“Don’t just tell me to work, convince me why I should”: Laziness has a point

Anybody who is not a perfect master of self-discipline knows that sometimes you just don’t feel like doing what you know you should do.
And what does that really mean? What’s that all about? You just- I mean, you know what is the best thing to do, and yet there’s some part of you that just simply does not want to do it.
It’s like “I don’t feel like it.” And it seems like this is a recurring battle for me, as I can come up with a plan, a very well-considered, thought-out plan of “This is the best way to spend my day”, but then, you know, one distraction or another, I can just entertain myself, play a game, browse some reading materials, and just find ways to amuse myself all day.
And, you know, before I know it, that’s the end of the day and that’s the end of my well-laid plan to do all the good things.
And I have my list of good things, and things that I should do, and then it ends up simply growing, you know, to then look at the next day.
So- and this is a whole topic in itself, of how to have that negotiation between maybe the rational part of you that has a clear plan of all the good things that should be done, and then maybe the more kind of emotional and maybe lazy side that just doesn’t feel like doing any of those things and simply wants to feel good right now, be entertained, and just have fun.
So one side of this, one aspect of this, is it seems like it’s so easy to look at that part of ourselves that doesn’t want to work, that just feels like having fun, doesn’t feel like doing what we know we should do, to see that as a very bad thing.
This lazy side, this lazy, greedy, doesn’t want to do anything, just wants pleasure and amusement and doesn’t want to work for it.
You know, this is a very lazy thing, and you know, if somebody- if that side of them is the dominant side, and you know, if that voice of “I want what I want and I don’t want to work for it”, if that becomes the dominant voice, then that can really lead to a what you might call a bad character.
But it seems like maybe we don’t need to look at this side as really being entirely negative.
It’s not bad.
It’s only bad if we let it kind of take over and, you know, run our entire lives out of control.
But as a voice, as one of the voices that’s part of our decision-making, it seems like it has a valid point to make.
So the lazy self is saying “I simply- I don’t feel like doing it.
Oh, you have this plan, do you? You have all these things you want me to do.
Well, why should I do it? Why should I do all those things? Why should I work so hard and do things that make me uncomfortable? Oh, because you say that it’s going to lead to a good future.
But first of all, you know, I can’t live entirely for the future.
I have to live for the present, too.
So all these promises of how I’ll be paid in the future: you know, eventually a payday has to come in.
You can’t just say ‘I’ll pay you next week’ every week.” So these promises of doing things that will be good for the future, they can always come with a bit of a caution to them.
And secondly, why should I listen to my rational self and all its clever plans when it’s been wrong before? I mean, it’s not like my rational planning faculty is some kind of perfect controller that just like knows exactly what to do, because clearly I’ve been wrong before, and I’ve wasted lots of time, even when I’ve been doing things that I thought were very clever at the time.
So here we have this lazy side of ourselves that’s saying “I don’t want to do what you tell me, and why should I trust you?” So rather than just saying “You are bad.
You are bad.
You must follow my commands.
Stop questioning me.
I have decided that exercising and doing work and not watching TV, you know, these are good things, and therefore you should do them, and the fact that you don’t want to exercise, you don’t want to work, and you’d rather sit and watch TV, that is just because you are lazy.” But instead, it seems like what we have to do is kind of convince.
We have to convince this side of ourselves.
Now, maybe there’s a time, there’s a time to simply say “Shut up.
I need to do my work, and that’s it.” And that can be effective too.
But it seems like sometimes, we can’t do that forever, because sometimes it’s like “No, I don’t feel like it”, and that part of ourselves needs to be convinced.
It needs to really believe OK, this is a good thing.
This working hard, doing things that are not fun right now, but that are probably going to lead to something good: that is going to make you happier overall.
And it’s this whole kind of negotiation maybe, or maybe it has to be like a sales pitch, or maybe it’s, you know, some kind of like a a political speech, trying to stir the masses, saying “Workers, you know, you should be working because this.” You know, really something to really inspire and motivate.

#laziness #motivation #whywork

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *