9 Vital Reasons to Choose Engaged Aliveness Over Boredom

IF you are bored, you are boring.

When Moses handed down the Ten Commandments, he should have added one more to the list: Number Eleven, Thou Shalt Never Be Bored.

Boredom is not a feeling like sorrow or anger, but rather boredom is an itchy, empty state-of-mind when one imagines that he is trapped in an unsatisfying environment, holding on tight to the notion that there’s absolutely nothing interesting to do out there.

She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. – Zelda Fitzgerald, The Collected Writings

Boredom is a state-of-mind one can indeed refuse. There’s never a reason to be bored: not during a five-hour delay at the airport, not while listening to a dreary Sunday sermon, not on a long road trip, and never in one’s own home.

      Boredom is a dark cloud that keeps the Light from getting in!

To suck every drop of life out of Life before we take our final breath is a good thing, but an attitude of boredom prevents one from imbibing the juice, the mana available to us every moment. As Richard Bach says, in order to live free and happily you must sacrifice boredom.

The opposite of boredom is engaged aliveness and to experience that, one must sacrifice boredom, but it’s not always easy.


Nine Reasons Why It’s Vital to Choose Engaged Aliveness Over Boredom


1. Holding on to an attitude of being bored may make one boring. As Barbara ‘Cutie’ Cooper suggests in her book, Fall in Love for Life“If you’re bored, you’re boring.”

2. Boredom leads to unhealthy behaviors such as over-eating, compulsive spending, gambling, and too much watching of The Big Bang Theory on TV, endless surfing the Internet or playing Candy Crush on a mobile device.

3. Dying of boredom.  You are dying of boredom? Could be! A public health survey from 1985-88 involved asking 7500 civil servants, ages 35-55, if they were bored with their lives. The follow-up study 20 years later showed that those subjects who reported boredom were 37% more likely to be dead by then.

4. Kids need us as positive role models for approaching life with engaged aliveness. We expect our children to know how to entertain themselves for periods of time, so we must also demand that of ourselves as adults by setting a clear example of engaged aliveness for the kids and grandkids in our lives.

5. Boredom and creativity cannot occupy the same space. Boredom stifles the creative nature and all the possibilities inherent therein. Nothing is produced when one is bored, however when one is engaged in writing, making art, dancing or many other productive activities, there’s never a sense of being bored and beautiful things happen.

6. “Boredom is the fear of the self.” – Maria Josephine de Suin. Boredom can be a defense against a fear of looking inside ourselves in an honest search of what’s calling us. It could be a call from our inner being or a call from outside of ourselves. Someone who is bored never asks, “What needs to be done?”

7. Boredom clouds the eyes preventing one from observing the wonder of every present moment. While we may have past memories and future plans, all we really have that is truly alive is the magical present moment.

8. One cannot experience gratitude toward anything while bored, and since gratitude is the refreshing force that keeps our love of life alive, when one allows himself to fall into a state of boredom, he becomes disheartened and loses his way.

9. Being bored is an insult to the gift that is this human experience of life and an insult to one’s very own self as well. Life is so full of possibilities and treasures every minute of every day.

There’s no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes, Angry, yes, Depressed, yes, Crazy, yes. But there’s no excuse for boredom, ever. – Viggo Mortensen

Many of you reading this post may never have experienced boredom: others of you may have had bouts of it at times. Share your personal experience of that state of being bored and how you’ve chosen a different way of meeting life. Leave your comment.


  1. Wow! What a great article!

  2. Barbara Talbert says:

    Heather, This is the perfect message for me today.

    I am retiring and today is my last day of work. The label “teacher” will be dropping from the list of ways I describe myself. I have no idea what title will replace it, but feel confident that I won’t allow boredom to take up my free time. Love you Heather.

    • Barb, I’m so very excited for you! Love.

    • Vicki Sinha says:

      Being a teacher is a way of being. It is not a title attached to a name. If you have had a calling to be a teacher, that will remain. It is the venue and, perhaps, what and how you teach that will change. The subject matter will come to you. So will those who are seeking a “teacher.” Enjoy exploring the possibilities.

  3. Pat Kriso says:

    Hi Heather, as you know, I am creative and have an art room. This prevents boredom. I, like others though, need to be in the mood. My cure for boredom/lonliness is to go out and find something to do around others. I volunteer a lot at places that I love the environment. Try it, you’ll like it! Pat

    • Heather says:

      Thanks for the comment, Pat. You are so fortunate with your chosen type of volunteering, because it aligns with something you were already passionate about — books/library/children!

  4. Danielle says:

    Hi Heather
    Good article,when I was 12 yrs old (now 54) I was in a play and one of my lines were”if your bored,your boring” I remember that to this day,so true.

    • Heather says:

      Danielle! Isn’t that amazing how certain things we were told as kids stick with us forever: some good things, some not so helpful. Thanks for sharing and big hugs!

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