I am always interested to see how people end up on my site and reading my blog, and the most popular by far (if you are measuring things in terms of google searches) is my post about laziness. Seems it strikes a chord. People google laziness and how to deal with it so it seems. Whilst I don’t search for answers on the internet, I must admit the thought of laziness crosses my mind from time to time, ok if I am honest, frequently. Most likely it is why I wrote the original blog in the first place. Am I doing enough, am I procrastinating, am I being lazy? Are the questions that can plague my mind.
Usually I am an actions stations kinda girl, I like to get things done and get frustrated when I am not achieving. But when I decided to step off the corporate trail and put a pack on my back for a few years it was the need to stop, to be, to not achieve, that drove me to unwind, explore and end up living on the side of a mountain in India. It was during this time where I learned the art of resting down, of simplicity in life and the ability to feel happy and content without having “achieved” in the usual definition of achievement. I can’t say I fully made that transition as the nagging little voices in my head taunted me that I had become lazy. It whispered that my resting down was a cover for laziness. I am sure it wasn’t only the make believe voices in my head but the unheard voices of friends and family -what happened to the driven, ambitious, action packed girl?
The balance between doing and being is often confused with the act of action v’s laziness. It is easy to mistake the two and I spent a great deal of time reconciling this with myself for the years I was not “working” (in the conventional sense). Was I lazy or was I simply learning how to be, to be content in this moment and satisfied without the need of achievement?
It is a tough question and I find that now I am back in the corporate world I notice the ambition to fit as much “in” to my day as possible….and the guilt that follows when I spend a mindless hour or so on Facebook. Today was a turning point for me however – I turned my 5.20am alarm off and went back to sleep for an hour as I was tired. Not unusual, but what was different today, I did not chastise myself for being lazy for sleeping an extra hour.
I still believe in getting as much in to this short life that we have – for me having a healthy body, mind and soul takes effort and work, let’s face it, it doesn’t happen like it did in our 20’s. I need to put in in order to get back. However now, I measure my achievement a bit differently these days, it is not necessarily in large to do lists or places visited or things done but rather in how I feel. in the balance I feel I have, on how I sleep, my energy levels and clarity of mind. If they are in check then I am “doing” enough. Am I of service to others? Am I contributing to making this world a better place in some small way and am I going to bed each day feeling content? These are my measures of success, of achievement and in essence of my laziness.
I realised that we are so focused on achievement and cramming as much in to 24 hours as we can that when we don’t, we feel like we have failed. And for most of us, failure sucks.
Maybe you are ok with chilling on the sofa every evening and zoning out with mindless tv or internet – but chances are if you goggled laziness, you aint one of those people. You may be like me, that constantly feels the need to do, and questions yourself about being lazy.
So here is the deal, you can always do more. So stop beating yourself up over that. But if you are questioning your own laziness, then there are some questions you can ask yourself.
1. Do a bit of tally, what would you like to be achieving on an average day/week/month? Or better still, what is your ideal day?
2. How does that then compare to reality? Are you realistic with your expectations?
3. What is your balance between doing and being? (think action v’s resting down)
4. If you are task master, then maybe plan in some resting down activities….think massage, meditation, yoga
5. If you are a lazy bones and want to get your lazy arse off the sofa – plan in your “achievements’ for the week and check them off. Involve a friend or someone who can help motivate and support you and hold you accountable.
But some of the best advice I ever received was if you do fall of the wagon or not meet your goals of doing, then practicing self acceptance is way healthier than guilt or self beating. Find the balance between doing and being and an honest look in the mirror can often help you determine, are you lazy?