Challenge 72: Overcoming Boredom

What does it take to experience every aspect of life as endlessly fascinating, or magical?
Plane tickets to exotic locations? Perhaps soft music under the moonlight? If you observe a child, you’ll see that they are able to find endless joy in even the simplest of places. The way in which we perceive the world drastically changes as we come to understand our environment, and the physical structures of our brains change as well. What once may have been surprising and delightful may now be completely understood, and second nature. Boredom is simply apathy towards life. When life’s activities overwhelm our will, ambition or grand vision we tend to sit, idly, passing time with inactivity. Escapism ensues in whatever form we find convenient while the larger world seems unfascinating, unchanging, or apathetic back towards us. If boredom is apathy towards life, then apathy is perhaps ignorance, a perception skewed by a lack of inquiry into how rapidly changing, diverse, and captivating the world really is.

When you’ve found your passion or unrelenting love for some aspect of this world, boredom is out of the question. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi characterized apathy as stemming from the lack of challenge as well as skill level. Boredom, lack of skill or challenge, and apathy are inexorably linked. Challenge and skill, in contrast, are conduits to fulfillment. So how do we reclaim that childhood sense of wonder? We can start by remembering that as children, we were subjected to new experiences every single day. We were constantly learning, adapting to new surroundings, and challenging our peers (Tag, you’re it!). As we move forward in our lives, we should continuously seek out and explore new things: new faces, new ideas, new music, new flavors, new friends, and new challenges…

The Challenges
For our seventy-second weekly challenge, please choose one of the following. Use the provided link to register your challenge selection.

Challenge One (register)
Spring is here! Get out and get active, spearhead a fun activity with your friends!

That gorgeous time of year is upon us again and it’s time to seize the beautiful days with a fun activity. As you’ve seen, this week’s challenges are all about fun and enjoyment, and spreading that enjoyment throughout your daily lives and to others. In the past, these challenges have often been viewed in same light as a chore, or continuation of your workday. Not this week. We’re simply asking you to go outside, gather some friends, and do something fun. Play a game of disc golf, rollerblade around the city, go fishing, play touch football, take photos, or just have a picnic and enjoy the weather. Whatever you do: enjoy it. But while you’re kickin’ back thinking “I can’t believe this is a challenge!” remember that everything and every challenge in the BestMe journey is supposed to feel just as good.

Challenge Two (register)
Be a role model. Inspire at least three people to push for change to become a greater version of themselves.

Often times at the BestMe Challenge, we’ve tended to focus on those who inspire us to push us further toward achievement and greatness. This inspiration is undoubtedly healthy and necessary for our day to day motivation. Yet few things in life can be more fulfilling than assuming that role as a motivator and inspiration for those around us as well. An old proverb tells us that “the best way to learn is to teach.” Indeed, in advising those close to us to become greater versions of themselves, we’re put in the position to connect our knowledge and experience together, forming a more conclusive whole about how we’ve come to view the world. Relaying this to those close to us can have a viral effect, spreading this wisdom around and encouraging others to push for greater change in their lives. This week, be that agent of inspiration. Trust in your collected experience and knowledge and inspire at least three people to push for change to become a greater version of themselves.

Challenge Three (register)
Think of a way to make your life just a little bit more fun/enjoyable every week, and put this idea into action.

There is a recurring disconnect between thinking about self-improvement and actually stepping up to the plate to make it happen, and it has to do with how we view certain activities. Many, if not most, of us view exercising, stopping bad habits, building courage, even taking the stairs as work, a continuation of the 9 to 5 workday we often receive little enjoyment from. This is true, as long as one important element is missing from the equation: Fun. Thomas Edison once said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” Indeed, fun is an incentive with wondrous capabilities not just leading to the completion of a task, but to enjoy the process associated with it. Over these past weeks, if we’ve helped you enjoy the process of life then we’ve done our job. But this week, take the initiative to make your week more fun. This involves some creativity, and we encourage you to incorporate this fun in your daily work instead of just taking up a new video game. Remember: work is no longer work if it’s fun, and only you can make it that way.

Selected Quote
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
-Dorothy Parker

This Week: You Should Know
World Health Organization: Cellphones “Possibly Carcinogenic”

This week, a team of scientists at the World Health Organization’s World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that cellphone usage may increase the risk of certain forms of brain cancer. The group of 31 scientists, from 14 different countries, categorized cellphones into carcinogenic category 2B, similar to the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust. However, the experts said that such a classification does not render cellphones to automatically cause cancer and that the study should not change people’s cellphone habits. Nevertheless, the results perpetuate an already muddled the debate over the health effects of cellphone usage, a practically ubiquitous part of modern society.

Jonathan Samet, the panel’s chairman, told The Associated Press that they “found some threads of evidence telling us how cancers might occur, but there were acknowledged gaps and uncertainties.” Other scientists have remain skeptical of the research approach, which began with people who already had cancer and asked them to recall how often they used their cellphones more than a decade ago. The WHO panel conceded that if there are effects, they were unlikely to be large.

The study faced instant controversy because of a previous report last year that cellphone usage had no adverse health effects. Long-term effects are much more difficult to measure, the World Health Organization says, because “many cancers are not detectable until many years after the interactions that led to the tumour,” and the studies conducted so far haven’t tracked people for longer than about a decade. Other studies have advocated limited cellphone use for children, because of their developing brains, while others shown some evidence that they increase brain activity.

Original Content Provided by BestMe 2011.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at 10:05 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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