Sloth – running from that which is hard. The aim is sweetness and good feelings.
Perhaps the opposite of this is maturity. Maturity can be defined as delayed satisfaction. Sloth is simply putting off the thing that is difficult by doing the thing that is comfortable or easy or the thing we like to do. Sloth may be present because of fear. Fear keeps us from doing a lot of things in life. In my coaching practice, there is not a day that goes by when a client decides to not act because of fear. Now fear isn’t a bad thing. If someone is chasing me with a knife I’m going to run. But this isn’t the kind of fear I am talking about.
A Different Kind of Fear
The kind of fear I am talking about has more to do with people coping with a bad decision or a poor work environment or a domineering boss or any one of a number of things we can change. Sloth can also be a result of depression, stress, clutter and any one of a variety of bad habits. In my opinion, self-control is the root of all of it.
What is Maturity?
I opened with my definition of maturity. Funny, I just checked Siri for a definition and she said, “the state, fact, or period of being mature.” Siri is no help in this regard. I’ll stick with my definition: delayed satisfaction. I think this can be directly related to impulse control.
The tool I use to measure Emotional Intelligence defines impulse control as, “Impulse control involves understanding the appropriate times and ways to act on emotions and impulses, and the importance of thinking before acting.” In other words, impulse control involves choice. Too much impulse control keeps us from speaking up or taking action because we are measuring the response from those affected. Insufficient impulse control and we say and do things that are sometimes inappropriate. Either way, this can lead to others seeing us as slothful.
Ways to Avoid Sloth
- Resolve in advance to work through a problem.
- Understand your core values and align your time around them.
- Identify all your roles and set a goal for each one.
- Set at least one priority that will get you closer to each goal every week.
- Eliminate the not important and not urgent from your life
- Hard work. Sometimes you just have to do something.
- You’ll feel great about the achievement afterwards
- Discover your preferences.
- Understand your type (personality) and behavior (emotional intelligence).
This may lead to a better understand of your preferred job or an understanding of how you work best.
About the author: Creed is an accomplished leader and Professional Certified Coach motivated by a passionate drive to help individuals and organizations reclaim their clarity for personal achievement and organizational effectiveness.