Stop scrolling. You’re bored. But what sort of bored are you?

Remember blackouts? Remember how you managed to have fun, play games, and actually talk to each other when all the electronic distractions were forcibly removed?

Remember tedious hours at work when you let your plans and ideas unfold? Or dull hours of practising something that mattered to you?

From Wi-Fi on planes to infinite newsfeeds, now more than ever we have to make the choice to focus our attention and get the deep work done. But it might not be fun.

This episode is all about changing our relationship to boredom. It’s time to weaponise it and turn it into a training ground for the things we want to achieve and become.

We explore how 50 Cent turned his hustling days into an apprenticeship in business; how spending a couple of hours in a sensory deprivation tank actually gives you more time in your day; and how to turn the daily grind into the perfect opportunity.

From Michelangelo to BeeBop, Demosthenes to serial killing, this episode is packed with tales of creativity born from hardship and tedium.

We explain why kids don’t actually learn languages quickly (and are pretty dumb, too); why 75% of doing a PhD is simply not giving up; and how reading can improve your breathing.

Jon reflects on his failure to learn to play guitar, but his persistence in learning how to ad lib on piano; Dre reconquers the Rubik’s Cube; and we both discuss the continuing influence of toxic relationships on the present.

This Episode Includes:

  • Internalising the nuts and bolts… and then forgetting it all so you can actually play
  • Cultivating discipline and refusing quick fixes
  • Learning how to learn
  • Calling 911 when you see the stars
  • Discerning when the obstacle is the way, or when it’s time to find a new obstacle

Mentioned in the Episode:

  • Robert’s other (excellent) book, Mastery
  • Ned the cat’s Instagram account @nedkitteh
  • Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink
  • Our friends at the hilarious Probably Offensive podcast
  • Breaking Convention 2017 – the psychedelics research conference we attended

Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.

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