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Surya Rajendhran

What I learnt about boredom from One Punch Man

self-help2 min read

Most if not all anime fans would be familiar with the Japanese anime 'One Punch Man'. The show follows the life of one Saitama. A man that vowed to become the greatest hero and so trained incredibly hard that he became strong enough to beat anyone with a single punch (aha!).

After fighting a few monsters and joining the hero academy, he becomes very bored. He goes searching for stronger monsters and more interesting fights. And predictably, at the end of each fight, he ends up bored.

As I was watching this show, a pivotal moment came in the ninth episode of season two. The king, a fake but very popular hero that Saitama befriends, talks to him about a fight that Saitama just won with a single punch. He talks about being bored and doesn't know what else to do.

King then suggests that he try a dance class where he could meet friends. But Saitama disagrees saying that his boredom has nothing to do with friends, he just wants to keep being a hero.

King then suggests that maybe he take a vacation to calm down and relax. But he is met with a similar response.

In frustration, the King says something that cut deep,

Life is an endless journey. If you want to see something brand new, you have to find your own path.

It is wrong to think that you've met your goals simply by getting stronger.

On a hero's path, it's not easy to reach the end.

It is basically a mistake to feel a sense of fulfilment while fighting. To possess great courage and act for the sake of others; that is the point of having heroes.

Sometimes, we can become Saitama (without superhuman strength). We can feel that we have achieved all that we can in a certain situation and see no room for growth. Become bored and arrogant. This can be our jobs, our relationships with people and maybe even living in a city. When faced with such a situation, according to King, we can do one of two things to make it better:

  1. Recognise that we can seek fulfilment elsewhere and take the steps to find that fulfilment in other areas or people in our lives.
  2. Realise that there are no end goals in the various journeys in our life. And walking through the paths with the right ideals is more important than the destinations themselves.

I hope this can help you in your journey to find meaning in your life.

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