How About a Distraction?
In the modern way of life, how often do you allow your brain to remain idle? How often do you get bored? How often do you sit still simply doing nothing? I guess the answer to almost all these questions would have been never.
To be honest, I’m not surprised. But the actual question I want to ask is not how often do you get bored, but how often do you introspect? Introspection is not something that can be done alongside anything else. You may be able to listen to music while making reports or solving maths, but it is simply not possible to introspect without allowing yourself to be free of distractions.
The underlying reason is not that complicated either. What happens when you sit idle? You start thinking about things that have happened to you, the things that are happening with you, and the things that might happen with you. And more often than not, these thinking sessions do not lead to positive conclusions.
The brain is as lazy as it gets, and doing all this is not comfortable at all. Then what do you think is comfortable when such thoughts flood your mind?
- Scrolling on Instagram maybe?
- How about some Snapchat filters?
- Or maybe the discussion on Karthik Aryan’s new movie on WhatsApp?
Because these things don’t involve the active usage of your brain, it can just sit back and relax while being distracted from the harsh realities of life.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea here is not to make you feel guilty about any of these. It’s common and completely understandable to be distracted, to take the easy way out. Because it’s not you! It’s your brain doing all this and it’s not your fault.
Getting bored is okay!
Have you ever noticed a child playing by himself? Just notice how quickly children get bored with something. Whatever new toy you give them, the new game you teach them, after some time, they are going to get bored with it. But at the same time have you ever noticed the wacky stories children curate while playing. They create space wars, marketplaces, kingdoms and whatnot while sitting in a tiny room with dolls and cars! This all seems insignificant to the normal eye but actually has a great lesson hidden for all of us.
The thing is that in this modern world of distractions, people have stopped getting bored. They simply don’t have time to just sit back and relax, letting their imaginations run wild. You must’ve heard that great thinkers and artists lead a life of solitude. Was it the solitude that led them to create great works? I don’t think so, I think it was boredom!
They took the time to get bored and allowed their brains to roam free and just imagine whatever they could. They allowed themselves to think outside of what they were ingesting from their surroundings and this is what leads them to create something new from within themselves.
In essence, it is very true what people say, don’t let the child inside you die. Get bored sometimes, who knows you might find your fairyland hidden somewhere in your brain.
Leaving the Comfort Zone
I’ll answer the most obvious question first, what’s comfortable, and the answer is not thinking. Thinking is hard. Have you tried it recently? Try sitting quietly for some time, get your phone out of the way, shut down your laptop and TV and just relax for a bit. What happens then?
A flood of thoughts rushes in your brain, what did the neighbour aunt say in the morning, what your friend/ colleague did/ said to you in your school/ college/ office, what tasks you had for the day which you inevitably failed to complete and a lot of other stuff, and by the way where is that music coming from???
What to do you ask then? Well just breathe! Breathe in… and breathe out. Just let the thoughts flow without pursuing them. Try to focus only on your breathing. It is going to take some time, it’s not easy I already told you. It’s not necessary to have all the answers but if you just take the time to sit with yourself once in a while, you’ll see that making all those decisions gets a bit easier and life feels a bit calmer than before.
Think about the things that bother you, even if you don’t have a solution at least you will know what the problem is. Sometimes even knowing the problem is enough to make it go away.
You’ll see that when you take time to be with yourself you get a bit closer to your brain, you might say your brain is already in your head but trust me, you will feel closer to it. Give yourself the attention you have been throwing away at the world and see the wonders you are capable of with just you as your ally!
What Do You Want?
Breaking it down to the very basics of elements, everyone wants to be loved and respected, to be accepted in general. Accepted by the people around you, relatives, friends, peers and seniors alike. Nothing wrong in that, it’s completely natural to have these desires. As humans, we come hardwired with these instincts inside us biologically. But sometimes things go a little overboard.
In the efforts of belonging to the group, people can go to great lengths, often showing out of character behaviour just to ‘fit in’ with others. You unknowingly become the ‘yes man (or woman)’. You start saying yes to almost everything that comes your way even for things you might not like. This is known as conforming behaviour.
The desire to fit in motivates individuals to lose their individuality. You want to be the people pleaser, someone whom everyone likes. You are there for everyone, present at every party, have never had arguments with anyone (because you don’t have any views of your own to argue with), and you simply don’t disagree with anything. Won’t you like someone like that!
So, what’s the conclusion? Is it okay to be that guy? Is it okay to not have any views or opinions of your own? Is it okay to say yes when you want to say no? Is it okay to just be, but not exist? Think about it.