Whatever you create, could be a painting, could be sailing, writing, singing, making something, working with numbers, words, speech, building, engineering, heart surgery and so on, essentially the difference between it being just job and creating your best possible art is your practices and commitment.

If we have a ritual, a daily routine, so that we are step-by-step slowly but surely mastering whatever we do, then it will become an art form, a work of love, a thing that others will seek.

Routines and rituals take the amazingly huge and daunting dreams down to small repetitive and hardly noticeable steps of dedication that if repeated will bring the amazing.

‘Doesn’t matter what they are, just have them’ as Seth Godin said when asked what his rituals were.

The final ingredient is the patience and dedication to commit to those rituals day after day for a lifetime of mastering the things that matter to us. That takes staying focused in this moment and concentrating deeply on the one thing and one thing only, deep work is needed.

Fuck, I love boredom

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been struggling with life a bit and in last 2 weeks I’ve been unwell, it has definitely been reflected in all that I do.

I haven’t been doing my daily art, for example, something that has been one of my greatest pleasures on a day-to-day basis over many years and it would normally be the very last thing to be overlooked no matter what had to be done.

Most of my rituals have gone out the window, apart from my private daily writing journal, thank god it’s private, and this my daily blog.

However, even this has felt like a tick-boxing exercise in recent weeks and I have even got to the point of saying ‘maybe I’m done with blogging’.

This is not an ‘aww poor Phil’ kind of post and I’m not looking for a ‘there-there’ as we all suffer these downs, as well as the ups in life.

I’ve been trying to eat my own dog food so to speak and talk myself out of this rut, however, like for most of us, the voice of authority, whether it comes from others or ourselves, simply does not work. I really deep down wanted to be down and screw the happy-clappy happiness BS.

So in the last few weeks, I have just said to myself ‘fuck it’ and I have done absolutely bugger all. I’ve binged watched and got bored, in fact, the boredom has become the cure.

This is one of the ills of our current world, we have less and less chance or time to get bored. Especially, since we are all glued to our boredom eradicators, AKA smartphones.

Boredom is great as it allows daydreaming, it leads to imaginative ways of relieving boredom, and that is something that I remember with nostalgic fondness from my childhood, towards the end of long summer holidays boredom would set in and that you would then lead you to fill the time with all sorts of ideas and games etc that would relieve the boredom. The best ideas came out of that boredom.

Boredom is so good for creative thinking, daydreaming is so good for the soul, as like art itself, the magic in life is in those things that are not useful, but are undescribably what matters. Knives and forks are useful, but I could live without them if I had to. Art, music, poetry and so on are useless but I’d die without them.

I am coming out the other side of this mini-shutdown and I feel the energy returning and I feel the weeks of self-imposed nothing has helped, it has broken the inevitable monotony that builds up over time with routines and rituals, it allows a mental and physical rest for the body and most of all a period of thought and reflection.

Am I now the unstoppable, supercharged go getting tiger of Deep Work just from a few weeks of boredom? Well, no. But I am ready to go again, to carry on getting even better, to take the next small step in the journey. I am energised and refocused.

I fucking love boredom and I do not intend to leave it so long before I get thoroughly bored again.