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In Algeria, the computer was my best friend before I knew the existence of the Internet. I always filled my time with something to do, whether studying, watching tv, or playing outside.
As a kid, me and my brother had a limited amount of time allowed with technology, and it was available only on the weekend (Thursday-Friday) before it changed to Friday-Saturday in 2009 (Dad's rules)
The higher my grades, the more time I could get. I was hustling my minutes through being a good student while my brother was hustling me through "big brother" status.
Without huge responsibilities, there wasn't much room for boredom.
There was homework, studying religion, and watching TV (limited time.)
Even though I loved basketball, I didn't have the chance to play when I felt like it.
Without even knowing it, I was already hooked on learning.
I always wanted to know more.
I had an infinite curiosity loop that was fueled by my hyperactivity.
My cure for boredom was "finding something new," which I instinctively created for myself.
Fast forward to today, I embraced boredom because it benefits my creativity and productivity.
The idea of the article you're reading came from boredom. Me, and only me, VS my thoughts.
It wasn't always like that.
Like most people, I turned to social media, TV shows, movies, and anything that could help me fill my time.
There are explanations for the why and the how.
Boredom can ruin your life but can also save it.
It's up to you what position you want to put yourself into.
If you're tired of being bored, keep reading.
I'll help you break through this.
The general concept of boredom is that you aren't using your time the right way.
Your brain perceives your current activity as "insignificant."
What is your first reaction to boredom?
Picking up your phone, then scrolling through social media (becomes boring), so you put Netflix and watch a movie (also becomes boring), and now you're back scrolling through social media, again.
That's without even considering drug consumption, which doesn't help you at all. The first solution is the drug which leads to everything else mentioned above.
Taking yourself out of this slump requires more effort because your brain is used to multiple dopamine sources provided by those distractions.
All these problems have ONE root linking them all together, your thoughts!
When you cannot appreciate your company and deal with your thoughts, you start trying anything to help you escape them.
In this instance, boredom = facing your thoughts.
If you fear boredom, you fear your thoughts.
If you fear your thoughts, you lack clarity.
If you lack clarity, your future is blurry.
And the cycle repeats itself.
Negative boredom is the one that kills you from the inside. You have a spiral of negative thoughts that trigger unbearable pain. You can't endure two minutes of silence without creeping anxiety that urges you to pick up your phone and scroll TikTok.
Before dealing with boredom, you have to deal with yourself.
Boredom is fueled by your actions and has a boomerang effect.
Dealing with yourself is THE most difficult part of this whole process. I'm not a psychologist, and this is purely based on my own experience and perspective.
Understand why boredom is affecting you negatively.
Can't you enjoy silence? Why?
Can't you know what to do? Why?
Can't you walk without music? Why?
Can't you eat without watching TV? Why?
The faster you realize how every activity you do distracts you from your thoughts, the quicker you can get out of it.
Every escape is a meaningless addition that can trigger a future negative thought.
Stress, fear and anxiety are associated with the negative effects of boredom.
I see it from a whole different lens. I'm bored IF I don't feel stress, fear or anxiety.
These are only feeling you learn to handle more efficiently.
Do you feel stress, fear, or anxiety? GOOD.
Do something about it!
Take this opportunity and challenge yourself.
Your mind and body are sending you signals.
These signals are meant to make you push through.
Growth only happens through pain, and there isn't any other way around it.
So, why are you trying to escape?
Boredom occurs when you're not doing something meaningful with your time.
If everything is boring to you.
Reading was boring for me before it became interesting.
Writing was SO boring for me before it became interesting.
Everything that I'm genuinely interested in was boring for me before.
Life isn't fair. It won't align your "interests" and "hobbies" waiting for you to experiment with them.
YOU have to take action.
YOU have to feel the pain and understand it should be boring before it becomes interesting.
Everything that doesn't serve my purpose (following the rules of my religion) and my mission (building an online multi-passion business) is boring to me, but not everything is boring to me.
Can you visualize the difference?
What might be "boring" for the average joe/jane (walking, reading, writing, exploring new topics) is not for the reborn creator.
I found reading and writing boring because I associated them with the school.
God knows how many students think school is boring.
I became interested in those topics from the moment I disassociated them from school.
Later on, I understood that ideas came during rest (showers, walks, sports, naps, etc.) without distractions such as music.
Anything that disconnects you from the world but does not distract you from your thoughts is what gives you a step ahead to master your mind.
That's how I transitioned into positive boredom. Everything I do serves my purpose.
Reading a book? It helps me nurture my mind and come up with content ideas (my blog is an example of that)
Taking a walk? I hated to walk. But I enjoy it now because I had the chance to experience it in Japan. It also helps me spark ideas, connect with nature, and keep my daily steps locked in.
To give you an idea, that's how my days used to look like in 2019:
I was making a minimum of 5k per month while having a "chill lifestyle." Many people envy this schedule, but I was fed up. I wasn't learning anything, and I wasn't happy about how I was going through life. I completely stopped because of my religion.
I don't call those my "old good days" because I made the decision myself.
My schedule is 2020 (covid):
That's not every day. I'm human, after all. I'd say 80% of the year. I don't remember exactly how long we had the quarantine, but it sucked.
I didn't read books at that time. I consumed many courses and read articles about anything that interested me (nutrition, training, online business, web design, branding, brand strategy.)
I discovered so many things that made me obsessed.
That obsession led me to purchase my first book because I understood that it wasn't like the previous school anymore. I had my own school now, the online school.
You get to choose what topic you want to study, and nobody will tell you when you have to finish it.
You are on your own.
As of writing this, my schedule is MESSED UP.
I sleep at a different time every night.
I wake up at a different time every morning.
But I still do what I have to do.
Building my personal brand is not something I take lightly.
You don't have to have the perfect schedule, but you have to put in the work.
As a kid, I discovered my interests and hobbies because of boredom.
I didn't have a smartphone or a laptop.
There weren't any distractions.
After studying religion, I would try something new to deal with boredom and fill my time.
Finding new interests was easy for me. I always exposed myself to different "dimensions" of the world and kept an open mind to try new things.
You have nothing to lose. Try something new for 2 weeks. If after two weeks you don't like it, move on.
I never knew cooking would become a hobby of mine, and I wouldn't know if I had never tried it.
You need to identify your weaknesses to start finding new hobbies and interests.
Are you addicted to your phone?
Are you addicted to Netflix?
Or do you think you don't have the time?
As I said, before dealing with boredom, you have to deal with yourself.
Imagine the chance you have. Some people don't get the chance to discover opportunities online because they don't have access to the Internet.
And you, you waste this opportunity with mindless social media scrolling or watching movies on Netflix.
You can't blame technology for your boredom.
You have created this bubble because of technology, but that's because you didn't use it correctly.
You can use your smartphone right now and make 10k in 4 months.
If you want to build an online business, sorry to tell you, but you need your smartphone and laptop.
So, you have to use it to explore new interests and hobbies.
Follow these steps to trigger a new perspective and unlock new interests:
What are you watching? This will help you become aware of your behaviour and own interests.
Before creating content, I watched many videos about online business, content creation, solopreneurship, and freelance.
Now, it's mostly around content creation, learning, and online business. I still watch basketball highlights but mostly on weekends.
This might sound crazy, but it will initially give you huge anxiety. Because you become aware of how you waste your time (the most precious thing in the world.)
I become anxious if I'm not doing something meaningful with my time.
Bear in mind that I still watch Netflix, but I'm not putting it before my priorities.
You can't know your priorities if you don't have preferences.
How to track your time? Take a pen and paper or your smartphone and log every activity you do.
Tracking time is one of the most important aspects of lifestyle design.
To reach the level of working 4 to 6 hours per day. You have to be aware of what you are doing with your time, at all times.
What will I do once I can work 4 to 6 hours per day?
In an ideal scenario, this is what my schedule would look like:
That looks nice, but it won't be achievable if I complain about "being bored."
I said no to 95% of what I got asked for the last 4 years.
Wanna try this new money move? No.
Wanna chill at X place? No.
Wanna go outside? No.
Wanna go club? No.
Wanna go eat? No.
To build your dream life, you must be willing to make a lot of tradeoffs. You can't have it all.
You don't need negativity in your life when you're trying to become a better version of yourself.
Pick three creators to follow their advice, that's it. You don't need more (for now.)
Immerse yourself in their content.
Are you interested in my content? Good, I'm very honored!
That's your first door to discovering a new interest, don't shut it down.
In the last four months, I only listened to ONE person; Dan Koe.
I read everything he writes with a critical lens.
I'm not consuming it with an "ok to all" mindset.
But, I understood one thing from my several mistakes.
Listen and follow the advice from someone who is where you want to be.
That's exactly what I'm doing. His thinking aligns with mine, his content aligns with mine, and his journey aligns with mine as well.
From Web Designer to consultant and from consultant to a content creator.
What I want:
My results speak for themselves.
Guess what? It all started with boredom.
Here are some creators I suggest you follow and immerse yourself in their content.
As for now, my freelance work is my 9-5. Building my personal brand is taking over my time slowly because I work on it only if I don't have client work or after I finish it.
I still make time to build my personal brand and discover new topics. I found a way to stay open-minded because if I get interested in something new, I can share it with you.
I make time for my gym workouts.
I make time for my Japanese studying.
I make time for my social media engagement.
I make time for anything I want to do.
If you don't have a job that requires 12h of your day, not having the time is an excuse.
It's easy to stay comfortable and do your routine. But, once a problem hits you, everything falls apart. Because you're not used to discomfort.
Challenging yourself physically and mentally is necessary.
That's how humans should live, not sitting on sofas and desks for 8 hours.
I preach what I say. Even though I love my routine.
I didn't have a similar schedule for more than four years.
I travelled to more than 10 countries, where I got the chance to discover new cultures and food.
That helped me step out of my comfort zone every year for over four years.
I wanted to cover this in the end because it’s essential to understand how to deal with boredom if you want to discover a new passion.
Before a passion is “passion,” it’s an interest when you explore it on your own.
You can definitely develop a passion because of your friend or your family member.
For instance, I discovered boxing only after coming to Canada. I became friends with a classmate who is still my friend to this day and is now a professional Boxer.
I never missed one of his fights (those I could attend), and I became interested in boxing out of support for my friend.
Otherwise, I don’t know if I would ever become interested in boxing in the first place.
That shows you why it’s essential to have an open mind because it’s never too late to find a new interest that might develop into a passion that might become your full-time income.
After you find new hobbies and interests, write down a list of ideas to explore further.
When I entered the internet world, I discovered so many things that I couldn’t keep up with learning that much.
I recently wrote down my list and made an interesting observation.
You can find a new interest within another interest, and so on and forth.
That’s where exploring your interests come into play.
The goal is to explore your interests and see which one sparks your curiosity more.
Don’t limit yourself to two or three choices.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer. By following the first steps to overcoming your boredom, your brain should be firing some ideas now.
From the moment an interest sparks your curiosity more than another. Become obsessed!
Consume as many articles, videos, and podcasts as possible for weeks.
I became obsessed with writing, read as many posts as possible, followed copywriters, and wrote blog posts about brand strategy, e-commerce, and skincare.
I even had blog posts that ranked on the first page of google.
Now is the time to zoom out to not fall into tutorial hell (consuming courses and tutorials without getting into action.)
It’s a very dangerous trap. Six months later, you’ll still watch YouTube videos without doing a single action.
Stop, breathe, and reflect. Think of different ways you can develop your interest further.
Can you build a business around this new passion?
When you discover something new, you're excited and that's how you can become obsessed.
But, at some point. Boredom will still come back.
My solution was straightforward.
I always tried different tactics.
Before I became interested in writing, reading, and walking, whenever I was bored, I picked up the ball and played basketball (not in winter). What's funny is that I had to walk 10 minutes to the park.
In winter, I head to the YMCA and play basketball for as long as possible.
If I want to stay home, I fire my laptop and find something to learn, or I watch a show in Japanese.
That serves my purpose of learning a new language.
I always had something to fill my time and deal with boredom instead of scrolling through social media, even if I did it occasionally.
Again, you can't escape from it if you're in it. You only learn to better deal with it.
Use technology to your advantage. Use it to build your dream life.
Nobody is perfect. I was supposed to write this newsletter at 8 am, but it's 4:30 pm.
Don't beat yourself up.
It takes time to improve.
It takes time to build an online business.
And it takes time to experience success.
Let me know what you will try to find your new hobby or interests.
I explore the intersection of passions and business.
I am a minimalist, and multi-passionate currently obsessed with the creator economy, branding & web design.
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