Practice boredom

Today I want to describe how to wander, which is the first step in my "3 Ws" maxim for generating new insights. It may be a very small idea, but nothing generative happens without it. And as an example of how easy it is to forget this crucial step, I've not mentioned it once in any previous post so far. Such is the way fathoming where and how beginnings begin.

I've introduced a number of conceptual aphorisms in the past month of this blog that I'm refering to in this post. In a previous post, I described two basic prerequisites that kickstart any creative process: love and theft. I also previously described how one might go about loving and thieving their way towards creativity, which I call the "3 Ws":

Wander > Wonder > Wunder

So then. To wander, just practise boredom.

Practice boredom

There you go. That's it. Entirely. It reminds me of Jon Kabat-Zinn saying "where ever you go, there you are" or "simply return to the breathe". It's stupid simple. It's obvious. And yet it's difficult to remember and it's difficult to put into practice.

As an aphorism, it's quite beautiful. It's a poster. It's a door mat. Beauty helps make things easier to remember (I'm going to argue soon for aesthetics as the primary mode of human comprehension).

To practise boredom, do nothing.

So, how does one practice boredom? Simply, one does nothing. That is, avoid doing things. Avoid the low-hanging fruit, like daily routines, todo lists, being productive, coveting goals, having a TV show to watch, or making dinner. Don't be productive. Get some rest. Stare out the window. Stop talking.

When you do this, you can suddenly find yourself remembering things past, and connecting them to things seen today. Or suddenly discovering the logic of ants. That's wonder; fascinating interlinked connections will appear like invisible hyenas laughing at you from their hiding place.

I'll caution you to please not expect that your boring ideas will be amazing. Stop expecting things to happen. Stop. Just enjoy some boredom. Laugh back at the hyenas. A daemon will arise if it wishes.