Laziness and escapism.
For me, these have been some of my biggest challenges that this whole self-development journey has been about.
The whole idea of simply not wanting to deal with the difficult challenges facing us, and instead pass the time pleasantly through one of the great menu of distractions that we have available.
And we do have quite a menu these days.
Every form of entertainment and distraction that you could possibly want is readily available.
In fact, it’s being shoved in our faces.
All the time we’re online, everywhere we go, we have a very easy and ready-to-go opportunity around every corner, to just enjoy ourselves.
And it’s so hard to not choose to do that, because entertainment is so fun.
And this world of professional modern entertainment is of such quality, it’s so professionally developed, and it’s available in so much variety according to whatever we want, that we can just be entertained for the rest of our lives.
We can be so entertained that we don’t even need to do anything.
But, of course, spending a life just being entertained, distracted, enjoying ourselves, meanwhile, the difficult, uncomfortable, real challenges of life tend to build up, go nowhere.
And so being lazy and passing time in escapism leads to this kind of buildup of all the things that we could and should be doing to improve life, instead, we’re not doing them, just passing the time, having fun, but then in the end we just get weaker and are not accomplishing the things that we imagined we might be able to, making the life that we want.
[…] As time goes by, there’s just less being accomplished, and the idea of the kind of life of I wanted just seems to get further away.
And then the escapism, the laziness, it becomes increasingly kind of desperate.
It’s like I need to distract myself from my life, because my life sucks, so when it goes too far, when there’s too much laziness, too much escapism, it just stops us from doing anything.
So this series is all about how we can overcome laziness and escapism.
I share some of what I’ve done through being able to improve my ability to just focus on real work and get real work done instead of entertaining myself with video games and other distractions.
And I find that one of the central things is that, if we live a life that is not inspiring to us in any way, of course we want to escape.
Of course we want to escape if we feel that “real” life, our “regular”, “normal” life, life in the “real world”: if that feels like being trapped in some kind of a nightmare, whether a nightmare of horror or just a nightmare of boredom, and with no sense that there’s any way out, then of course we’re going to want to escape.
So it’s a transition of looking at real life and trying to bring to real life the kinds of feelings that we get from our escapist distractions, to kind of put that into real life.
As I often like to look at it: looking at real life like a video game.
And for those who have been addicted to video games, they can understand how that’s a meaningful thing.
And maybe for other people, if you’re addicted to maybe fictional TV series or something, or movies, that whole feeling of an exciting story: that’s something that can be brought into real life.
And sort of applying that, the things that we look for in escapism, to kind of find ways to bring them out in real life.
Although it’s never going to be as concentrated and designed a form as these professional entertainment products are designed to give us this perfect feeling of entertainment, in a nicely wrapped package, but still we can get something.
Some of that satisfaction that we get out of entertainment, we can then bring that back into real life and find it in reality.
And that’s what I’ve found for me is the way that I could overcome escapism.
But of course, the most difficult part is that it’s uncomfortable.
Real life, doing real things in real life, is awkward and uncomfortable, often.
Whereas the world of entertainment is designed to be as comfortable and smooth and painless as possible.
So one of the most difficult parts, I find, of overcoming this is to be able to face discomfort, to accept being uncomfortable, to stretch the comfort zone, and be willing to be a little bit awkward, uncomfortable, maybe bored, maybe dissatisfied, a little bit of grumbly feelings, to kind of be OK with that, to lean into that.
And then gradually, over time, find that as much as it doesn’t give me as much of a full, exciting, simple, easy, experience as entertainment, there is no substitute for real life.
And ultimately, I think, once we can sort of recover from this sort of excess of an overload of high-stimulation entertainment, that real life can once again take the place of, naturally, being the thing that is the most powerful and strongest effect in our lives.
Let the real world be life.
Let our life be in the real world.
Let our life be real life.
This is the prize at the end of this recovery.
#escapism #laziness #reallife