Updated: Dec 2, 2019
So I’m just sitting at home, doing nothing. Like, “watching-something-on-Netflix-or-Youtube” nothing or “drawing-something” nothing, you get it — we’ve all been there. And yet, as calm and tranquility-inducing these activities are, there is a fierce sensation of anxiety breathing to my back. There’s ‘Why aren’t you doing anything useful’ by Sir Workalot playing in the background. Mind you, there is literally nothing and no one who want me to do anything at this moment, but this inertia JUST. CAN’T. STOP.
I’ll be honest — I’m not the most productive, creative or hardworking person in my circle of friends and acquaintances, and I’m pretty confident procrastination has been a truly good friend of mine for the past couple of lives. And let’s say this is the way I’m living right now. Maybe I have other abilities I haven’t put to good use. But I still MUST do something, work, I should be busy, if I’m not working then I should be with someone, talking, writing, drawing, singing, right? Oh, you like working alone? Well, you then must be… [drumroll, please] working!
What gives us purpose in life are… purposeful activities. That’s it. You just do what you like, this, in turn, makes you come up with some sort of a plan, you then know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, and then you feel joy, you feel satisfied, complete. And these things are not fast activities, I don’t think they should be rushed. They need to already have substantial value or to gain it over time. The point is, you could be doing a lot, but the important thing is to take a moment to step back, look at the overall picture and answer the question: is this purposeful? Will this bring me somewhere?
Why is there this pressure to do something, to engage in life-changing, imagination-unlocking, entrepreneurship-promoting, world-peace-bringing, overall-success-ensuring, bitcoin-mining, gluten-free, vegan, eco-friendly activities just to feel like you are moving in life? Keyword: feeling. The worst thing is that it doesn’t even mean you are actually doing something useful. And what about that “moving”?
Isn’t moving in life good? Well, you can be moving backwards, and that’s not exactly what those super-achievers are going after.
And the conundrum I have been trying to solve is this: should I be ashamed even a tiny bit for not doing anything, and why is this fast paced lifestyle pushing us to the point of doing too much, going too fast, only to experience the whole spectrum of negative emotions and the whole body becoming faulty.
When people always expect something interesting, special, etc. from other people, you start to expect those same things from yourself. What’s more, the amount of intellectual property, entertainment, infotainment content is just so ridiculously vast that expecting far better results in creating that content from yourself is absolutely absurd. Of course let’s add the fact that one’s creative knowledge might be very small and limited and ultimately it only becomes at least slightly demotivating to… just do stuff. Even enjoy life.
At this fast pace that the world is spinning now, we are beginning to hear the phrase “I’m so busy I don’t even have time to go to the restroom” more and more these days. And what’s bizarre is no one’s forcing us to live this fast, and by us I mean our society in general. We, the people, the first and foremost element of any human society, are the ones who set the rules for that society. But now it seems it’s the other way around — the rhythm and pace of the society as a communal force drives us so fast, we can even go nuts, too often, in fact. And so we give in to the feeling of being guilty when we give ourselves the privilege to take a break, rest for a little while, figure out what we really want to do next. Not just pretend to be busy.
By using busyness as a shield to protect ourselves from doing the things that we actually should do, we fail to make our dreams our reality. – Jari Roomer, Medium
Or maybe, everything’s just in my head. Yeah, probably.