Another article on my blog a week apart from the last one? Unbelieveable, I am on holiday, this is why I’ve got the time for writing. I love this blog so much because it’s part of me, an extension of my life that helps to fulfil my purpose of elevating others. So, I do miss writing regularly but I have to be mindful of my energy and time! Sorry, not sorry! All right, let’s get started. Laziness does not exist by Dr Devon Prince is the title of a book I started reading a few days ago. I got immediately caught up!
The book offers a different perspective on productivity and the idea of laziness. It dismantles the notion of worth based on job performances, hustling culture and seeing rest as a form of laziness. In fact, toxic society instructs people with the idea that all your time from 6 o’clock in the morning until midnight has to be filled with activities. Rest and relaxation are seen as shameful wastes of time. With the arrival of social media, not only we compare ourselves to friends and people we know personally, we also start looking at complete strangers on the internet and get upset when the routine of real life doesn’t match the highlights reels of someone else’s Instagram feed. ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS.
The book has an educated adult audience in mind, people like me with academic degrees, generally overachievers who take on extra responsibilities to “prove” they have it all.
Anything that costs your mental health is too expensive!
Needless to say that the outcome of the hustling culture is burnout and depression. You get this idea that someone else has to validate your worth, through positive feedback at work, likes and kudos on social media and all sorts of things like external validation.
As much as I despised the pandemic year, I am grateful for all the time I spent on the sofa, not willingly let’s be clear!, because it taught me the importance of rest. I took the time to just watch Netflix or read books endlessly without feeling guilty. Back at the time, there was little to be guilty of, there was literally nothing else to do. But even now, when I do have the chance to do stuff, who gives a shit if I want to spend the entire day watching Netflix, while sleeping in bed and eating pizza? Still in bed just to clarify if anyone is confused. Can you believe we live in a society that shames you for binging on Netflix on Sunday afternoons just because you want to be properly rested and start the working week refreshed and renewed? Blasphemy!
Taking time for your mental health is not a shameful waste of time!My own
Took me a long time to heal from this toxic mentality and unsubscribe from the laziness lie. Many people have been following along this space for a very long time since I was a savage PhD student. Back at the time, I was doing my PhD while creating my brand, doing extra research for my science communication posts, taking extra responsibility with my PhD, engaging in conversation with strangers on social media because the duty of a scientist is to do research on the day and teach people about science during the night, what a bunch of crap. Because apparently to be a well-rounded and successful person/scientist, you need to kill yourself for the data and for others. This is why I am very wary of advising people on “taking all the opportunities you can” to gain experience, learning things, making your CV look good. Life goes beyond your job title and how you perform professionally!
If it doesn’t pay bills , ain’t none of my business!
I have been impressed by athletes Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles for dropping from major tournaments because the anxiety of the competition was too much for their mental health. Acknowledging your limits, asking for help and stepping back when it gets too much it’s a sign of strength and maturity, there is nothing weak or lazy about that.
In the meantime, apologies for sounding like a woke feminist, but it is what it is, a white male athlete from a first world country asked to repeat the final of the Tokyo Olympic Games because he lost, hence the competion and judgment were unfair! Patriarchy and macho culture at their finest! What is there to be ashamed of in losing (I mean losing is inappropriate wording because he still won a medal at the Olympic Games) and admitting that someone else performed better? I am not even surprised about that because this is the typically arrogant and self-righteous white dude mentality to blame anyone else for their mistakes rather than themself. Thank God, women are leading a new revolution towards more sustainable and balanced models of success!
If I am not a successful athlete, what is it left of me?Naomi Osaka
To conclude, I unsubscribed for the toxic mentality of killing myself for success, which is a common side effect of academic success, as my old therapist made me realise. Now, I am all about long and steady progress. A task can be finished today, tomorrow, next week, next month, whenever, in the big scheme of things it does not matter. All that counts is the journey, what you learn and committing to finish what’s started. If you learn nothing, have you really accomplished anything? Bye
Further reading on the topic: Dealing with MOFO by Asia Fee