Avoiding effort? You're going to suffer more
When you procrastinate and avoid effort, you choose to suffer less now to suffer more later. Sometimes it takes a long time to reap all the postponed suffering, but it never goes away.
Now, we’re not just talking about the suffering of being stressed and sleep deprived in order to meet a deadline. There are other, sneakier types of psychological pain.
When you’re avoiding effort and procrastinate all the time, you might realize this down the road:
- Maybe you haven’t learned anything valuable which then leads you to be stuck in a dead-end job.
- Or perhaps you’re always comfortable and stay at home all the time, so you might find out that you’re in your 30’s alone and without friends.
- Or you might just simply lose trust in yourself. This leads you to believe that you are unable to finish anything you set out to do and therefore you stop trying altogether.
The fact is that life is full of suffering and for the most part, it is unavoidable. We never really think about it.
It might seem that people don’t have to suffer anymore because of 2 reasons:
- Suffering stays out of sight.
Marketing, movies, and social media only show healthy and beautiful people who don’t fail. That’s what's on our minds all the time and we don’t think about the struggles, the stress, and the pain others have endured. We see only the highlights.
- Suffering has become psychological.
In the last few centuries, our ancestors reduced the amount of physical suffering via all the inventions and progress. We don’t have to work in factories for 6 days per week, 12 hours per day just to survive. However, when it comes to mental suffering, that has not disappeared in the least.
Even though we suffer less on the whole (especially when it comes to physical suffering), other kinds of pain have taken the stage:
- People don’t get enough movement, they eat too much - we get out of shape and this causes health issues in the long term.
- People compare themselves to others on social media who always seem to be perfect and happy - we get depressed, anxious.
- People don’t have to get bored anymore by consuming movies, shows, and games instead of creating things on their own - we don’t get to learn, build, think - this leads us to be dissatisfied, stagnant, and unhappy in the long term.
So how to avoid these types of long-term, lingering psychological pain?
By choosing to suffer a bit now, to not suffer a lot later.
In reality, a little bit of suffering is desirable. It makes you stronger.
When you choose to exercise, you make yourself more flexible and build more muscle, which makes your body less painful in the long term. However, when you choose to not suffer now, and instead sit on the couch and eat junk food, your body deteriorates and each day. In addition to the physical pain (back pain, etc) you also feel the psychological pain as you see yourself get more and more out of shape in the mirror.
When you create something on your own even though it might be hard, from IKEA furniture to a business, you might get exhausted, but you’ll also be proud of it and satisfied with your efforts. And that pride will last a long time.
When you study something extensively, your brain might hurt a bit, but then you’ll be better prepared for the future and feel more confident in your abilities, which will make you happy...
When you choose to suffer a little bit, it can even become pleasurable. It makes leisure feel deserved. Exercising for an hour per day isn’t really suffering. Having to lift heavy objects 12 hours per day, day in day out would be real suffering.
When you choose how you suffer, you take responsibility for your life. You’re better prepared for the suffering that comes your way involuntarily. For example, if you work hard and you start making more money, you can fix a lot of things just by paying other people. When you suffer now, it gives you more options in the future how to suffer less.
You have a choice. Every day, you can choose a bit of discomfort and effort, and do something you’ll be proud of, or you can choose to stay comfortable and become stagnant, dissatisfied, and unhappy.
Choose how you suffer.