When I’m working, I’m always working hard. I believe in doing my very best in all my endeavors. However, when I’m not working, I tend to judge myself as being lazy. I often wonder how I can be hard-working and lazy at the same time. John feels the same way about himself. I wonder if everyone feels this way?
In Pema Chodron’s book, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, she discusses three kinds of laziness. I could immediately see all three forms in myself:
1. Comfort orientation. This is when we crave pleasurable sensations, when we want to relax and take life easy. We become aggravated by any inconveniences or uncomfortable experiences.
2. Loss of heart. We feel hopeless about our life, our situation, the world, etc. We feel too weak and poor to do much of anything. Sadness overtakes us.
3. Resentment. We hate the world and feel defiant. We essentially give up on life because we feel undervalued – and believe that our work won’t get us anywhere anyway.
Some possible solutions to these forms of laziness are:
* Noticing and stopping our negative, critical thoughts and feelings about ourselves, other people, and the world.
* Stopping our tendency to justify to ourselves that “this is just how I am.”
* Investigating our deep feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
* Discovering what it is that we really need (rather than “want”).
* Asking ourselves why we allow our dissatisfaction and boredom to continue.
And I believe, as Joseph Campbell says, we should strive to “follow our bliss.” When we’re pursuing activities and goals that inspire us, we can’t help being motivated. We can make time for rest and relaxation without falling into a love of ease which can evolve into laziness and even depression.
Let us look for ways to compassionately care for ourselves and others, especially during this busy holiday season.