Laziness… Procrastination… Perfectionism… The Dark Triad of the modern world, which no hero stands to protect us from.
Here’s a wild thought: Do we need protection from them?
The example I gave myself to write about this was about drinking water. It’s become so pervasive as health talk to drink more water. Funny thing is that there’s a certain amount of water that would be healthy to drink. It’s possible to drink too much water. But we don’t say “drink enough water” nearly as much as we say “drink more water”. There’s an implication that we drink too little water. The idea is that we don’t partake in the activity of drinking water, and we need to do more of that activity. There’s a funny little judgment behind that that tells us we are too inactive and need to get off our behinds and do the thing we need to do but are not doing.
There’s a judgment behind it that says that we are lazy.
Sometimes we should drink water, because we can drink water and we’re not drinking enough water, but we don’t feel like drinking water, we don’t want to. But we “really should”. So in that moment where you don’t feel like drinking water, but you know you should, we’ve learned to respond to that by forcing ourselves to drink, exerting willpower against our existing behavior to override it and to drink the water.
Here’s another wild thought (it’s actually the same thought hehe): is that the right response?
Sometimes it is. Depending on the situation. If your physician told you, as medical advice, to drink more water than you usually do, then yes, absolutely, you should follow that advice even if you don’t feel like it. But if you’re generally fine, you’re not dying of dehydration, and there’s no concerning present symptoms that a doctor would be worried about, it’s completely okay to not drink more water than your body tells you to drink. It’s fine. You’ve been doing it all your life, you won’t die from it now.
I’ve learned it’s ok to let these things go, and just watch myself do the thing I disagree with (e.g. not drinking more water). Because there’s this conflict in intention between what my body wants, and what I want. I’ve learned that it’s a really good idea to default to letting your body take the wheels on your behavior, and you only jump in to override when it’s necessary.
I think we generally already do that, but we think everything is necessary. We exert that control too much. We come to believe that it’s necessary to drink that water. When really it’s not. And your body understands the value of water, but it’s independently deciding to not drink it. Maybe there’s a reason for that decision. Trust your body, it knows well. It’s been honed for billions of years, and decades of life experience. If it’s deciding that that drink of water is not necessary, it must be deciding that something else is more important. Listen to it and let it lead. Eventually it’ll get to a place where you’ll effortlessly be drinking more water.
You’re not lazy for not drinking the water.
You may have figured out by now that drinking the water is an analogy to anything we think we need to do. Procrastinating is also sometimes a good thing. Let things go, and give yourself the space your body is asking from you. You have every reason to disagree with it, and demand more from it. But believe me when I tell you that it’s a lifetime’s worth of wisdom to learn that it’s a good idea to listen to your body when it asks you for something you disagree with.