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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Effortless living is laziness?

    I thought I'd post this here since I hit upon some of the ideas I'm going to mention while reading pop-psychology or mind, body and spirit section books.

    Anyway, as I say I was surveying a lot of reads which were all discussing how to take the effort out of living and discussing how, persumably in orderly, lawful and prosperous parts of the world were books like this are sold, its possible to live the effortless life, most people can, they dont need to wait until they win the lottery etc.

    Cue a whole bunch of thought experiments, reframing exercises, positive thinking and other cognitive tricks and happiness philosophy.

    Although I'm absolutely sure that most of the content would be totally and utterly spot on I really hate these sorts of books because the whole premise alienates me and I think its pretty widespread, the idea that strenous, striving, struggle can and ought to be dispensed with altogether bothers me, an effortless or relaxed pace to me is only possible or desirable as a respite from what it is not. For instance the rest period after a heavy work out in the gym, the rest period when you're not at working to earn money or when you substitute a bit of light entertainment or a novel for some heavy duty reading and learning. What do you think?

    I also think its kind of unhealthy to make effortless living desirable or a goal, accomplished living or achievement which involves a lot of effort which has no instant gratification seems a much better idea.

  2. #2
    window shopper Typh0n's Avatar
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    Effortless living isnt satisfying I agree.

  3. #3
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I don't have a frame of reference to discuss this particular spot on.. But for someone who has struggled their whole life, I am really excited for my father to soon (5 years from now) be in a position where there is true effortless living. The effort is all voluntary, to enrich and enjoy rather than necessity and survival. The cooking is simply because they value home cooked food, not because they had to buy bulk items on sale and freeze them because Hey! The state decided we didn't need to buy more food that month until we sent in a doctor form they failed to tell us we needed ahead of time.

    I think if you want an effortless life, then good for you. It definitely isn't for me.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Chiharu's Avatar
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    How much effort goes into obtaining that effortless life, though? It seems sort of bizarre to me.
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

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  5. #5
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    It's relative.

    How often do you go out of your way to make things require more effort? For example if you go buy a dozen eggs, you decide to take each egg home one at a time instead of the whole carton.

    Most of us are already living a life that takes relatively less effort and it gets taken for granted.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    It's relative.

    How often do you go out of your way to make things require more effort? For example if you go buy a dozen eggs, you decide to take each egg home one at a time instead of the whole carton.

    Most of us are already living a life that takes relatively less effort and it gets taken for granted.
    It is funny examples of eggs in the fourm.

  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    To the extent that effortless living is selfish or physically unhealthy, then i would say it is a problem, but there is a value placed on effort itself that is also extremely unhealthy and potentially selfish. Balance tends to be a good aim to shoot for.

    I think stress is an enormous underlying problem in society. Many people have lost the ability to relax. I have a goal for myself and others to increase a sense of inner peace and to let go of many forms of stress.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    The simple truth of the matter here is that you don't want to know the answer. You don't want to know the answer because it will mean you're out of control. To you, effort equals a future. If you or others didn't spend effort, things would be completely out of control, anything could happen to you and the world, and that is scary.

    To me, though, it is absolutely the embrace of change and the enjoyment of existence. To me, anyone who asks this question is in a river paddling upstream, working harder and harder as they get older to stay in the exact same spot, while the experience of floating pleasantly downriver is waiting to be had.

    So I'll answer the questions, but keep in mind that you probably won't like the answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I thought I'd post this here since I hit upon some of the ideas I'm going to mention while reading pop-psychology or mind, body and spirit section books.

    Anyway, as I say I was surveying a lot of reads which were all discussing how to take the effort out of living and discussing how, persumably in orderly, lawful and prosperous parts of the world were books like this are sold, its possible to live the effortless life, most people can, they dont need to wait until they win the lottery etc.
    That is quite false. Many poor people in third world countries do live the effortless life, and there is nothing wrong with that. Travelers visit these people and speak of children who don't even have shoes being the happiest people they have ever seen. Understand that "effortless" does not mean "not lifting a finger" but more like "natural." The human body does not want to sit around and sleep all day. It wants to be a part of the life around it. People take pleasure and simple joy in the acts living, and they are a lot less lonely than they are in the 1st world because they aren't constantly trying to rise above everyone else.

    This can happen anywhere, though. It can easily happen in America, but society doesn't encourage it. In America we are taught from a young age that we MUST do well in school or our lives will go poorly. If we get bad grades in school, teachers and parents get angry at us and say we aren't doing enough and try to whip us into shape. It is unacceptable to relax and enjoy oneself in a public school.

    I could go on for years about this.

    Cue a whole bunch of thought experiments, reframing exercises, positive thinking and other cognitive tricks and happiness philosophy.
    This is a misconception. You see, that is effort. It is desperate effort. To expend no effort would be to let yourself get exactly as sad as you feel, and for most people, that is terrifyingly sad. This is because they have spent their lives putting it off, letting it all build up. To accept sadness would mean the necessity for change, but having come this far, people believe it is too late to change. They might HATE their job, but they still try to have a positive attitude for years while it gets worse and worse. If they actually accepted their hatred for their job, they would have to face the fact that a life of misery is simply not worth living, and would either have to quit or kill themselves.

    Although I'm absolutely sure that most of the content would be totally and utterly spot on I really hate these sorts of books because the whole premise alienates me and I think its pretty widespread, the idea that strenous, striving, struggle can and ought to be dispensed with altogether bothers me, an effortless or relaxed pace to me is only possible or desirable as a respite from what it is not. For instance the rest period after a heavy work out in the gym, the rest period when you're not at working to earn money or when you substitute a bit of light entertainment or a novel for some heavy duty reading and learning. What do you think?
    There are people out there who basically live in a permanent state of vacation, worrylessness. They see absolutely no need to "get anything done" and they just do what they enjoy doing pretty much all the time. That may even include things like working out or going to a job. The essential element is the worryless state of mind. When you are relaxed, around people, and having a good time, it is often fun to work.

    I also think its kind of unhealthy to make effortless living desirable or a goal, accomplished living or achievement which involves a lot of effort which has no instant gratification seems a much better idea.
    Achievement for who? You? Your parents? Society?

    Why? Because you feel guilty? Because you need to be able to pat yourself on the back for something? Because you have to be a good boy or people might wonder about you?

    Rest assured, even if you're a good boy, no one is going to care in 5-10 years. Your accomplishments will be erased. Don't even pretend that you might have made the world a better place. First, maybe you didn't. Maybe things you couldn't have expected happened and your accomplishments actually led to something terrible. Even if not, do you realize how insignificant you are in time and the universe? Even if you become the president, you are literally like an atom on a grain of sand.

    It doesn't matter. It really. Doesn't. Matter. This is all for you. This life is only here for you to enjoy while it lasts, and it is constantly disappearing before your eyes, gone forever. Your experience will pass. You will die, and then it won't matter. It won't matter if you spent your life worrying and straining and fighting and depressed. It won't matter if you let go, allowed yourself to enjoy it, but were a failure. It won't even matter if you enjoyed it and had all sorts of success.

    If you want to know how, look no further than young children. Young children love to run around and play, imagine wild things, pretend, and dream. They love to learn. No one has to force them to take lessons to learn to walk. They just learn. They don't have to scold themselves when they aren't learning how to talk as quick as they would like. They just do it because it is fun, joyful. That beautiful process does not need to stop, we are at fault for stopping it. Once the child learns to talk and understand adults, now they can be told what to do and they have to listen, and this is when things go wrong, when people begin to need certain outcomes and start to strain themselves. They wanna beat the pack. They can't let themselves fall behind. They can't miss out.

    So they slowly become "responsible adults" who carry the world on their shoulders. If they let go, they are terrified of what would happen, never stopping to remember that this is all just a passing experience, in the end not important, nothing to take too seriously.

    This is available to everyone at all times. 99 percent, though, are too scared to let their misery go. What would happen to me if I didn't get an A on this next test? What would happen to me if I just quit my job for a stupid reason like not liking it? What would my friends and family do if I stopped being there for them even when I didn't want to?

    Some people try it for a while, get impatient, and go back to straining. Rest assured, the process will take some time to happen. Most people will only truly let go when their life of strain has become so utterly miserable that they realize it is not worth living that way, and collapse into a deep depression. I have done this myself, and let me tell you, the depression was indescribable - worse than anything I could have possibly imagined. But then it ends, and I don't care anymore. I honestly don't even know if it is fully over yet, but I absolutely do not regret a single thing I have done. My old life was no longer worth living. To strain is to accept mediocrity. I have taken a stand. I have said, I want the happiness I know I deserve, and I will not be fooled into grasping for a future version of it that never comes.

  9. #9
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Making an effort can be enjoyable, I imagine "effortless" hobbies and jobs would be no fun at all. The problem is when you have to put so much effort into things you don't even enjoy just to survive you end up having no time or effort left for the things you do enjoy.

    I can imagine putting effort into conventional respectable things like education, a career, building wealth, leading/managing people etc. would be deeply satisfying for an ENTJ. As they have the opposite of my preferences in some ways I envy ENTJs, it feels like the whole world is laid out for them.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    I can imagine putting effort into conventional respectable things like education, a career, building wealth, leading/managing people etc. would be deeply satisfying for an ENTJ. As they have the opposite of my preferences in some ways I envy ENTJs, it feels like the whole world is laid out for them.
    Deeply satisfying can turn into deeply soul-destroying pretty easily though. They may find the very same dissatisfaction in an inability to hit the brakes and stop gaining. They can easily become images of hollow materialism and callousness, Citizen Kane style.

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