Boredom is But a Window to a Sunny Day Beyond the Gloom

What, exactly, is boredom?

It is a deeply unpleasant state of unmet arousal: we are aroused rather than despondent, but, for one or more reasons, our arousal cannot be met or directed. These reasons can be internal – often a lack of imagination, motivation, or concentration – or external, such as an absence of environmental stimuli or opportunities. We want to do something engaging, but find ourselves unable to do so and, more than that, are frustrated by the rising awareness of this inability.

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About The Author

Aeon's picture

Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas and culture. Since September 2012 they have been publishing some of the most profound and provocative thinking on the web. They ask the big questions and find the freshest, most original answers, provided by leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society, and the arts. Aeon was founded in London by Paul and Brigid Hains. It now has offices in London, Melbourne, and New York. Aeon is a not-for-profit and operated by Aeon Media Group Ltd., committed to big ideas, serious enquiry, and a humane worldview. That’s it.

What do YOU See?

Are you feeling bored? 

Do you want work that interests you?

I have worked with lots of people who say:

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About The Author

Elizabeth B. Crook's picture

Elizabeth B. Crook is CEO of Orchard Advisors. For over twenty years, she has worked with CEO's and entrepreneurs to think and act strategically to grow their companies' bottom line and have more overall satisfaction. She has a gift for making sense of complex situations and mapping them so creative and practical approaches emerge. Clients speak of her insight, skill, authenticity, and willingness to ask the hard questions in a gentle way. 

She is also the bestselling author of Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next. Recent media features include ForbesFast CompanyDaily WorthPBS Next AvenueThrive Global, Conscious Company, and BetterBook Club.

A mother, grandmother, and ardent hiker, she lives on Music Row in Nashville. 

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Bored woman looking out window through slats of blinds
02/26/2020
What, exactly, is boredom? It is a deeply unpleasant state of unmet arousal: we are aroused rather than despondent, but, for one or more reasons, our arousal cannot be met or directed. These... read more
Bright blue eye glasses on black background.
09/10/2018
Are you feeling bored?  Do you want work that interests you? I have worked with lots of people who say: I’m bored with what I do. I’ve lost interest in ____. I’ve always done the... read more
Bored woman looking out window through slats of blinds
02/26/2020
What, exactly, is boredom? It is a deeply unpleasant state of unmet arousal: we are aroused rather than despondent, but, for one or more reasons, our arousal cannot be met or directed. These... read more
Bright blue eye glasses on black background.
09/10/2018
Are you feeling bored?  Do you want work that interests you? I have worked with lots of people who say: I’m bored with what I do. I’ve lost interest in ____. I’ve always done the... read more