There’s a pernicious belief out there that the easy life is a lazy life. If I were a victimy man, I’d blame this pervasive idea on the 80’s Rock Band, “Dire Straits” and there hit song, “Money for nothing”. This idea only got more traction with the birth of social media because, lets face it, people post highlights so of COURSE life must be better when we’re only having fun.
Is this true? Is life better when hard work is taken out of the equation?
Oddly enough and I’m sure you already know the answer; it’s not. What you don’t probably know is that I know this for a FACT. I’ve tried it.
Fortunately for you, I won’t go into the hours and hours spent binge watching TV or the even MORE hours in the fantasy world of online gaming. This life is directly correlated to one of the 7 deadly sins! Capital vice stuff! Pride, greed, gluttony, lust, envy, wrath and “Sloth” -- the last of which is the stopping of motion and an indifference to work; laziness, idleness
I lived like this for years and even managed to attract other sloths who used me for my car but I didn’t mind because they helped me feel safe and accepted in the low responsibility life we all shared. Now that I think about it, that car actually housed me for a time. Not much room in the 1989 Dodge Colt E but it served to keep me out of the rain. Don’t feel too bad for me though, I lived in Southern Utah and washing up in the morning was as easy as finding a pool to swim in. Showering off afterwards and getting back on the street was done in less than 2 minutes. I had the procedure DOWN and nobody was ever the wiser. Eating was a bit trickier.
Ever notice that we attract other people on our same level? Before I knew it, I was living in a drug house (the Yellow house for those of you that remember) where I didn’t have to pay rent and could eat anything I wanted...if I could find anything to eat. I was there for a long time, just doing time. No noticeable life progression and before I knew it, my birthday came and 2 years had passed. I wasn't a bad person for this part of my life and neither were the people I lived with. This is just where we were and how we lived at the time.
I tried to get the ‘money for nothing’ yet somehow this fantasy life PROMISED by dire straits had eluded me! In fact, looking back - I was actually IN dire straits.
Is life better when it’s easy?
Until that point in life, I’d skillfully chosen the easy way, and, although it was a learning experience, the path of least resistance never got me very far.
The brains a tricky little thing. It’s main job is to protect humans from feeling uncomfortable - which, in life’s case is doing something hard. It accomplishes this task by weaseling up thoughts that keep us away from even trying to do hard things in life. My were, “I’m never going to be able to do that”. Or, “what’s the point?” Or, “that’s going to take too long”. Or, I don’t care about that anyway.” The one that makes me laugh is when I (my brain) came up with, "I want a girl who loves me for ME, not for my body." Good one, lazy Jed. Of course, the truth would have sounded something like, "eating healthy and working out doesn't sound like much fun...in fact, it sounds pretty awful." The list goes on and on. Do not fall for this trick!
When you do hard things now, your life will be easier over time. The opposite is also true. When you choose to skate in the easy lane now, your life will become harder over time.
It’s your choice.
Till next time - awareness up.
Jed Thorpe, CMHC