The mind thinks doing nothing is good because it is constantly rewarded for undisciplined behavior.
Humans Are Like Dogs
When a dog is told to sit and it does, it is usually rewarded with a treat. A dog is conditioned to be rewarded after it follows a command. If the dog is fed the same treat even if it did not sit or obey a command, it will remember to do nothing again so that it receives another treat. Humans think the same way at a subconscious level.
Can You Elaborate More?
At some point in our lives, most people gain a certain amount of freedom that allows them to use their free time however they like. Some people remain responsible and manage their time carefully, while most others struggle and spend their time engaging in unproductive tasks.
Some of these tasks are:
- sitting in front of a screen for most of the day (Netflix, Video Games)
- using a handheld device to kill time or to check notifications (Games and Apps)
- overeating (At Home or Going Out)
- ignoring responsibilities and other necessary tasks (Errands, Deadlines, Homework, Laundry, etc.)
- not exercising
- not socializing
The list of self-destructive or unproductive tasks humans take part in is forever growing.
What Do You Consider a Reward?
When you think of rewards, you most likely think of receiving something you want in exchange for your focused work. This is a valid form of thinking, but what we are really working toward is an emotion. We want to feel guiltless when we do things we consider fun, so we make the agreement to put in work beforehand. That actually makes us beings of integrity.
Some of the most common rewards we receive are:
- Binge watching Television programs
- Binge eating
- Listening to Music
- Playing Video Games
We give ourselves pleasure by using external substances. With proper control most of these rewards are not harmful, but if we avoid our everyday responsibilities and replace them with endless doses of rewards, we become addicted. It is easy to become addicted to anything that derives pleasure because there is little work involved in attaining it. Eventually, we become the dog that does not need to sit in order to receive its treat. We can just lie down and receive anything from that list with no work.
How Can We Reward Ourselves Properly?
Begin by rewarding yourself after simple tasks. This is always effective because the mind needs to repetitively feel rewarded after performing a task. If the tasks are realistic, it is easy to build momentum. This reconditions your mind over time, which will help you complete greater tasks. Doing nothing will then become a reward itself instead of taking the place of the work you should have been doing.