are experiencing. You know what? If you’re listening to this a year later like 2021 2022 understand that we experienced in 2020 social distancing, right? Voluntary quarantine. It’s interesting to me how perfect that the topic I had already scheduled for this podcast is boredom, right? I think boredom is something that a lot of us are going to be experiencing quite a bit during this pandemic period.

Kevin Aillaud:

I think because we are so bad at handling boredom, we’re going to be trying to escape it in a variety of ways that aren’t great for us like buffering with food or booze or Netflix or buffering with the news, right? I’ve already talked about going to the news and just consuming, consuming, consuming, all that startle flinch sort of news and media. I think our brains sometimes would rather be in an anxious state, right? It would rather be fearful than be bored, because we make ourselves anxious enough, then we give ourselves a problem to solve.

Kevin Aillaud:

Today, I want to talk about boredom. What boredom is, whether it is or it isn’t a problem, right? And how you can handle it. So before even stepping into this guys, if you remember from a previous podcast episodes where I mentioned it, I struggled with boredom for a portion of my life. I use marijuana and pornography for overstimulation. When I stopped using those things as buffers, I removed that dopamine. So, I used sleep to disengage and pass the time. Life seemed to have no spark. I was curious about nothing. I was interested in nothing, and I was creating boredom. So, this podcast episode is very close to me.

Kevin Aillaud:

Now, the first thing to know that is going to maybe surprise some of you is that boredom is a thought. Okay? It’s not a circumstance. It’s not something that happens to you. It’s not just the case that you are bored, right? The same way that you are awake or you are sleeping. Boredom is not a state of being. Boredom is not a verb. Boredom is not a circumstance. It’s a thought that you have. It’s a subjective thought about a neutral circumstance. You have the thought that you are bored and that creates a feeling that we would call boredom.

Kevin Aillaud:

Now, if you get a physical sensation, would you think I’m bored? Then that’s the feeling that you’ve got and that’s fine. That’s boredom and you own that. When I think I’m bored, I don’t have a big physical response in my body because for me, boredom kind of feels, if I can call it that, it feels more like a removal. It feels more like a separation.

Kevin Aillaud:

Now, it’s different from person to person, right? My personal experience with boredom, both cellularly like in the cells of my body and anecdotally and my subjectivity will be different than yours. The important thing to know is that boredom is not just happening to you. You are creating it for yourself with your own thoughts. I want you to consider the alternative. I want you to consider if boredom was a circumstance, right? If boredom could just happen to you, then we’d all be bored at the same time, right? In the same circumstances while doing or not doing the same things, because that’s what it would mean, it would just be a fact.

Kevin Aillaud:

Remember the circumstance is something we all agreed to. In the case of boredom, it’s something we all agree is happening right now and we would all have to agree, right? All people at all times in all places that doing or not doing that thing is causing boredom. We all know that that isn’t the case. I can be bored watching a football game while someone else is having an incredibly engaging experience. How can that be if the football game is creating the boredom, right? It’s because our thoughts about the football game are different. My thought is this is boring, right? Who cares? Their thought is I want my team to win. This is so exciting. I love being a part of this group of fans, whatever. Can you believe that call that ref just made, right? They’re really engaged whatever they’re thinking. I find this to be true every time the World Cup season comes around. I’m just not that into football or soccer or whatever you want to call it.

Kevin Aillaud:

Look guys, nothing is intrinsically boring. Even doing nothing is not intrinsically boring. I know because I do nothing every day. I sit and I do nothing. I call it doing something because I call it meditating, but when you observe it, I’m actually doing nothing. When I do nothing, when I meditate, I’m not bored because I am mentally engaged in doing something, which I will get back to later in the episode.

Kevin Aillaud:

It’s only your thoughts that make something boring or not boring to you. That’s the first thing to understand. If you’re bored, you have only yourself to blame. You are causing, you are choosing to think and believe that you are bored and have nothing to do, and then you’re creating that experience for yourself. As long as you have a brain, a human mind, you do not have to be bored. The world around you is a playground of neutrality, and it’s your brain that makes things exciting or boring. There’s always interesting stuff to think about. You can use your mind to practice being present in the world and using your awareness to experience where you are.

Kevin Aillaud:

You can actively think or you can work on your meditative presence. You can download and observe the thoughts that don’t serve you and you can upload and practice thoughts that you want to believe to create your future. You don’t have to be bored ever. I love using time that I have to do nothing else but think, just to think. Just to ask myself powerful questions to try to think about my future self. What my future self is doing, what he thinks, what he believes, how he feels, what kind of results he’s created. I call this uploading. This is uploading, uploading my thoughts into the universe.

Kevin Aillaud:

I also like to think about my business, guys, and you know this. I think a lot about my business. I like to think about how I can grow my business, how I can serve and support my students more, how I can bring more teaching to the world through these podcasts. What my students are struggling with that I can help them help themselves see the truth that serves them the best. There are so many powerful, interesting questions to give your brain to work on that you never have to be bored. You never have to say there’s nothing going on. There’s nothing to do.

Kevin Aillaud:

Now, with all that being said, I do want to say this as well. The second most important thing to understand is that there’s nothing wrong with boredom, right? There’s nothing wrong with being bored. It’s just a sentence. It’s just a thought in your head. There’s no problem. There’s not a problem happening. It’s just a thought that you’re creating it, you’re choosing to have, it’s creating an experience for you. It doesn’t make it good or bad. It doesn’t make it wrong. It’s simply just the way it is. It’s totally okay and it’s okay to be bored. It’s not going to kill you. It’s not fatal.

Kevin Aillaud:

The biggest problem with boredom, I think, is that humans are so intolerant of it. We just don’t want to feel it. I think that as a human, we have to experience boredom sometimes and we have to know how to figure out how to amuse ourselves, right? That’s like the human experience. That’s the way humans developed and evolved. We didn’t have computers at home. We didn’t have computers in our backpacks. We didn’t have computers in our pockets all the time to always be able to stream music or stream news or play games or read social media. Our attention spans are actually getting shorter because of how much technology we use.

Kevin Aillaud:

So, our ability to tolerate boredom is getting very low. Your primitive brain always wants that hit of dopamine. So, it’s always going to choose. When unconscious, when you’re in that beta condition, when you are unconscious, you are always going to choose to poke the buttons on the game, on your phone, or go on to Facebook and move your finger scroll or go into Tinder scroll left, scroll right or go onto Facebook, scroll up, scroll down, right? Poke at your phone with the games, with the Tetris or whatever. Your brain is also wired for social connection, right? So, we do want to go on Tinder. We do want to go on Facebook. That’s the sea that we all live in, right? That’s the archipelago. We’re all these archipelago islands, but we live in the sea. We’re wired to be in the sea. We’re wired for unity, for oneness, and social media gives you, gives us the illusion of connecting to other people.

Kevin Aillaud:

So, I do think that we have a harder time tolerating boredom than previous generations. Right? Due to technology, due to our science, due to our technology, due to our innovation. We’ve just not had to do it. We just haven’t had to amuse ourselves. The problem is that on the other side of boredom, there are so many amazing things, guys. There’s so many awesome stuff. On the other side of boredom is creativity, right? On the other side of boredom is that true relaxation. It’s learning, it’s growth. Everything that humans can create is on the other side of boredom. Because to think deeply, right? To reflect, to let your mind wander, to access your creativity, you have to be willing to spend time where you’re not distracting yourself with external stimuli.

Kevin Aillaud:

If you are staring at a screen in your hand and trying to, I don’t know, build the empire or kill the zombies or whatever, like I don’t know. I don’t play games on my phone, so I’m not really sure what you’re doing on the phone, but whatever it is you’re trying to do, when you’re just giving yourself lots of little hits of dopamine and constantly scrolling or pinging or texting or whatever, you never have any space in your mind. Your brain is just bouncing all over the place. Boredom and space in your mind is essential because it’s on the other side of boredom that you will come up with new insights. You will have new ideas. You’ll brainstorm new projects. You’ll gain insight into yourself.

Kevin Aillaud:

If you are constantly distracting yourself, you never get to actually know your own brain or your own body, the cellular vibrations that we call feelings. You can’t find out what your thoughts are if you’re never willing to just sit around and pay attention to them. You have to be willing to sometimes just take away all that addictive stimuli and let your mind wander. We are so afraid of boredom or being alone with our own thoughts that we try to drown them out with Netflix and food and shopping and booze and Instagram and all the other things that we do to distract ourselves. I think that’s one of the reasons we avoid non stimulated time so much is that we’re afraid of our own minds, our own thoughts and feelings.

Kevin Aillaud:

Now for me, I was using drugs. When I was using drugs and pornography and then I started sleeping several hours a day. It was just a distraction from doing nothing. I had all this time on my hands from not smoking dope, right? From not watching pornography anymore. When I stopped doing those activities, I had all this time on my hands and with all that time, I didn’t know what to do. I certainly didn’t want to listen to my brain. So, I started sleeping. Your thoughts, my thoughts are not harmless if you’re not acting on them. Thoughts are just sentences in your mind. You can learn to observe and detach from them, but this is the crucial point, brother. This is what I want you to know.

Kevin Aillaud:

If you won’t ever stop and allow yourself to be alone with them. 16:28If you aren’t willing to go through the part where there’s a little … you’re bored a little bit at first, you’re never going to be able to learn or practice that skill. When we talk about boredom, I think it’s as if we … it’s kind of [inaudible 00:16:40], like a low grade discomfort. We’ve got to think about boredom as this like low grade discomfort but sometimes stopping that stimuli can actually be very, very uncomfortable.

Kevin Aillaud:

Being bored can feel like your brain is having an addictive fit about wanting to look at your phone or go to the television. It’s a lot like that feeling of deprivation. The boredom is what’s left when you go through the deprivation of external stimuli. It is the results of withdrawal from the dopamine addiction that was built up from that habit, whatever that habit is like looking at the phone or going to the gym or just being busy.

Kevin Aillaud:

I want you to understand that too, guys. It doesn’t have to be something addictive. It doesn’t have to be like drugs or alcohol or Netflix. It can be something like going to the gym or going to work or napping. When I would nap, that’s not something necessarily negative like sleeping is good for our body. It’s good for our recovery. It’s good for our longevity. It may increase our lifespan, but it was also like I wasn’t creating, I wasn’t producing. It’s the same with being busy. Just going out and doing manual labor or going to the gym. We distract ourselves with these activities because even though we tell ourselves they’re good for us, we go to the gym. We get stronger, we get healthy, we work our bodies and we’re active or we’re going, we work on our houses, we do housework or we go to work and we do busy work at our jobs.

Kevin Aillaud:

We convince ourselves that this is good, but we’re really just avoiding that boredom. So now we have this voluntary quarantine, that we’re self isolating, we no longer have the gym to amuse us. We no longer have the job to amuse us. The housework, all the house chores are done and they’re not abusing us anymore. Right? So, all of that stuff, there’s nothing wrong with any of it, right? There’s nothing wrong with any of it because we do it. What we don’t do is we don’t allow ourselves to be still, we don’t allow ourselves to be bored. We’re always out there being busy so that we don’t have that stillness of the mind. So, we have to be willing to go through that period. We have to be willing to go to that stillness. Boredom is like allowing a negative emotion. It is the doorway that we pass through so that we can enter into a space of creativity. We resist it so much and we go through such extreme lengths to avoid our own emotions, but if we’re able to relax and allow them, they’re often over in a few moments and we get to go through to the other side just fine.

Kevin Aillaud:

So, here’s the question, brother. What if you were willing to be bored like you walked into boredom on purpose? You wanted to do it. You wanted to say, “I am bored. I am going to be bored. I’m going to do nothing.” It will be very uncomfortable at first. You won’t know what to do and you’ll have the urge to distract yourself. You’ll be reaching for your phone. Just let the urge come up, let it pass. You’ll want to watch TV. You want to go turn on the TV or Netflix. Maybe you just want to put on some background noise. Don’t do it. Stay where you are. Stare out the window. Let your mind wander. Let your brain do some thinking. Don’t just replay your own self critical thoughts, but ask yourself some interesting questions to go along with.

Kevin Aillaud:

Like, how can I be an example of what’s possible? How can I get my work done? How can I create $10,000 and have fun at the same time? What can I do to laugh today? How can I make myself better today? How can I make my future more exciting than my past? How can I make myself a priority so I can have more to give to others? How do I love myself? How do I honor my body today? How can I live my best life? How can I make choices that benefit me and everyone around me at the same time? I mean, there’s so many powerful questions that we could just sit and ask, wow, you are doing nothing while you’re just thinking.

Kevin Aillaud:

Create some mental space for yourself. Let your body be still so that your mind can be active. Allow the discomfort of being bored and then pass through to the other side of creativity. Boredom won’t kill you. Depending on what happens outside in the world, we may all have a lot of time to practice being bored. So, I want you to give it a try. See what’s on the other side. See what you can create. Boredom is a part of discovering your purpose, because it means you get to be creative and determine what you want your purpose to be. I think you’re going to be so amazed at what you find.

Kevin Aillaud:

Now, here’s the thing, brother. We’re finishing up April, right? We’re finishing up time, but next month is relationship month and it’s going to be huge. I can’t tell you how huge relationships are. Relationships are probably the most misunderstood thing about the human experience and they are playgrounds for thoughts that … self critical thoughts and thoughts about other people and just emotions that feel so harmful, that feel so painful. So, we’re going to cover some amazing concepts on the podcast in May and take an even deeper dive into relationships in the Spartan Academy.

Kevin Aillaud:

So, if you are struggling in any relationship, even the relationship with yourself, this is the month to enroll in the Academy and develop the ability to create amazing relationships and a life on purpose. Go to the alphamalecoach.com and at the very top Work with Kevin, you’ll find the elevated Alpha Society Spartan Academy. Click there and it’ll take you to the description of the Academy. At the very bottom is the enrollment page.

Kevin Aillaud:

I look forward to your enrollment into the Spartan Academy and working with you on your relationships in May. Until next week, my brothers, elevate your alpha.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Alpha Male Coach Podcast. If you enjoy what you’ve heard and want even more, sign up for Unleash Your Alpha, your guide to shifting to the alpha mindset at the alphamalecoach.com/unleash.

 

 

 

By |2020-05-04T21:46:06-07:00April 24th, 2020|Podcast|0 Comments

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