You may or may not remember that last week’s topic was Farmer, Flower, Fire, Fence. And it’s a good one about the collective sources of our motivations, and how they can be leveraged when approaching our prospective clients and customers. If you weren’t here last week, you can check it out on the Elevate blog.
But what you couldn’t possibly know is that it was supposed to be about Procrastination. I’m going to let that sink in. Last week — and you can ask Carey Davis as my witness — I was supposed to come right on out here and talk about procrastination. I’ll give you three guesses as to what happened, and the first two won’t count!
Right! Show of hands — just wave at the camera if you like — how many people have had a version of the following thought at least once since the pandemic started, “I’m so lazy. Why am I being so lazy? What’s wrong with me? I should be doing more.” Perhaps it sounds even tougher in your head… “I’m a lazy piece of something-something.” You know what I mean.
Great thanks for participating. Listen, “lazy,” is a four letter word. And it’s just like any of the other four letter words. It’s technically a word — it’s in the English language and in the Dictionary. But it’s meaning is often distorted at best, and in the extreme it’s almost invented. It gets used as an expletive, as a label, as an oversimplification to discharge negative feelings. It gets weaponized and pointed at ourselves and sometimes others.
Look around this screen. There isn’t a single person here who would really qualify for true laziness. I mean, not even close. And yet, I know for sure that I am not the only one when it comes to getting stopped sometimes, or kicking the can further down the street, getting overwhelmed, and even avoiding certain tasks.
So how do we reconcile those two?
It’s simple. Consider that what is often labeled as lazy is actually something else — like resistance. They get confused because the net effect is often the same — no motion forward. But real laziness is passive. And what we’re talking about is active. Two very active forces competing against each other to yield an effect that looks like being still.
We human beings are made up of systems. All kinds of systems. Systems that support growth, healing, learning, cleanliness, and the ability to move. We also have systems designed to protect us — to fight or run. But sometimes protection equates to stopping, or slowing down, or even shutting down.
We resist being with certain feelings, ideas, or reflections of ourselves that we don’t like. So like a growling stomach, if you can identify it, you can feed it and settle it down.
The next thing to look at is structure. In particular, structure sufficient to the resistance.
In my example at the beginning, I didn’t write last week’s piece on time. But in truth that rarely happens. Because I have created sufficient structure. I stand in front of over one hundred of you fine people almost every week. You think I’m going to get up here unprepared? No freaking way.
Figure out the thing that will have you step up and do the do. It may be the pushing force of avoiding a negative consequence. Or the pulling force of being drawn toward a desired reward.
Either way, this two step process will work on almost any area where you get stopped or snagged.
Ask yourself, “What can’t I be with?” And once you have an idea of the fear or need, feed it on purpose and create a structure that will keep it fed.
We all get tired. We all get hungry (literally and figuratively) and we all get scared. There’s no shame in it. The opportunity is to get into the pit, get tuned up, and get back in the race.
Stuck or stopped sometimes? Of course.
Lazy? I don’t think so.
It’s just resistance. And it can be overcome.
If you already see something for yourself, and a way to practice, good — go for it.
If you don’t believe me, reach out and ask and I’ll share more.
But of course, you’ll have to take some new action and over come that resistance.
Have a powerful day!