Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The Cure for Boredom Is Curiosity. There Is No Cure for Curiosity.

24 July 2020


I am bored easily. Until 7 years ago, I had a demanding job that prevented such feelings. Since about 2015, I’m on an introspective journey. Usually, it’s about Why and sometimes about the How or What questions. In science, this journey is called internal curiosity, which differs from external curiosity that is triggered by our senses (eg, hearing, seeing, tasting, touching).

Both boredom and overthinking (a.k.a. internal curiosity) seem to have a negative connotation. Many people seem quite desperate in preventing both. This results in a well-known question: What are (y)our plans for today? Idleness is associated with many negative international proverbs.

A consequence of the above is that many people do not know who they are. Their description of themselves is usually about what they are (doing), like their job title or role. In the absence of a job or role, the answer becomes more difficult. My introspective journey revealed that I am someone who likes helping other people. Nothing more, nothing less.

My desire to help other people was also visible in being labelled as a Shaper in Meredith Belbin‘s theory on team roles. A Shaper “provides the necessary drive to ensure that the team keeps moving and does not lose focus or momentum”.

Apart from our view on idleness, there is another reason why people don’t like boredom and (the resulting) overthinking. That reason is related to the dark side of curiosity (eg, PT-2009PT-2016). Internal curiosity is also about investigating the locked doors of our mind. This battle between fear and curiosity is related to the Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself“.

A 2010 study revealed that others may even know us better than we do:

“Humans have long been advised to “know thyself,” but new research suggests we may not know ourselves as well as we think we do. While individuals may be more accurate at assessing their own neurotic traits, such as anxiety, it seems friends, and even strangers, are often better barometers of traits such as intelligence, creativity and extroversion.” (ScienceDaily-2010)

At this point, it’s fair raising the following: do we really want to know who we are? If not, do we fear who we are? If yes, then it must indeed be hard to love ourselves.

“The Cure for Boredom Is Curiosity. There Is No Cure for Curiosity.” A (1980?) quote by Ellen Parr, which is sometimes misattributed to Dorothy Parker (eg, GoodReads).

The Dark Side (2018) by Muse

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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