This article is not supposed to make any sense whatsoever. Well, actually it might make sense to you if you are feeling as lazy as I am as I write this. Having something you can relate to wouldn’t come across as pure nonsense, would it?
But you clearly are not lazy because it takes a considerable amount of will power and self-discipline to read an actual article these days. Most people just lounge on the couch or in bed and scroll through Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter for hours on end. I do not deny that I do a lot of that myself. Sometimes though, like on this particular occasion, I give myself the full freedom to be as lazy as I can possibly be, but only in a way that would actually benefit me in the long term.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Writing is such a difficult task. It is not the sort of thing that a lazy person would pick to occupy their time with. But it passes as one of the most productive things a lazy person can do, even if they fail colossally at it. And that is why I chose to write right now instead of lounging in bed and watching a movie like I was doing a few minutes ago.
When such moments of intense laziness hit me; when I feel as though an enormous elephant is sitting on my chest and I cannot so much as lift a finger, I muster up the last traces of courage, will power and self-control within me and make myself a deal: I allow myself the freedom to abandon any form of work that I don’t feel like doing at the moment and indulge myself in any activity that I prefer — on the condition that that activity is one that can profit me in the long run or at least wouldn’t make my overall situation worse.
Sometimes this will entail just taking a nap, going out for a walk, eating some snacks or fruits, reading a book, or writing something in my journal. For me, the most frequent of these is reading. When my work starts to feel even slightly overwhelming, I just slam the laptop shut, fall in bed, and open the Kindle app on my phone and read a book. Almost every time after reading, I feel like I have done something productive. I feel like I am actually good for something. This makes me feel good about myself and the next thing I know, I am on my laptop again, slaying away at code as though it is the one thing I was born to do.
I feel like I am giving some sagely advice right now — advice about laziness, despite having just referred to myself as a lazy writer in the very title of this article. My advice might not be sagely but let’s just pretend it is. This begs the question: Would you take advice on how to deal with laziness from a lazy person? Would you take weight loss advice from an overweight person?
Back in the days when I didn’t know better, I would say, without a thought, that I can’t take weight loss advice from someone who is overweight or productivity advice from a lazy person. It just didn’t make any sense. But now I think that is very shallow and it is not always the correct way to look at it. I think Friedrich Nietzsche explained this better than I ever could so I‘m just going to step back and let him speak on this one:
There is a false saying, ‘Whoever cannot save himself — how can he save others? ‘ But if I have the key to your chains, why should your and my lock be the same.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
I hope that is a satisfactory explanation because I am too tired to work one up right now.
A few days ago I read somewhere that you don’t have to be rich or famous or good looking to have an extraordinary life. Among many other things, you could create interesting habits and principles and follow them consistently and judiciously. I strongly agree with this and writing is one of my habits I try to cultivate.
As a matter of fact, what pushed me to write this article in the first place is the fact that this month is ending in a few hours and I need to fulfill a commitment I made to myself 8 months ago to publish one article a month. Do you see how a commitment that was made 8 months ago is still helping me to defeat laziness today? If I hadn’t made that commitment, I don’t know where I would have had the will power to stop a movie halfway to write an article.
When I started this article, I was exercising the laziness trick I just talked about. I knew I needed to write. I also knew that writing was difficult and I was in no mood to do anything difficult. So I decided to make it easier and possibly fun for me: I allowed myself the freedom to write anything at all. I didn’t care about the quality of the article as long as I actually wrote it.
It doesn’t much matter to me whether or not the article turns out to be awful. It matters that I actually stared laziness in the face and went ahead in spite of it and wrote the article.
In the title of this article, I probably gave you the impression that I was going to share many thoughts but I just realized I have only shared one — about laziness. Before you accuse me of having lied about this, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that the opening statement of the article mentioned that it wasn’t going to make any sense, so I guess we can say it all cancels out.
Anyway, I’m just going to end here since I don’t have any more thoughts to share.