Lazy: Characterized by lack of effort or activity
Lazy is one of the most frequent adjectives I use to describe myself. It’s a very close fourth to “shy”, “quiet” and “awkward”. This became further apparent to me after I failed a year. The failure brought even more stark attention to the seemingly never-ending list of my family’s collective accomplishments and my increasing need for a defence mechanism. Lazy has been a longstanding means of a support structure that I employ. I lean on its flimsy, superficial legs. It’s decorative and not quite a sturdy foundation to lie any reasoning or excuse upon. It masks my underlying ambivalence towards the world.
Even the word lazy is lazy in itself.
The thing is that I do not actually believe that I’m lazy. It’s just an easier tool to utilise or maybe even a “lazy” tool to use in the face of my apparent apathy. Lazy is the completely wrong word because when I say it I don’t really mean it in its actual definition. But I don’t have a single word to describe it so lazy is an all-encompassing word that doesn’t really encompass what I mean.
I’m not lazy.
I’m scattered, chaotic, confused, inquisitive, indecisive, anxious and every other word in the English language to describe the enduringly conflicted mind.
The more I flounder in search for the reasoning behind my inclination towards passivity and lassitude, the more I collapse head first into a different word to describe my condition. That word is bored.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m just disillusioned by everything around me.
There are very few things that truly interest me. I often feel in a state of constant boredom and chronic dissatisfaction. I can’t fully concentrate through the full duration of a movie and often have to take breaks in between. I take months on end to read books that aren’t very long. I spend hours doing tasks that require far less time to accomplish. I refuse to relinquish full concentration and focus and instead employ multiple stimuli to keep myself entertained. Everywhere that I am not is everywhere that I want to be and everything that I don’t have is everything that I want. The experiences I have not lived and the memories that don’t exist are the most invaluable to me. My fantasies are my biggest treasures. They say “live life to the fullest” but I don’t think I have the ability to. This is because living in my mind is a sacred place and the mind is too plagued by emotion and personal interpretation to live objectively in the real world. Everything we experience is subjective so living in one’s mind is an integral part of living itself. Except I feel a disconnect. There’s a point where my fantasies have too deep of an influence on my lived experience and I need to have a protrusion of these falsehoods to feel like I’ve enjoyed something. I feel happy for future aspirations and not for what I currently possess. I’m also not exactly sure what living life to the fullest means. There is a balance between what is within our reach and what we can’t control. I accept the gentle sway of fate and the seemingly random but subtle twists it can bring. When do you truly know that you have taken full advantage of the situation you find yourself in and how do you know you’ve made the best decision you could have made? I have no hankering to set out a plan for myself or envisage a concrete future due to the capricious nature of life. I love surprises because although the unforeseeable may represent an imminent menace, a future that is completely foreseeable is far worse.
The desire for more can either fuel ambition or it can crush it.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what I am ambitious for. Is it for wealth? Recognition? Power? Respect? Truly, it’s for none of these but rather my ultimate goal is contentment. That may give an impression of complacency but I’m not sure how to live with an untamed desire that cannot be satiated. Especially for a vague desire that is wild but lies waiting in a body that is dormant. I’ve never really been a person of action but I’ve been reckless in my complete apathy.
“Men of action are the involuntary slaves of men of reason. The worth of things depends on their interpretation. Certain men make things which other men invest with meaning, bringing them to life. To narrate is to create, while to live is merely to be lived.”
I had a brief conversation a while ago where I said that I preferred money over power. Even though I could not argue for it and appeared defeated, I stand by it. Power is closely linked to greed and corruption. It seeks affirmation and commands respect. It’s a raging beast and an unending state or array, madness and most importantly it holds a great deal of responsibility. Responsibilities are terrifying to me with the heavy burden of reliance it entails. My hatred of responsibility is definitely one of my more childish traits but it falls under the recurrent theme I discuss of fear and disappointment. Power holds a selfishness to it. In most hands it instills a sense of greed which leads to the fear and subsequently corruption. Power is for the avaricious. I don’t think I could survive in the toxic paranoia of the fear of losing the esteemed position of grandeur and control. I want to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind. I don’t want to plunge into the pit of moral desecration. I want my power to come from the enjoyment of what I do and not from the position I hold. I’d choose money so I could live comfortably. Maybe I could do something valuable with it.
There’s something truly incredible about the inconsequential. The efforts that go unseen, the recognition that will never come and the insanity of the love for the inane. The enjoyment for the actions that have no apparent reward and the efforts that go unappreciated. This kind of enjoyment is the most purest form. I don’t want to have the desire to live for respect. I share the common need that people have of wanting to feel important. I would wish to get rid of this need because approval is too volatile. Unfortunately it is still a part of me, even though it’s a dangerous and unrealistic desire to hold. I’ll learn to tame it instead of kill it.
I can spend a lot of time and effort on something that I have great enjoyment for but has no apparent external value. Half the things I’m interested in have no real practical use. This blog is a good example as I still put my heart and soul into it, all the while hoping that no one I know will ever find it. My efforts come from my own sense of enjoyment. I value the freedom of anonymity over the transient gain of recognition. This is of course, in the assumption that my writing is any good. In this way, it’s worth is irrelevant. That may be disheartening but it offers the allowance for sincerity and an escape from expectation.
Even if I wanted to impress anyone with any of my interests, I wouldn’t know how to. Most of what I find interesting is lost on anyone I try to explain it to.
I wonder if anyone is actually lazy. Maybe we’re all just disjointed. Inactivity comes from some sort of need to escape, even if momentarily. There’s something deeply comforting about the lackadaisical drift into the abyss of indolence. Doing nothing is a kind of freedom. It feels like the rhythmical dip and flow of a tranquil current. When you succumb to it you float but when you fight it you drown.
An excerpt from How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie: