Confessions of a Bum: How I Finally Kicked my Butt into Gear
If you’ve visited my blog lately, you may have noticed the tumbleweeds drifting across the open space where blog posts should be. It’s been a solid two months since I’ve posted anything on here, and I really wish I could chalk it up to writer’s block, to being uninspired, to being too busy. But alas, I won’t be getting off so easy. In the past couple of days, I’ve finally decided to face the truth: I haven’t written anything because I’ve been a bum. These are my confessions.
Over the years, I’ve had to learn to be real with myself and call my short comings what they are. I’ve found that no one lies to me better than myself, because no one knows the truth better than I do. I know what I want to hear and what I want to justify. But not much good comes from those sweet little lies that make me feel better about the ways I’m screwing up. Coming to terms with my laziness, and the lies I’ve told myself to justify it, has been unpleasant, but necessary, and I feel a hundred pounds lighter now that I’ve faced that truth. I accept now that I have been making excuses for my laziness. I claim I don't work extra hours because I hate my job; that I don't get up early because I'm not a morning person; that I don't network because I'm shy; that I don’t write because I’m uninspired. At one point, I had even convinced myself that I had an addiction to social networks. I can easily scroll Twitter and Facebook and Instagram for hours, refreshing the feeds time and again in hopes of something new. My addiction is not to other people's thoughts and lives, but to the escape it gives me -- the excuse to do nothing, the opportunity to evade the to-do list begging for my attention and ignore the urges to write and create that bang on the door of my mind. Yet, I complain that I don't have enough money, enough time, enough like-minded friends, or enough blog posts.
I’ve been allowing flimsy hurdles to become solid walls and then bemoaning the fact that I can’t overcome them. I've allowed myself to become comfortable and accept where I am despite my claims to have big aspirations. Because comfortable is easy and I've chosen to do what's easy so I can sit on my couch dissatisfied with my life instead putting in hard work so I can fall into bed at night, exhausted, but pleased with the day's accomplishments. I've spent the last few months just doing enough to get by. I've allowed myself to settle for less and become complacent. I watch my peers start businesses, host shows, create art, write blogs and achieve all manners of success and I can’t compare, not because I’m incapable, but because I’ve been lazy. I am disgusted with myself. I'm disappointed in the potential I have wasted by choosing comfort over hard work. I've robbed myself of all the things I could have accomplished if I had got out of bed, put down my phone, got off my couch.
Laziness really is the worst enemy of success. It eats into your sense of purpose, devours ambition and burps up excuses. But this is my turning point. I realize my laziness for what it is. Robert Half once said, “Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it’s only kept a secret from the person who fails.” But recognition is the first step to kicking this do-nothing habit. Step two is taking action. The antidote to laziness is motivation. I know that when I'm motivated, I'm a whirlwind, achieving a thousand things in the span of an hour. But I’ve been waiting for motivation to come to me instead of finding it myself. Motivation isn’t some thing that knocks on your door and encourages you to get things done. Motivation is an active decision to turn desire into action, in spite of the hard work and the obstacles that may crop up to deter you. Motivation is what makes you shut up about the things you want and go after them instead.
I’m abandoning the excuses I made for my intellectual laziness. This world is too damn big for me to be uninspired. There are too many hours in the day for me to claim to be short on time. And writers block is an excuse that I’m throwing out with all the other ones. I will not allow myself to be too lazy to succeed. What a shame it would be to look back on my life 50 years from now and say I wasted my youth, my most valuable years, doing nothing, because “nothing” was easy. Laziness says, “Do it later.” But do it now. I’m sure, in this “quick-and-easy” world we live in, where food is fast, and convenience is king, laziness has crept into some of your lives as well. Don’t let laziness rob you of time you can’t get back and the successes you should have had. Now is the time to kick that sucker to the curb. Get motivated, take action and be as brilliant as you should be.