Here is a short story I wrote way back in 2002.
“I am very lazy. I love to laze around. However, laziness is expensive, very expensive. Worst, it does not let me laze around. So if I really want to laze around, I better not be lazy.”
Inspired by the same theme I have written three short articles. All are connected, have a touch of humor but attempt to convey a message towards the end.
There is also a final (fourth) article, with some concluding remarks.
These are all independent, but to be read in sequence. So you could stop after first or second and just enjoy the humor (home you find some!), or read on for some deeper meaning.
Also available on my blog site – http://www.visionsoffuture.com/category/personal_leadership/
If you are wondering what a GWL is! – please have patience. You will know all about him in first article, so read on.
Me and My Free Time – a GWL’s dilemma. (humor)
I am basically a lazy person. People who know will agree. Given a choice, I wouldn’t do anything. What I like most is my free time. The free time to me literally means what it says – a time which is free.
Cleaning the house, putting things in place, and going to market to grab few things are not part of free time – they in fact take away from it.
Even catching up on sleep does not count as free time. Free time to me can start only after having a sound sleep.
Many times I have a weekend filled with lot of fun activities – going to a movie, partying with friends, meeting family and so on – while thoroughly enjoying every bit of these, a part of me is feeling being “robbed” of my free time!
Do I have hobbies? Yes. Sometimes I spend hours on them and come out extremely relaxed with feelings of contentment and meaning. But again a part of me is left “yearning” for free time that had been eaten up by these hobbies!
My laziness is much deeper than just being a habit built over time. I think I am “hard wired” with this trait and call myself a GWL (Genetically Wired Lazy).
My friends ask me –
“Neeraj, so what do you do in your free time?”
My typical answer is –
“Friend, your question is wrong. It has a contradiction. If I did anything, it would no longer be a free time!”
GWL becoming spiritual!!
“Who are you and what is the purpose of your existence?”
A GWL addresses tough questions of life (humor)
First, GWL (Genetically wired lazy) like me have no time for such questions. Any free time is too valuable to spend on them.
Even then, when I pondered over these, I the answers came out in no time.
I am surprised when I hear things like
“Finding who you are is lifetime process”
“The purpose of your life to find what the purpose is”.
(The second one gives me stress with a feeling of being in some kind of infinite loop :):) ).
I hope it is not just me who is lately being bombarded with such statements!
Well, the answer was obvious in my previous post – “Me and My Free Time – a GWL’s dilemma“
Getting “Free Time” is the my ultimate goal
This is what defines me, my identity and my purpose in life.
It answers for me both the questions – ‘Who am I?” and “What is the purpose of my existence?”.
“Who am I?” – simple – I am a GWL (Genetically Wired Lazy).
‘But there has been no talk of purpose!’ – you ask.
“There actually was”, I respond
The purpose of my existence is to “DO NOTHING!”
How does a GWL deals with work overload
First, to a GWL (Genetically Wired Lazy), any work is ‘overload’. The word ‘overload’ is used in the title for the benefit of non GWLs.
I love the work I do (I mean to the extent, work can be loved!). The only issue is that it comes at the cost of ‘free time’, which is infinitely more valuable.
So how do I deal with work overload? Basically the same way, early humans handled when confronted with a tiger in front – choosing either to fight or run away (‘fight or flight response’ – in scientific terms). In my case, fight is the only viable option.
The basic idea is to the work but still manage to get as much free time as possible.
This is possible ONLY, if the work is done in least amount of time. (After all we don’t yet have a technology to increase time!).
Which means performing highest quality work at high efficiency.
For that to happen, I have to be fully ready (110%) – physically, mentally, emotionally and so on, whenever getting down to perform the work. Then the work, whether it is conducting meetings, writing emails or having conversations or whatever, is done with high quality, efficiency, with least errors and in least amount of time.
To be ready for above, this is what I do –
- To be physically ready, I eat healthy, so that I have good energy and am neither hungry nor too full. Further, I do optimal physical exercises.
- To be mentally ready, practice yoga, meditation and so on, but more than that practice mindfulness in every moment of the day.
- To be emotionally ready, I make sure I am getting enough rest, sleep, entertainment and so on and do not have any pressing ‘to-do; list away from this work.
Since work needs to be done practically every day, the above routine also needs to be followed kind of religiously every day.
That way, I manage to have some time left, most of which goes into social activities and hobbies. The pattern of doing things efficiently and with clarity continues and anything that I am doing, whether it is some thinking for our future, something we do for our kids, society and so on or simply doing chores around the house, just gets done in minimum time it deserves.
With that, I still manage to have to some “free time” – the most precious thing. The very reason for doing all of the above to begin with!
I agree following the routine I mentioned above is a pain. But the ‘free time’ at end of the day couple with the joy of having finished everything I wanted, outweighs all that by a mile.
Hope you are not inclined to ask –
“Neeraj, so what do you do in your free time?
You already have had good sleep, have done mediation, done any physical exercise for the day, finished phone calls, emails, social visits, hobbies, whatsapp, facebook and everything!”.
Because my answer will be same –
“Friend, your question is wrong. It has a contradiction. If I did anything in my free time, it would no longer be free!”
(Note: the above article was in fact a GWL’s pipe dream.
In reality, GWL, being a GWL (Genetically Wired Lazy), ends up doing none of the above and even squanders ‘free time’ by writing posts like this.)
Plight of a GWL – final thoughts!
We went around full circle and basically reiterated in 3 articles, what had been expressed in the 2 line story, which I wrote way back in 2002 –
“I am very lazy. I love to laze around. However, I laziness is expensive, very expensive. Worst, it does not let me laze around. So if I really want to laze around, I better not be lazy.”
Through humor route, I tried to convey the following.
The ‘free time’ symbolizes a state where one feels fully complete with nothing but a sense of accomplishment and joy. In a practical sense, on a daily basis, it could mean the time when you feel you have done everything you wanted (for that day), with no compromises or regrets. There is nothing more or better you could have possibly done. If you are like me, you would agree that such days are not common!
To lead a good life, one does not need to follow any prescribed path, spiritual or otherwise. In fact not following any such path leads to a feeling of tremendous freedom (as at the end of article 2). But as long as one takes time to truly know the self and then just goes about achieving that (what one wants), one would still end up having a life full of contentment and purpose – as illustrated in article 3.
Notice, it is not a selfish pursuit, because if understood correctly, ‘what you truly desire’ will definitely include elements of responsibility towards others – family, society and so on.
It has been said at numerous places and times that ultimately, all we are seeking in life is ‘Happiness’.
The road to that happiness is not by relinquishing desires and responsibilities and adopting a life of renunciation (Sanyasa), but it is the opposite – by fully understanding who you truly are and achieving what you truly desire.