Tap into Your Inner Brilliance

Brooklyn-based innovator Manoush Zomorodi talks about how to use boredom to unleash your creativity.

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Her baby is colicky. That’s how it begins. The only way Manoush Zomorodi’s infant son can be soothed is when she walks him in his stroller through the streets of Brooklyn. She walks for hours. Any noise sets him off, so even talking on her flip phone is off limits. She grows bored. She finds herself spacing out, her mind wandering in a way she hasn’t experienced since childhood. Years later, she has a new job as a radio reporter. She’s given the chance to host her own show. It’s called Note to Self, about how technology is shaping our lives. She sits down to brainstorm. You know, as many ideas as you can dream up. No idea is a bad idea! There’s only one problem. She has no ideas. She tries to think back to a time when ideas came easily. And she remembers: those long walks with her son. Before her smartphone. When she was bored. That’s how Manoush came up with the Bored and Brilliant challenge, in which she asked her listeners: Will you join me in a week-long experiment? Will you change your digital habits, get bored on purpose, and see what happens? Twenty thousand people…

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About the author

Barbara Paulsen

Barbara Paulsen is a freelance writer, editor and podcast producer, who was formerly the longtime award-winning story development editor at National Geographic.