The Slavery of Pleasure & The Freedom of Responsibility

“Behind your feelings there is nothing, but behind every principle is a promise” – Eric Thomas

When the word “responsibility” is spoken it evokes a sense of constraint. Most people think of having to go pay bills or handle household chores; the price tags of living so to speak. What if I told you that those responsibilities aren’t the constraints but the keys to being free? Responsibility is the master that frees you from destructive habits. 

“Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?” – Scott Turow

Ever heard the phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”? This is the story a lot of us probably believe. Those working long hours become so engrossed into their work that they become a cog in the machine. We jokingly refer to those addicted to work as “workaholics” and of course moderation is key, but what if I told you there’s an epidemic of “leisure-holic” philosophy that pervades the culture?

Everyday, I hear stories of people talking about their dreams and goals. From hairstylists to graphic designers to musicians. I love talking about goals and passions ,but what I love even more is helping people achieve those goals. However, there is a recurring theme running through these tales. -“I’ll do it tomorrow” “That’s too much work” “I don’t have the time.” – That theme is procrastination.

“You don’t have a balance problem you have a priority problem.” – Eric Thomas    

I understand everyone’s situation is different, but  based on what I’m told, when they aren’t at work, the people I talk to are on their phone playing games or facebooking, hanging with friends consuming mass media and smoking cannabis (no judgement). I’m not against those pleasures, but people priorities these over their dreams and passion and then wonder where the time went. They believe they are free when they are “living life” but really they are unwitting slaves to their pleasures. Ironically, their freedom is provided by the limitations of discipline and responsibility.

“If you’re working hard to work less. You’re doing it wrong” – James Revels III

Discipline replaces the old destructive habits with new productive ones. I write this not as a criticism, but as an observation. I hope everyone finds a way to thrive and live life on their own terms, but in my opinion thriving through pleasure-seeking alone is impossible and unhealthy. You shouldn’t work hard so you can work less. You should work hard so you can work better. In others words, work hard so you can work on what you truly want.

 

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