An Artist's Date With Laziness

Today is the second day of my self-prescribed challenge to publish a piece a day. My first thoughts on day two have to do with the just missed weekend. Should I permit myself a weekly day (or two) of rest? Does it necessarily have to be on the weekend? Or can I take it as I feel sufficiently exhausted or uninspired? The birds are calling from their cages on our neighboring terrace in the quiet morning, and the aroma from a steaming cup of tea plays hide and seek with me. Instead of being excited at the opportunity of writing this post, I am already wondering why I took this challenge on and where I should posit the exit routes.

Part of the reason that I embarked on this “post-it a day” is the fact that I am lazy. Not lazy as in don’t feel like doing anything. Lazy as in I seek out the most convenient way to find my way through life. In the case of writing, it is especially true. I have a million excuses, some of them extremely compelling, why I do not write what I feel I should. Some days, I tell myself that my writing is so important that it needs to undergo the test of time before anyone, myself included, realizes its worth. On other days, I tell myself that what I want to say is so difficult to put into words that it needs to condense, to crystallize and to ferment adequately before my limited mind can find ways to put it into words. Some days. Bull shits.

This exercise is to test whether I can consistently write something that will be interesting enough for you to read, and something I will find of sufficient value to publish. It is likely that in the course of the month, I will lose perspective and be willing to hit “publish” even when what I have written does not meet my expectations. I might consider something to be essential reading for you while you may find it worthless. I am aware of this, but am willing to take the risk just to take on my spiritual laziness. This laziness is not something that is unique to me. On the contrary, it is the emblem of our times. One look at what is considered popular culture and mass media, and you will see what I am talking about.

I have learned about the importance of life the hard way, through the pain of losses, the regret of mistaken priorities and the helplessness of witnessing human suffering. I am convinced that suffering is not the purpose of our being. Yet it pervades our worlds. In trying to understand this apparent paradox, I have come to believe that at the root of this lies our ignorance of our true potential, our true purpose. As part of the evolutionary process, we have the choice to build upon the incredible work that has made us what we are as a species, or to allow entropy to sink us. For all the progress in the world, it does appear that entropy is winning right now. Those who subscribe to cycles of creation and destruction, this is easy to accept. However, I would not like to go to sleep knowing that I was capable of doing better.

This laziness is a natural state, since it is the nature of all organisms to seek the path of least resistance. But all that we cherish about our civilization has been achieved only against the greatest of resistance. Whether you look at quantum physics or modern medicine, or the greatest works of philosophy or art, none of them were embraced by their times without reservation. Those that were have by and large been forgotten over time. If each one of us chooses to make that one life count in the most productive way possible, we can reverse this tide of cultural and ethical entropy that we seem mired in. This is what drives me to write and do all that I do. I write in the hope that reading about it will inspire you to become all that you were destined to be.

Feeling lazy or uninspired to do what you know you must is usually backed up by solid reasons. There are “more important” things to do. Nobody will understand or appreciate what you are doing. You have done enough, and now it is somebody else’s turn. How will I sustain myself and my family? The reasons are powerful enough to justify your standing by and letting your true potential be wasted away. But once you see that your sloth is actually preventing you from becoming the person you were meant to be, the justifications become less compelling.

In spite of believing in the perpetuity of life, I feel that this human life that I have been gifted deserves an adequate response. My “thank you note” for having the immense good fortune of being alive and capable is in the form of what I do with my life, with my abilities and with my being. Most theories of the indestructible soul revolve around the concept of sentience, and some go even beyond that. I do not know if I will be able to reach out to the thousands that I can with my blog in my next birth. I prefer to make the most of the bandwidth that this lifetime offers me. And in my attempts to do that, I face resistance from my society, I face my internal entropy, and I face practical deadlocks. The miracle of the human condition is that I have the choice whether I will succumb to that resistance or whether I will make a conscious decision to overcome it and follow it up with prudent action. My tea went cold, and I had to warm it up. The nature of a hot beverage is that it will go cold if not consumed or utilized, but I have the option of warming it up.

If you are like me, you will know about your tea going cold. The good news is that you can warm it up. Right now. Do share your stories of how you battle laziness and entropy, how you stay inspired, and how you refuse to lose hope.

In the series so far:
An Arist's Date With Self Doubt
An Arist's Date With Laziness
An Arist's Date With Great Good
An Artist's Date With Writing
An Artist's Date With Tea
An Artist's Date With Reading
An Artist's Date with Good


  1. My Nemesis too - laziness, procrastination and you rang every bell on the 'valid' reasons for why I should postpone doing what I want to do. Problem for me see I seek only to entertain - though any thinking person will imbue what he writes with his own convictions whether he seeks to do it or not - and egging myself on to do that is difficult. Till now I have found no solution :)

    1. Seeking to entertain is a loaded gun, and who knows it better than you. The act of reading and smiling at your post is different from what is really happening between you in your halls of gloom and the readers with their myriad seekings. It is difficult for your convictions or concerns not to creep into your messaging. Michael Jackson is a good example of entertainment. Most of his work is heavily message oriented. On the other hand, not only is it entertaining, it is signature. The will and the ability to work on your signature is perhaps the challenge that this post tries to address. Hope you are liking this series.


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