My desire to create output always outstrips the total amount of energy I have available, so I hit the wall of having an energy deficit.

This energy deficit manifests in over-doing inner work and then tripping my biological circuits, getting overloaded, and in IFS terms, having firefighter backlash.

My backlash = eating sugar or binge-watching as a means to soothe/numb/calm down my overloaded system.

I stay up late, don’t get enough sleep, and then end up in even more of an energetic hole the next day.


Every time I hit this negatively-reinforcing cycle, I ask myself, “How can I work smarter, not harder?”

I keep trying new approaches to accrue more energy so I don’t run a deficit.

I’ve noticed that ‘active’ healthy methods of increasing energy are out of reach once my tank is empty. I’m not going to meditate, do breathwork, yoga, or even take a walk when my entire nervous system is on fire.

Eating and binge-watching are PASSIVE. I need passive healthy energy sources when I’ve got nothing left.

If I were a millionaire, great sources of passive energy would be acupuncture, massage, reiki, sound healing— anything where I just lie down and RECEIVE. But lo! I’m not a millionaire and I honestly can’t afford to do those things as frequently as I run out of energy!

My new long-term solution is to invest in physical sources of energy I can access at home, any time, that create deep relaxation in the body. One solution: I’m buying a sauna! It’s a huge investment but in the long run, my vision is it will be my daily re-charge box. Here’s hoping!

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Reading and sleeping are doing it for me nowadays, so I've been eating less sugar. I accepted the fact that I need a lot more rest than I thought, so that's a priority now. Still trying to find out a way to balance rest and work though...

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Oh wow you've just put my life experience into your first sentence so accurately!

Reading the post and your comment really cristalises the idea that I couldn't have been lazy if I was trying so hard to get things done. Yes, usually not much got done, aside from inflicting myself a lot of suffering in the process. But there was still a lot of desire to get stuff done, even if I lacked the means to have that happen.

I also really like the insight you are sharing around active vs passive ways of rest, and hope you get your sauna soon!

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Also, sometimes what you need is laziness.

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I totally agree. There's a brilliant book about this by Dr. Devon Price, called 'Laziness Does not Exist' which I highly recommend https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laziness-Does-Exist-Devon-Price-ebook/dp/B08C1G3J1T <3

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Love this! I have felt very lazy my whole life, and it wasn't just me telling myself that. I was raised to subconsciously believe I was lazy because I had a father who was hyper, a very hard worker and uber productive. I could never live up to his expectations. But, the first turning point for me was Gretchen's Four Tendencies. I'm an Obliger, and it means that I function better with outer accountability. I'm not lazy, I just need a form of accountability to get things done. The second turning point was realizing I have ADHD about 2 years ago, and getting diagnosed last year. Now I work hard every day to employ tactics to essentially trick myself into being productive, both through outer accountability, and other forms of stimulation, time blocking, flexible scheduling, diet and exercise, etc. Chris, I know from the Happier podcast that you are a rebel, and I find it very obvious in your writing and the types of strategies that work for you. I imagine being a rebel with ADHD presents its own unique combination of "laziness". So fascinating and so much to learn and understand!

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Wow. This was among your best-ever informational, inspirational writings. You know where I live, Chris. I am an "ideal reader." That bio calls me out. I was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at age 60. If I was Batman, my arch nemesis would be EXECUTIVE FUNCTION.

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Chris, have you been spying on me? Your ideal reader... that's so me! My whole life, I've put a lot of effort in doing meaningful work, only to reach a dead end – I get too tired, accept the defeat and move on to something different (not without feeling like a loser). I used to think I was lost, quitting so often because I didn't know what I wanted. But after a huge burnout, followed by depression (and quitting again) and an autism diagnosis, I realized that I know what I want, but I don't know how I work, so my energy goes down the drain. Now I'm learning how I function, respecting my limits and needs, getting proper help. YOMH has been playing a huge part in that. Thanks :)

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I can relate to a lot in this post (and to the ideal reader!), thanks for your words!

I've also been just writing on a similar topic, albeit from the view of us still needing rest despite believing we are lazy and hence not deserving it.

I agree when we give ourselves the lazy label, we make it mean "carefree lazy" when in reality we still have big goals and ambitions, and struggle a fair bit to do something about them.

But in the end it doesn't mean that we are incapable humans, we just have a slightly different set of challenges to work with. Understanding where those challenges are coming from (anxiety in my case) has proven quite helpful to being able to work around them!

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I've felt lazy for the past 12 months; this is not how I used to be. Certain unfavourable circumstances and situations that made me question who I work for

Plus, additional responsibilities I took on led me to burnout, which drew out joy and left me feeling lazy about doing work. I'm not proud of it. Your post helped! Thank you for sharing. Reading through your ideal reader made me realise that’s me! So when I get home, I’ll upgrade and try YOMH. I need it.

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I arrived here after seeing someone had restocked this, I'm so glad I seen it! I've been reading some of your other stuff and got to day I love it. I even let my tea go cold, takes alot to distract my from tea haha. Can't wait to read more 💕

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Sometimes it’s really important just to sit there and do nothing. And it’s okay

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I resonate with this. I too would like more massage sessions. I also need more sleep but feel that having a nap in the afternoon is also considered lazy, so I just try and keep going.

An infra red sauna is a great idea because it actually helps your mitochondria produce more energy. And it's a great alternative to doing a workout when you already feel drained.

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I definitely rally from "laziness" as much as I can, but find that it can end up exhausting me in a way that means I have to take real time to recover. I struggle with doing too much, so sometimes the answer is just being "lazy."

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1. All the time. Its like my mind something but my body is like, Nope.

2. That no one is lazy. There is always a explanation behind why we don't do something. Or be unable to get out of bed.

3. Not really sure to be honest. I struggle a lot of starting things. If I able to start is a plus point for sure. But they are rare. Easier to just scroll YouTube.

4. Well I'm getting massage this week. And that is nice to get once a month 😁

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