I Want To Do It, But I Dont Like To Do It

Imagine a time in the future … maybe not so distant … in which they have discovered a way to enable a person to temporarily leave his own body, and hire someone else to enter his body, in order to perform the tasks which he (the body-owner) wants to get done, but does not like to do.  Then, when some activity comes along that the body-owner does enjoy, he could just re-enter his body.  Here are some examples of the things that you would no longer have to put up with:  flossing, going to the gym, making those unpleasant phone calls, driving to work, going to school, studying & homework, going to the dentist, mowing the lawn, etc, etc.  Wouldn’t that be great?  (Hang on.  Like all science-fiction stories, this one may end up having a weird twist at the end.)

Your replacement has arrived …

So you hire the replacement person, and he comes over and hops inside your body. Meanwhile your “essence” slithers into a stainless-steel liquid-nitrogen “stasis” jar. (The word “stasis” means “a state of inactivity.”  It rhymes with the word “basis.”)  Now, what kind of to-do list would you have set-up for your replacement being?

First off, you wouldn’t want to be overly pushy with your replacement being – especially since he is walking around with your body, right?  So, you want to make sure that he, the replacement, (lets call him “TR” for “the replacement”) gets paid generously for his efforts.  (Notice that key word: “effort.”)  And you also would want to be sure that he is treated fairly and reasonably (an hour lunch, two 15 minute coffee breaks, safe conditions, etc.)   That would be important to you because you are a socially-conscious employer and you appreciate your worker.  But you would also want to be sure to give TR a full schedule of challenging, do-able, realistic stuff.  (So you can get your money’s worth!)

For example, if your body hasn’t been to the gym in ten years, then, on Day One, you might ask TR to go to the gym and walk, at a modest pace, for 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Then maybe a few minutes lifting weights (just the easy stuff), then jump in the shower & get changed.  Then off to the university to sign up for some tough (but do-able) college classes.  Then a few hours of studying at the library to get ready for the upcoming semester.  And be sure to brush and floss, pick-up some groceries, work a part-time job, make those unpleasant phone calls, do the income tax returns, cook a fabulous dinner, and wash the dishes as soon as dinner is done.  “Oh, and see if you can pick up a babe for me while you’re at the gym or library, okay?”

Of course, you would probably want to step back into your body at a few points along the way – like at the end of the work-out.  (It’s a great feeling to walk back to the locker rooms after a tough work-out.)  Maybe you would like to stay in through the shower too, since that is usually a pleasant time.  Then back into the stasis jar while TR heads off to study at the library, do the shopping, make the calls, spend a couple of hours at that boring telemarketing job, do the paper work, write out the checks, vacuum the floor, and make dinner.  “Oh, and remember to listen to one of those ‘learn a foreign language’ tapes while you’re driving!”

Then you switch back in just in time to enjoy a delicious dinner.  (Once dinner is over, you’ll probably want to switch back out again – until TR is done with the dishes.)

Finally, all of the “work” is done, so you switch back into your body one last time.  Now you can spend a pleasant evening with friends doing whatever it is that you would like. (And maybe brag about how much you got done during the day?)  Next day, the whole process starts over.  After a few years, you’re in great shape, you have an interesting, challenging career, a whole host of new friends, and you’re fluent in two foreign languages!  And you never need to do anything unpleasant ever again!

Reasonable self-exertion

Well, lets hope that the stasis jar never becomes reality.  I can see a few nightmare scenarios already.  But, at least by imagining this capability, we have been able to observe that there are many things that we would all like to do, but, due to lack of self-discipline, we often skip them.

And the activities that we skip are not things that are monstrously difficult.  We skip activities that are really only things that we would reasonably expect from a person (TR) that we might otherwise have hired to do the work for us.

These activities aren’t dangerous, or scary, and they don’t require super-intellect or super-strength to accomplish.  They are just things which, we ourselves, could reasonably expect from our own bodies and minds today, if we would just exert some focus and self-discipline.

So what’s the hold-up?

There are a couple of ways to look at it.  Maybe you could say: lack of self-discipline?  Or maybe it’s fear?  Maybe an inferiority complex?  Maybe an addiction to the internet or TV?  Or maybe just “inactivity due to a dislike of work?”

Hmmm … yes, that last one was an interesting one:  “Inactivity due to a dislike of work.” Now where have we seen that before?  Oh, yes, now I remember … it’s one of those pesky definitions for … laziness.

Getting back to real life

Now this little story comes to a close.  It’s your life.  Please re-enter your body, and continue on with your day.  Thank you for using the free and confidential Get Help Get Active Reality-Check Service.

And make sure you get something done today – I’ll be watching you from inside my stasis-jar!

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12 Responses to I Want To Do It, But I Dont Like To Do It

  1. Cydney says:

    Where can I get my stasis jar? I know lots of my laziness comes from the “the things I just don’t feel like doing”. Maybe that’s the key? It seems like the replacement person just DOES rather than THINK or FEEL. Can I re-train myself to get through the yucky, boring, hard stuff without thinking and feeling so much (usually negative thoughts and feelings anyway) and allow myself to ACT instead? I know when those tasks are completed I usually DO feel good and think well of myself. Perhaps I can postpone the thinking and feeling for later when I can bask in the GLOW OF COMPLETION….

    • admal says:

      When I read your comment I immediately saw the face of a fellow that I used to work for 16 years ago. In my mind the dialog went like this:

      Me: “But … what you’re asking me to do doesn’t make any sense!”
      Big Boss: “We’re not paying you to think! We’re just paying you to pack widgets!”
      Me: “Grrrr …”

      I like your observation about how the TR focuses on DO – rather than THINK or FEEL. I guess that, in my life, the thinking and feeling has been a lot of the problem in terms of barriers to goal completion. It almost sounds too simplistic of an observation to be useful … but sometimes thats just the level of a message that really turns they key inside a person’s psyche – so, thank you very much for the idea – I’m going to see if I can incorporate it into my personal anti-sloth strategy! 🙂

    • admal says:

      What you said also reminds me of the “give a command” strategy for overcoming laziness. In other words, when faced with an unpleasant task you just say out load: “begin the task now!” As if an authoritative, important person were the one ordering you to do the work. (As if to say that you are not authoritative or important!) …. actually, I just said that tongue-in-cheek, but maybe there is an element of truth there – i.e., “if I don’t respect myself enough to follow my own orders – then I need to pretend that someone that I do respect is the one giving the order.” It kind of reminds me of the story of the Lion from the Wizard of Oz …

    • admal says:

      So that raises the question: “Who is a person that I really do respect (or fear) enough, that, if he were to tell me to do this thing, then I would immediately jump to it?” Now I just need to imagine that that is the person giving me the command …

      MORE IMPORTANTLY: Why don’t I respect (or fear) myself enough to follow my own orders? That is a very intriguing question. Clearly, there are people out there in the world, who, if they told me to do something, then I would get right to work on it … but, for some reason, it looks like I am not a member of that important group … the group of people that I really respect or fear.

    • admal says:

      Okay – here is a new rule: “No thinking & no feeling until you are done with your task. Then you can think and feel as much as you like!”

    • Job mentality says:

      I wld say that the replacement person actually does think and feel but he has resigned himself to disregard his own thots and feelings as part of the job. For example, most ppl who have jobs would not do the job except for the fact that they r getting paid to do the work. So to a greater or lesser degree they dislike or even hate their work. It is true that occasionally someone would do their job even if they were not getting paid but those cases are rare. So the point is that u just need to adopt the same mentality that u would have for a regular nine to five job. Then u should b able to stay focused on yr task.

    • Thinking and feeling are fine assuming that they are done correctly. The problem has to do with the fogginess of the payoff horizon and payoff rate when it come to NTE (Non-Transferable Exertion) which is “solved” by getting TR to do the work for you. So the thinking and feeling for the average person (in their vision-deficient and faith-deficient state) is unable to effectively respond to the foggy payoff horizon. But people can respond to the converted payoff horizon of a “regular” TE (Transferable Exertion) 9-5 job – in which both the fogginess of risk and reward are all moved into the entrepreneur’s corner. Unfortunately our legal system makes this kind of a conversion viable only in the case of TE. Hence there is a vast, truly golden resource of NTE which remains (for the faith-and-vision-deficient) … untapped.

  2. fulltime_80 says:

    lol The old stasis jar wouldnt work for me because it would take just as much work to clean the mold off of myself before I put myself back in. But seriously, I loved this article. I can identify with being lazy, of course, and the boredom of life’s common mediocrities. However, I know I would lose my soul in that jar sooner or later. I would feel empty inside and worthless because of ignoring my conscience like cheating on a school exam. My sloth wears me down like the drag on an airline takeoff, but my pride wouldnt allow someone else to take credit for the hard work I should be doing. I am not dead yet. I would never trust someone else picking up a babe for me unless it was eharmony. Self-discipline is a bitch until you get your engine running smoothly. It takes hard work to get good grades, to get in shape, and to stay on top of your game wether you are a drug addict, lumber worker, or CEO of a corporation. And everyone needs a tune-up now and then because we become burned out(some quicker than others). If only I could find my daily mantra to exercise the demons of stress. Well there’s always calestetics and yoga. I hate when I can’t find an excuse to skip out on what I don’t want to do. That’s why I’m writing this. I’m finally in a good place with myself and I realized I don’t feel as sorry for myself as I wish I could. I hate that realization because now I have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to make something of myself instead of moping around wishing I was dead from self-loathing.

  3. Bill says:

    UUUUUH, UM Well, i was going to leave some kind of comment but, thats to much work.

  4. Heres an idea says:

    Holiday gift card = motivation to actually do some work – either to work on the house or read a book or Goto the gym. It is something u can’t buy in a store

  5. This is funny and true! It just needs a little cartoon (man in stasis jar observing the NTE worker toiling away in his body) then you can share it on SM.

  6. Placebos, Reasonable Self-Exertion and The Replacement Being

    This is actually what drugs do (partly). When a person takes a drug they become animated – as if they are sharing their will-power and thinking process between themselves (on the one hand) and the drug (on the other hand). So, the drug becomes partially like TR in the story.

    But I wonder if a placebo might actually work just as well as a “real” animating drug when it comes to getting (an imagined) TR to do some work? Because the work that is being requested of TR is only Reasonable Self-Exertion (RSE). Ergo, with the simple addition of a little bit of faith in the placebo, the placebo user might (happily) confuse the placebo’s animatory effect on himself with the drugs animatory effect on TR? It is an interesting possibility.

    Another related thought: The faith-based animating effect of the placebo is similar to the animating effect of an inspirational speaker. Aka, pep talk. Certainly there are people who have the ability to deliver pep talks which produce an effect on the listener which is very similar to the effect of a drug – whether to animate a person or depress them.

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