Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough common sense to be lazy.
Being lazy is one of the most underrated, misunderstood forms of human existence. It may also be a more healthful way of life than performing high-energy activities.
Dr. Peter Axt, a professor of health science at Fulda University near Frankfurt, has recently written a book titled THE JOY OF LAZINESS. He concludes that everybody has a limited amount of "life energy" and the speed with which it is consumed determines their life span. If you lead a stressful life and exercise excessively, your body produces hormones which lead to high blood pressure and can damage your heart and arteries. Lazy people produce less free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules that speed up the aging process). Exercise and stress causes the body to produce the hormone cortisol which can damage cells in the brain and lead to memory loss and premature senility. Conversely, late sleepers live longer than early risers because they conserve their energy.
Being a fairly lazy person myself, here are 10 steps I recommend to achieve the joy of laziness.
1) Maximize your free time. Free time is much more valuable than money or possessions. If your time doesn't belong to you, you are a slave to someone or something else.
2) Rely only upon yourself. Become self-employed or as close to self-employed as possible, preferably doing something you enjoy. You can't be lazy if your time and energy are obligated to others.
3) Meet the monthly nut. Make sure you have enough income to meet your financial obligations, including some extra cash to squirrel away for emergencies. You can't be free to be lazy if you're financially burdened.
4) First things first. Always take care of important matters immediately. You're never free to be lazy if you have pending business or chores requiring your attention. Procrastination is not laziness; it's irresponsibility.
5) Don't be a prisoner of your possessions. You don't need new cars, new clothes or new anything. Jewelry is for egomaniacs. Live wisely with what you have and only add more to it when necessary.
6) Minimize travel. You don't need to travel half way around the world to find happiness. Live in a place you appreciate and enjoy your surroundings. The search for happiness begins at home.
7) Buy a home you can afford. Extravagance is for those who have low self-esteem and need the approval of others. If you have an overwhelming desire to show off, stand naked on a busy street -- you'll soon get over it.
8) Pay cash. If you need a loan to purchase anything other than a home, you can't afford it. Pay cash for your vehicles and other high-ticket items. Avoid credit cards. Being lazy means being debt free.
9) Don't exercise just to exercise. There is plenty of work to be done without making it up. Mow the lawn, wash the car, fix things, etc. If you're going to expend energy, at least you should accomplish something.
10) Ignore envious critics. Whenever someone looks down on you for your lifestyle it's usually because they're jealous. They've trapped themselves into a life of slavery and are working hard just trying to stay even.
The key to happiness isn't money or possessions -- it's having the free time to enjoy life. Happiness comes from within. When you slow down and smell the roses, the joy of laziness will set you free.
Being lazy isn't as simple as it seems. I've spent a lifetime perfecting laziness, often interrupted by periods of excessive activity caused by inevitable external forces, such as school, a military obligation, marriage, divorce, employment, etc. But if you work at it long enough and hard enough, you can turn laziness into an art form.
Planet Earth is a prison planet. Enormous forces are continually applying pressure on you to work, work, work. Employers want you to work, work, work in order to profit from your labor. Governments want you to work, work, work in order to confiscate an obscene percentage of your earnings and squander it on growth of the power of government. Manufacturers want you to work, work, work in order to buy, buy, buy an endless array of goods in order to profit from your gluttony. Financial institutions want you to work, work, work in order to keep the great credit and consumption machine going at full throttle to thereby gain in riches. It's all a giant trap of human enslavement and the individual human being is the prey.
Virtue is the proper use of energy. Your individual freedom is your highest priority. You are only free the moment you decide to be free and you can change your life in the blink of an eye.
We're spiritual beings born into a carnal world in order to cleanse our eternal soul. To spend such a precious slice of existence in this dimension working hard and stressing out is a foolish waste of time and energy.
Be lazy and enjoy it -- you'll live longer and pay less taxes.
Quote for the Day -- "You can't teach people to be lazy -- either they have it or they don't." Dagwood Bumstead
Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where laziness is a spiritual imperative. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111