Exerting will power and achieving goals – a lazy man’s approach.
From the diary of a GWL (genetically wired lazy).
One of the favorite past time of this friend is to try to ‘floor’ me at every opportunity. Often he initiates conversation for this very purpose!
Now, I too have had dreams and ambitions for high achievement except that mostly I have ended up doing nothing!
And to this friend who once said “Neeraj, you don’t have any willpower”, I replied –
“No, I do have willpower – a lot of it. Except that I reserve it for the biggest goals of my life. All other ‘dreams’ you are referring to would have interfered with by biggest goals.”
“And just what are those biggest goals Neeraj”, my friend asked.
From the tone I could sense his intention, but ignoring I replied –
“To live a healthy life as long as possible and during that do my bit helping others and being a good role model”.
“By lazing around all day, not going after any of your goals and making excuses, do you seriously believe you can be any kind of role model”, my friend continued.
Pretending to ignore the sarcasm, I replied,
“I am teaching them to identify their THE biggest goals and to be prepared for sacrifices on the way, including the temptation to spend time and energy on secondary goals (like becoming an expert skier!), which do nothing more than boosting false ego via some trophies or by just a sense of triumph.
I am also encouraging them to lead a healthy life and divert their time and energy towards welfare of others.
All this I am teaching by practice, as opposed to preaching.”
My friend continued – “and how would becoming a good skier interfere with that?”
“In many ways. Skiing in the long run can be bad for knees and joints. It is a risky sport, prone to accidents. Even the time commitment that the training and practice would require would hardly allow me to follow an ideal routine for long term good health.”
“How about the music production course you wanted to take so badly some time back”, my friend continued.
Knowing fully well that whatever I said won’t satisfy him, I still responded –
“Well, that would have required periodic travel to NY and long hours of working on projects. Both would have interfered with my big goal of maintaining perfect health. I would also have to compromise with the time I spend in some volunteering activities. Also even if I had achieved it, what would it give me besides satisfying some part of my ego by fulfilling a desire.
Having control on such desires is one of the things I practice anyway.
Further, the problem could have compounded if my effort ended up inspiring some others to go after similar silly dreams…”
With clear sarcasm and frustration in tone, my friend continued to press,
“Still, by doing practically nothing, how do you claim to be a good role model. Can you just tell me what you do”.
Continuing to ignore the sarcasm, I replied –
“What I do is more defined by what I don’t do. I don’t do anything that fails to make the category of things which are of utmost importance to me. This approach helps me save time, resources and energy for the tasks I actually do want to do.
I am convinced that this is the approach everyone should follow.
What I also believe is that to come up with such a ‘todo’ list, one has to spend considerable time and effort in knowing oneself at a deeper level, developing the ability to identify hidden fears and limiting beliefs, understanding the environment around one and getting a sense of where one fits in.
After that the person just has to aim for highest level of joy and happiness for longest possible time.
I am confident that once that approach is followed, helping others will be a ‘big’ part of most people’s ‘short’ todo list. My belief is that without an element of ‘giving back’, one can’t experience ‘highest’ level of joy.
Even if helping others does not make someone’s list, this process will enable that person to move in the direction of achieving highest level of joy and satisfaction, which I believe is far different from just choosing to be happy in every moment.
I just hope that someday few more people start believing and practicing the same.”
“So your real success will be when there are lot of losers like you doing nothing!”, my friend ended with final remark!
Knowing fully well that he had got the message, I smiled – “He is indeed my best friend. And how good is best friend if he doesn’t annoy you sometimes! I mean that’s what adds spice and life to this friendship”.
Happy friendship day to all my friends.