Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

Evolutionary Psychology : Laziness

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Ronn : Why do we get lazy? What does Evolutionary Psychology has anything to do with laziness?

Nnor : Laziness is a way to preserve the body from being overworked and conservation of energy in our body. Our biological body needs preservation and conservation, hence the body has worked hand in hand with our brain to wire laziness in our mind. Human by default, are lazy. The only way to overcome it is motivation or reward and punishment. We need to ‘program’ ourselves with reasons to not become lazy.

Ronn : But wait a minute, conservation of energy? Wouldn’t food production be contradictory with the purpose of laziness? Laziness wants us to eat less food but yet today, we are on the verge of global food shortage.

Nnor : This is a problem with the world culture, not Evolution, but nevertheless i will tell you why. If you watch plenty of Discovery Channel or National Geographic, you will notice that it is not an easy task for carnivore animals to hunt for a meal as it takes plenty of effort to catch a prey. Thus, the brain induce and give pleasure and good feeling plus creating desire as a form of motivation for the hunter to search for food. Due to this, hunting and eating plays a big part in animal’s instinct.

Same goes for human being.

Do you know that before the industrialization age, unless you are really rich, most people eat to live as you will have to spend plenty of effort to rear or hunt animals to eat? However, with the rise of the age of consumerism and commercialization, food has become commercialized and is mass produced. Instead of hunting for cow and chicken which lives naturally and healthily in the jungle, we are eating meat which are chunked out directly from farms. Hence today, human have taken food for granted and strive more on living to eat instead of eating to live.

As i’ve mentioned many times, the subconscious mind and conscious mind interpret things very differently as they speak two different languages. The subconscious mind by default, is still thinking that food is hard to come by, thus still constantly motivating us to eat. However, consciously human being often eat without thinking twice due to the abundance of food, hence obesity became a global issue at the moment. Therefore, what happens in the outside world couldn’t directly affect Evolution.

I do not know, perhaps Evolution is undergoing a way to make us eat less by reducing the pleasure of eating, or perhaps not. I do not know.

Ronn : Why would Evolution will want to reduce the pleasure of eating?

Nnor : The beauty of Evolution is that it always want to strikes the balance. Takr laziness back as example. Evolution wants to preserve the energy in our body hence, discouraging us to overwork our body. But if everyone remains idle and not doing anything, life will not be able to prolong and continue because then, we will be too lazy to eat, socialize and copulate. Remember Buddha’s Middle Way – the balance is the way to life? Therefore, Evolution also introduces boredom, a horrible feeling which most of us dislike (which motivate us to socialize and do activities together) and pleasure, as a form of motivation to get us moving.

Our brain induce pleasure in order to motivate us to eat, socialize, copulate,  getting things which are hard-to-get, and etc. And our mind give out negative pleasure when things are not going the right way. We feel lonely and miserable when we do not have companions around, we feel angry when someone insulted us, we feel dejected when the person we like rejected our love and etc.

Another funny thing about human pleasure and motivation is – there’s a hierarchy. Remember the time when you crave something so badly that you think about it day and night? However once you get it, and after a few days, this craving will slowly fade away and then you will start to crave for something else which is more valuable or hard to get?

Evolution utilizes emotions to guide the survival of life.  Again, it is not by any means perfect at all. Perhaps it is ugly too. But the most important thing is – It Works.

Ronn : So, by your definition, there’s no such thing as laziness but only lack of motivation?

Nnor : No, laziness do exist but from another perspective it is not how the way we think it is. The word lazy we always describe people is something defined by the society and culture, not Evolution or the natural world.

Let’s ask the question – What Is Laziness? How do you define laziness?  Many people will say laziness is the reluctance to do productive work such as studying, doing homework, working, helping people, etc.

When you only play games instead of studying, your parents will call you lazy. When your peers have started working to build up their careers while you remain idle not doing anything, they will call you lazy.

But if you think carefully, this definition of laziness is actually constructed by society. Not everyone is motivated to study. Not everyone is motivated to work. But the society’s structure DEMANDS you to study and work. If you are not contributing to the society, you’re basically lazy.

Think about it, how can you call me lazy when i’m playing games with my computer instead of studying? I’m busy playing PC games! In this sense, i’m not lazy to study, but just lack of motivation to study. However, society has already presuppose and defined that playing PC games is not good while studying is good, and so if you spend more time in front of the computer than with your books, you’re basically lazy.

My point here is simple – we’re always confused and overlap nature’s laziness and human society’s laziness. We tend to have a misconstrued and presuppose view of laziness and always label it as bad but in fact, it is just one of the element which make us the way we are.

Ronn : Don’t you think laziness is bad? Wouldn’t it bad for humanity if everyone is too lazy to study and work?

Nnor : Bad for human civilization but not for humanity. There’s a difference.  As i have said before, Nature do not discriminate what is right and what is wrong. Human society defined all that.

Back to laziness, in order not to be lazy, self-realization is extremely important – to know and define for yourself what’s important and what’s not. When you are pursuing of doing something you’re truly passionate about, you will not feel tired or bored because the mind will give you a burst of energy and constant motivation. You will not see this passion as just another chore or work but something truly important to yourself. This simple human condition had given birth to many psychology and economic model which involves motivation.

Ultimately, it is up to you. Do you want to define laziness by yourself or are you content to let the society to define it for you?


Written by elan85

August 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] energije je pomembno, če hrane ni v izobilju, pa še prijetno je. Torej, živela tradicija! Fiziološko gledano pa tudi ležanje na kavču ni lenoba, če vas bo že kdo […]

  2. […] Evolutionary Psychology : Laziness […]

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