Ode to the laziness

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Summer vacation is a strange break from the ordinary work, that it allows us not to do things for a while.

Change is good for the mind for sure, yet as we’ve recovered our strength what then? Is it okay to just be? Isn’t that lazy?

Exactly the word laziness is today’s theme, a word that has such a strong response from the Google. I get quotes such as:

  • Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. – Jules Renard
  • Run away from laziness; work hard. Touch intuition and listen to the heart, not marketing directors. Dream. – Alber Elbaz
  • Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. – Anne Frank
  • Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it’s only kept a secret from the person who fails. – Robert Half
  • A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. – Benjamin Franklin
  • When we hold back out of laziness, that is when we tie ourselves into knots of boredom. – Walter Annenberg

On the image side I see dozens of more quotes, about the same thing: successful people rejecting the whole idea of laziness.

Definition of laziness according to the free dictionary would be not willing to work [1].  Dictionary.com describes lazy as averse or disinclined to work, activity or exertion [2].

With these definitions it’s no wonder successful people who have worked very hard and so dismissive against the concept that is the opposite of working.

I would like to question the status of work as the holy grail these successful people are claiming it to be.

Work is really useful and necessary, when we have some kind of idea what we are doing. However, work does not need to be all the time the kind of necessary evil. Part of it always will be, yet as a greater part it can get something closer to the play it is is supposed to be.

True laziness is when we are lazy doing things we truly enjoy doing. Doing things we do not enjoy doing is not laziness, it’s just the resistance. Sometimes doing what we don’t want to be doing can be beneficial, sometimes harmful.

Laziness is such a concept that it’s really hard to find any more positive words to describe it. I.e. yesterday as I was reading Quora, I found a magnificent way to look & find your hidden talents. Today as I looked at the table there again, if by any chance there would be laziness there and it would’ve be somehow transformed into something positive, the result was a disappointing no, there was not.

Next I started Googling and I did not find as much positive about laziness, as I would’ve liked. As I said, I agree with that the work is really important. However, laziness in a way is a human tendency and therefore it should also serve some higher purpose. Despite it being a deadly sin, I say that the feeling of laziness when you are supposed to be doing something just happens to give a signal that you are doing the wrong thing. We never feel lazy about doing the right thing.

Desire for comfort and rest to the excess are different from the feeling of laziness. To feel lazy means not to want to exert oneself on the particular task, it does not mean that you do not want to do anything.

Motivations is born inside us, when we’ve interesting things to do we also find the energy and acceptance to work.

Laziness is reluctance to do the particular work, not all the work. When we find something meaningful to do we are not feeling lazy anymore, then we feel like playing instead of working.

Oh and by the way I happened to see some people who have also found value in the laziness:

  • Things come in a quieter way to me. It’s not laziness, and it’s not diffidence. I just know how far you have to bend for work. That’s important for me. – John Hurt
  • The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris. – Larry Wall
  • Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.  – Sam Keen
  • Laziness works. And the simple way to incorporate its health benefits into your life is simply to take a nap. – Tom Hodgkinson
  • I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it. – Bill Gates

To conclude, I think laziness as a emotion tells us to change up something to find something that has more meaning to ourselves. Something that feels like play, because play is what we should do more. Even doing nothing is sometimes really good, because at least we are not getting in the way of things as we are usually. Call that meditation, enlightenment or whatever you will.

Lazy person should have a great ability to identify the most fun to get out of the comfort zone through play. Life should be fun too.

 

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/laziness

[2] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lazy

Poem: Seeking the source

Where is the deep source,

Well of creativity,

Fountain of longevity,

Birthplace of originality?

 

Four norsemen,

Forged the source,

With the art of zen,

And strong force,

Completed was the source.

 

To the present,

Message was sent,

Source is real,

As a proof the seal.

 

Seal of faith,

Not seen by the eye,

Only by the right,

That who possesses truesight.

 

Lost in time,

Lost in present,

All we can do is whine,

Until our necks are bent.

 

Or we can choose,

To fight for a truce,

Let’s not wail,

We all shall prevail.

 

Source is real,

So are you,

Live the life with zeal,

And it shall come too.

Thoughts about the movie: Me before you

me_before_you_28film29Article contains spoilers so please do not proceed if you want actually see the movie first.

We watched yesterday this movie and it’s quite unusual movie that puts one certainly to think.

Main characters four limbs have been paralyzed except for one finger. He has experienced a lot in life despite his relatively young age and yet he does not see life worth living for even though he speaks of potential. He does not see the point of living unless he can experience it with the intensity he did before the unfortunate accident, so he wishes to die rather than live so called joyless life.

This is a scenario that could happen to anyone. Main character also had possibilities due to his wealth, yet he saw the wealth only as a way to joy and he did not see any way he himself could contribute with his current existence, even though he already had started to contribute on a small scale when he made the life of a girl more richer in terms of experience.

Then he chose death. At least he did not choose to do it hastily as he had given six months warning to his parents. Yet somehow I do think that he gave up on life a bit too easily. I say this because he still had his ability to think and speak and there alone is great potential for creative effort as well as enlightening others. This he could’ve done easily, yet he somehow viewed the life from the point of experiencing joy versus experiencing suffering.

Of course I am no-one to judge in this kind of position, but I too have thought about this kind of worst case. Human has astounding resilience for life and although we should enjoy life, it is through the good deeds we are remembered. In the movie Will Traynor changed drastically the course of one, yet I think he could’ve done more and even had some joy doing it.

Greatest joy is the joy of giving after all.

Positive mindset for the long run

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What makes so positivity so worth it? And on the other hand why is negativity still around?

I think the key difference for positivity is the hope and belief that things will get better, thus we are ready to invest and create for the future.

Negativity on the other hand often times just feeds on that which has been created and believes everything is therefore limited.

Evolutionary basis and advantage in negative thinking is of course when people who think like that happen to be right. My guess would be actually that this capacity in built-in most of us under right circumstances: i.e.. when your basic needs are not met.

Same goes for positivity as well, when the circumstances are right we can focus to be more positive and long term thinkers.

Other people influence a lot to our lives and I think from the basic needs the feelings of psychological safety is quite tricky. We need social connections that accept us, yet we are also willing to adapt in order to fit in. Then again fitting in without getting accepted gets us into another dilemma and from these kinds of situations the negativity can emerge.

With this awareness we can start building more positive mindset in a long run.

Other side of growth is recuperation

evening-sky-141797_1920Yesterday was last day to work for the next four weeks. Most of the people started their well earned summer vacation. July is still the most popular summer vacation month in Finnish business world.

As a parting words at Trainers’ House Max Henttu talked about cyclic nature of life. I am quite of sensitive to these kinds of things, and this cyclic nature of life has been something that I’ve been contemplating before. So this was like a fresh summer rain for the seeds that started to grow quite rapidly. More in just a moment.

So I have now four weeks of free time, which for most of my ambitions is really short time and I recognize this. I do not have much plans, aside from spending some time in the summer cottage, picking up blueberries and mushrooms. I enjoy the summer here in Finland, it’s luxurious not too hot just right breeze of wind, feels cool. I like shadows and breeze of wind rather than scorching sun.

These thoughts weren’t yet yesterday in my mind as many people were asking about my plans: nothing much came to my mind and that started to feel stressing. What’s the point to stress about vacation?

Even this morning I was considering my options and I am quite happy where I am right now.

The seeds of thought about yesterday’s orientation for the vacation have grown quite a bit. I started thinking what is indeed the other side of growth?

Growth. How do things even grow? It takes time to grow for sure. There was a metaphor in a book few days ago, loosely translated as “old trees grow slowest” when talked about particular Finnish author Sakari Pälsi. Really sweet words.

It put me to think, is it really so that the oldest trees grow slow? Quick Googing did not yield reliable results top three hits were kind of contradictory so I did not come to a definite conclusion. As a nature person I believe it solely depends on the trees and the environment, adaptation is necessary.

I think the tree metaphor is so nice for a human growth as well. As I was pondering about this topic in the morning I came to understand that the other side of growth is recuperation, saving the energy for a more suitable time to grow and probably doing some inner reflection. Growing fast or slow does not matter, as long as we are able to grow towards the meaningful direction.

For me, I have to learn to value the recuperation as much as growth.

Keep calm and listen (to yourself)

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When feeling tired and you don’t know what you should? What you should do is just to listen yourself.

This morning as I was going to my work, I noticed several voices in my head. Some are the advise and demands of others, while there is one voice that just tries to get heard, but cannot and thus has to use other kinds of methods such as pain or tiredness to try to communicate.

Then I realize, hey maybe I should just shut up for a moment and try to listen? Then I start to notice and hear, oh yeah well maybe there are things I could do better for myself.

It can happen that we are used to serving some voices, those voices are not ourselves at all.

We can forget ourselves.

Therefore it’s important to sit quietly to realize whose life exactly we are living and how we are living it. It’s important to give ourselves the most important conscious time as well, the time where we can listen.

Better tomorrow for all humanity with the power of stories and imagination



In the book Brief History of Human Kind Yuval Harari explains very well how human societies run around imaginary ideas also known as money, company or nations. In the core of every imaginary thing is a story.

Stories are those forces which connect people for believed benefit. People who lead with stories are leaders, the more buzz, passion and energy around a story we can create, the greater the movement will become. Stories become greater than any man. Creators of the stories may have been long gone, yet great leaders and read the depth of the story and the culture and to add or change that story as the ages demand.

I.e. some of the greatest human achievements such as space programs have mobilized whole nations.

Yet it’s just nations when it could be whole world. There is still so much potential to be fulfilled.

Great stories such as money, keep benefiting whole humanity through the increase of collaboration, trade and business. Yet some of our greatest achievements such as Wikipedia or open source platforms require no money at all and people are working towards those for free.

Money is not basic necessity, water, food and clean air are. So with my thinking I am suggesting, could we prioritize some of our work towards so that we could start meeting those basic needs for the growing population of earth?

Where does that kind of extra productivity spur from? Well I’ve plenty of suggestions stemming from the great achievements of the man itself. If we look world from the orbit, do we see any nation state borders? No.

Indeed. Most of the bureaucratic work effort that is involved with the nation state could be harnessed for even a greater story. Instead of police clerk to work to protect just the citizen of nation from threats why not to protect all people?

We should start rewriting and retelling our stories for the benefit of all humanity.

All the decisions we make are the right decisions

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Summer is here, unlike in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale. Summer means things like summer vacation in which we’ve a lots of time in our hands. This often times leads to a bit crisis about what to do with our time.

For me it’s mainly exhausting to think what kinds of commitments and claims I’ve made of what I am going to do and I am already feeling bad for everything that I am not being able to do. Cycle of suffering indeed.

Then to add some more spice of suffering here, I also managed to make some decisions: I bought the computer I have been promising myself for the past year. Yay. And of course I am now doubting the decision.

Thankfully, today I decided finally to stop doubting and started enjoying. I watched the TEDx talk by Robin Esrock, where I found this thought about all the decisions we make are right decisions. This is really comforting.

With this, I think I’ll get my writing done during the summer; as well as enjoy some of the mindless gaming I’ve been looking forward to quite a while. Best things in life come in weird combinations. If we do not pursue things that really matters to us, nothing is going to feel really satisfactory.

What is success all about?

strawberry-1459569_1920Success is the desired result of an attempt [1]. Often times we deem success only that which has taking years, or decades worth of effort. We are being too harsh.

For each one of us success in indeed different, we have to define what is the desired result, what is the success for us. What is the key for achieving success, achieving the desired result? Energy.

I like the physics definition of energy: the capacity of a body or system to do work. What is work? Simply productive activity. Or in other words ability to deliver the desired results via exertion of energy.

Thinking this about systemic way, it seems to be obvious that success comes from results, that come from work. If we all know this, why only so few are satisfied with their level of success?

I am experiencing unsatisfactory level of success and I have a tendency to analyze things and that’s what I am doing now. On my own part I’ve noticed that most of the suffering is because of the lack of willingness to work very well ahead and on the other hand desiring too much in advance. Energy part crucial, and is the bottleneck.

Energy in human should be pretty simple. Our bodies essentially turns what we eat magically into energy. Then our unconscious runs on the background without any mark and then when we switch our consciousness on that really show on the energy consumption. Our brain consumes up to fifth of our calories and sometimes it is really just a belief that causes this mental exhaustion [2]. I wrote an article while back about our peak performance. However, now I am already in the different paths of thinking, what if the only bottleneck isn’t the physical energy or our ability to produce energy, but a mental one? What if the our beliefs limit us from using our energy?

Success is result(s). Results come from an ability to harness physical and mental energy attempt create the desired results and to shape as well as direct that process.

Next question is that can we consciously shape our mental habits to such direction, which creates both consciously and unconsciously more attempts at work?

 

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/success

[2] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/thinking-hard-calories/

What exactly limits our achievement?

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This is a topic that of course I just started pursuing and I have no answer. Yet sometimes the questions are as interesting as answers so allow me to elaborate a bit.

In a life there is the daily grind: doing what we need to do to survive.

However, that’s not our best at all. Then the next question is what would be our best and why aren’t we doing it?

First things to come to my mind were fear and habits on an individual level. And why not to change them, because we believe in something? Why do we believe, because of our experience and knowledge so far. So how to start changing the beliefs then? The same way they were acquired in the first place: by testing them, acquiring knowledge and experience, then keeping the ones that work and ditching the ones that don’t.

So in that sense pretty much anyone who has the will to do something differently in the present than in the past already knows this and is here. Yet, something is lacking, what exactly it is that limits us? It’s not the conscious limitations, as much as it is the unconscious possibilities. We do not leverage the unconscious well enough. In fact even so few believe in that which is not conscious. We can consciously compare it in any way we want and yet we cannot grasp what would it be in the action. Difference is between description and actual experience.

We all have unconscious which we are not conscious of. We could start to achieve more, if we would first acknowledge that unconscious could help us.