Yesterday’s post was a review of Pema Chodron’s take on laziness (part one) from her book The Places That Scare You. Chodron asserts that there are three “debilitating habitual patterns” that we often partake in.
The second type she identifies is “loss of heart.” One symptom of this form is when we tell ourselves something like, “I’m the worst. There’s no hope for me. I’ll never get it right.” (Chodron, 90).
When we become lazy with loss of heart, we avoid interacting with the world. We retreat and we watch lots of TV (or surf the net). We eat, drink, smoke and watch the screen mindlessly. We have forgotten how to help ourselves.
The remedy for Lazy Type 2 is the same for Lazy Type 1. Get curious. Ask the right questions (hint: one wrong question would be, “why me?”). Notice that you don’t have to subscribe to negative thought or belief patterns. You can choose differently.
We often condone our behavior. We say we are “happy” and deserve to relax. But in reality, we are “haunted by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.”
Why concern ourselves with these notions of laziness? As Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor, 161 – 180 AD) reminds us in The Meditations, our lives are short. There is no time to waste.
I made a couple changes this year and they’ve led to greater productivity (published my first book, lost a couple pounds and enjoyed more quality time with family). I thought I’d share them with you:
Create an Intentions List, not a “To Do” List. Reflecting on your intentions (as opposed to “tasks”) ensures your actions are aligned to your deepest values. When you sit down to enumerate all the things you want to get done, think about your intentions. Is it your intention to help others? Bring joy to loved ones? Be creative at work? This line of questioning will lead to precise calibration of your actions to your ultimate goals.
Make your first intention task easy and simple. Crossing a task off your list will light up the rewards center of your brain. It gives you a natural boost! Start the day off with an (easy) sense of accomplishment. Set yourself up for success!
“To Do” lists can help you with your motivation. Crossing your tasks off as you do them actually releases dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in your brain. Excitement, satisfaction and pride are emotions that are experienced during this chemical reaction.
If you’re having a hard time getting motivated to do something, break it down into small tasks and assemble a list. As you do each step, cross it off. It might help you feel a sense of inspiration and before you know it, you’ll achieve your goal!
One of my goals with this blog is to write frequently in order to hone my writing skills. In doing so, I vowed to write original work and to avoid merely re-posting the work of others.
However, I love THIS WEBSITE so much, I need to share it with you:
Reading or watching the news lately has left me feeling a bit anxious. An instant spirit lift is this website. It’s news, but it’s all GREAT news. They cover individuals who are making a difference in their communities: city, county, country and the world. I recommend subscribing to this gem so that you get a bit of non-fiction inspiration daily.
My friend and fellow chaperone was walking with me at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. We were in the aquatic section. He laughed, pointed at a fossil and said, “I think I’ve seen this in Star Wars.”
I laughed and realized that creators are most likely inspired and influenced by the strangest things!
“And this too!” He laughed. I could see exactly what he meant.
I imagined the designers and creators researching and studying ancient, strange creatures from millions of years ago. Maybe? Maybe not. But they were clearly inspired by the strange.
If you’re looking for inspiration, visit a musuem or an art gallery. Relax and enjoy yourself. Creativity is sure to reveal itself when you least expect it.
Animals and Zen masters are the most peaceful living creatures. They don’t judge.
I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more judgmental than I’d like to be. And this tendency is a formidable block to inner peace.
I’m on a self-imposed challenge: stop judging people. First, I must be aware of when I judge. It’s strongest when I’m driving. Wow! Do I have very negative thoughts! The good news is that it’s completely impersonal. I don’t know these people. But still…
Will you join me? Next time you’re in the company of one or more other people, notice your thoughts. Are you judging? Be aware. And then let it go. Don’t try to fight it. Just let it go. Just say to yourself, isn’t that interesting? My mind is judging.
As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.