Unfortunately, we live in such a hectic fast-paced wold that any sort of leisure --it‘s seen “waste” of time.
If you’re not working 100 hour weeks, if you sit down for a moment, if you ever want to take a moment, just a minute, to be lazy, you’re weak; you’re a failure.
There’s no balance.
Your ultimate goal is to create a work-life balance, but you can’t create balance without tipping or leaning on the other side of the scale. That is why you must embrace laziness, embrace leisure.
Leisure is no more of a waste of time on your productivity than charging your phone is a waste of time of running apps.
The only acceptable term for laziness in society that seems to be widely accepted in public and regarded as a positive thing socially is called “Meditation”.
What is meditation? It’s entering a state of total relaxation, free of worry, stress, and attachment to the material world and the world of obligation. It is encompassing yourself in comfort and pleasure.
In essence, Meditation is embracing your Laziness, but god forbid you say that!
Meditation is literally doing nothing.
We live in such a hard-work driven society that we can’t even use the word “laziness” to describe laziness. It’s bizarre to me. We have to use phrases and words that dance around and jump through hoops to make it sound more professional or diligent or whatever, but we need to stop beating around around the bush. That’s too much fancy footwork. Just say what you mean and be done with it. Less time, less effort, better results.
Don’t say you’re going to meditate. Say you’re ‘bout to be lazy af! You're doing absolutely nothing.
Even yoga, which is basically just “stretching”, has a fancy term to it, but we’ll get to that later.
You must let go of everything you feel “required” to do in order to find what you feel “desired” to do.
You must let go of your ideas of rules & patterns in order to find original thoughts and ingenious ideas.
You must de-program yourself. Release all of your mental constraints and personal inhibitions. You must recharge yourself and remind yourself that you’re a lazy human and not a hardworking machine.
When you’re cooped up in cubicle at work, you’re not only physically constrained, much like a small prison cell with little space and a scheduled “pee time” (they’ve literally imprisoned your bladder), you are mentally incarcerated by the way you can think, the way you dress, the problem-solving methods you can use, the goals you want to achieve (it’s encouraged for you to follow the company’s mission statement, rather than your own personal mission statement).
You must free yourself from these imaginary restraining orders. Freedom comes from laziness.
As Robin Singh, founder of E-Junkie & Peepal Farm said on my recent interview with him:
“The best ideas come from leisure time...You’re not gonna come up with great ideas while you’re slaving away in front of a machine from 9-5. You’re gonna have a great idea when you’re just like, chilling somewhere.”
You can listen to the clip below or check out the full episode here. Don‘t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify!
I would further suggest that the “nature” doesn’t necessarily have to be in the depths of a forest or at the tops of a mountain or out in the sea, or really anywhere out in actual nature, but rather “nature”, refers to whatever is natural for you to do, wherever it is that you feel most “at home, " even if that's your bed at home or between book shelves on a bean bag chair at the library
It should be somewhere though that is away from your typical work environment and will not make you think of or give you any reminders of any due dates, obligations, or stress triggers.
Nature should be your happy place, your own little Lazy Island, a Sloth Sanctuary, whatever you want to call it. It is a place that’ll set your mind at ease. It will cue your brain into engulfing yourself in laziness, into entering a completely tranquil state of mind.
Eventually, you can reach the point where this “Nature”, becomes a crutch and you can visit your own little Lazy Island --- embrace your laziness by entering a state of relaxation through meditation, without physically being out in “Nature”. It comes from within yourself, rather than anything external.
For now though, find a place -- a library, a coffee shop, or yes, even out in the woods -- where you feel safe, comfortable, and at rest.
Take a deep breath, Yawn (the "Y" in L.A.Z.Y. Mindset) and just soak in the environment. Live in the moment and don’t worry about “oh I have to do this” or “oh I should be doing that.” Don’t force yourself to think about something specific or avoid something else.
Watch your thoughts as if they are clouds rolling by on a Lazy Sunday afternoon. You can examine them, but don’t dive deep into them. Don't become attached to any one idea or thought. Let it pass.
Fully. Deeply. Completely. Relax.
Realize that your thoughts are just that. They are just temporary instances in the brain. Just like emotion, you may not be able to control them, but you can control your reaction and reflection to them.
It may be hard to choose what thoughts come and go, but you can always choose which ones to nourish on and lie down in -- just like how you choose which slice of pizza to eat or which couch in the living room to lie on
A procrastinator chooses when to do things; s/he is in control of their decisions; s/he chooses when to think about things, and doesn’t like spending time on things s/he doesn’t care about.
You have to be lazy. Don’t think. Don’t “try” to get anything out of your meditation experience. All you’re doing is relaxing and letting go of your trained habit of always being awake and alert.
You may get distracted, which is fine. You’re not quite used to fully and completely being lazy yet; you’re not used to totally relaxing. You’ve only ever temporarily took a break from you’re ever moving, non-stop, swift paced lifestyle. You’ve likely never had the chance to slow it down and take it easy, and I mean take it REAL easy.
Even when you did relax in your quote on quote “leisure” time, you may have been worried about what you should be doing instead or what you’ll have to do later to "make up for” your laziness.
The only time you may have legitimately fully relaxed was in your sleep. The problem with that is you often forget the ideas and thought processes
Though you may occasionally remember your dream, your brain often naturally discards this information.
(By the way, there’s been studies that show that people who play a lot of video games are more likely to have conscious control and remember their dreams better than those who do not play video games. Another topic for another time though, perhaps)
A lot of artists and musicians realized the value of this relaxed state of mind and some of the most popular songs came directly from dreams.
The Beatles were notorious for writing songs based on their dreams, for example. They would literally keep a “dream diary” on their bed side so they could jot down their ideas immediately upon waking up.
Paul McCartney from the Beatles wrote the song “Yesterday” and John Lennon wrote “Let it Be”, both inspired by dreams.
Similarly other artists like Sting who wrote “Every Breath You Take” and Tom Rundgren who wrote “Bang the Drum All Day”created those masterpieces during their state of lazy relaxation, of sleep and dreaming.
You’re not going to fall asleep in this case, however.
The idea is to tap into that creative subconscious mind, free from social pressures and logical reasoning.
When you’re fully awake, you have definitions of “things”. Every place, person, or object has a definition and understanding of how it works.
“Things are this way because that’s the way they are.”
That way of thinking is limiting because you focus on what is, rather than what it could be . This line of thinking often leads to doubt and insecurity in one’s self. You can have this definition of yourself based on mistakes or choices you made, rather than actually having any sort of true enlightenment on who you are and embodying a sense of real self actualization and not self definition or obligation.
You are not a firm puzzle piece, fitting into a specific slot in a specific corner. You are not pre-cut and pre-determined in who you are. You are more like clay, a flexible material capable of creating any statue possible; you can mold and shape anyway you choose. You don’t have to follow instructions or a blueprint either.
You are a total free form and spirit, a lazy human being with freedom to lie down in any position you want, a procrastinator.
While practicing your laziness, ahem, “meditation", you’re aiming for a state of sleep-awake -- laziness. You’re so relaxed that you’re ALMOST asleep but not quite catching 40 winks or entering REM. You’re still conscious enough of what’s going on in the surrounding environment and could wake up at any time, but you choose not to.
You’ll eventually innovate ideas you never thought you’d ever come up with, and it’ll be more effective than (and not to mention easier than) any sort of forced “brainstorm meeting” your boss thought would be a good idea.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Take it easy. Take it real easy.
P.S. Check out the full episode of the interview with Robin Singh right here
You can also grab your copy of the L.A.Z.Y Mindset FREE e-book, where I cover Leisure, and the other three modules of easy no effort success. Just fill out the form below.