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Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Reviewing the news that suddenly appear on LinkedIn, I came across a simple diagram that caught my attention, about Constancy and Rest, uploaded by José Manuel Echeverri, and that it's really about the concept of a "Balanced Life".

In the diagram on the right, José Manuel wants to make us aware in a very simple and lacking depth way, that Perseverance implies discipline, but also rest, which we will call leisure.

The diagram lacks depth because it does not explain that its foundation is the "Law of Reverse Effort", which states that the more we push the mind to obtain a positive result, what we will actually achieve is a completely opposite result and of course negative; the reason is that the mind needs a "break" to process the information that is being asked of it, so that through creativity and divergent thinking, it generates not one, but many great ideas.

In fact, in his book The One Thing", the author Gary Keller, mentions the five myths of work and professional success:

Everything is equally important, the opposite being Pareto's Law of 80/20

  1. Multitask (Multitask), the opposite being the focus on priorities.

  2. A disciplined life, being the opposite of exercising discipline in worthwhile habits.

  3. Willpower, yes, but considering emotional peaks and valleys.

  4. A balanced life (balanced), the opposite being a counterbalanced life between work and pleasure (leisure).


♾️ In knowing how to separate work life from personal life to "balance" them, since each one has its own goals and counterbalancing approaches.

♾️ Work is a skill or knowledge that must be mastered; working life is divided into two areas: the one that matters most and...everything else. Therefore, what is important should be taken to the extreme and be okay with what happens with the rest.

♾️ With the above, you have to counterbalance your personal life, which has multiple areas and each one requires a minimum of attention to "feel good about life".

♾️ Let the "right things" be a priority when necessary and do the rest when you can.

An extraordinary life is an act of balancing work and personal life.

When you act based on priorities (at work and in life), you will automatically be counterbalancing.

All this reminded me, a topic that was raised in 1932, by Bertrand Russell in his essay In Praise of Idleness and in 1936 by Jacques Leclercq in his essay " Praise of Laziness".

In his essay, Jacques Leclercq tells us the following:

Everybody's on business. People go about their business. No one dares say they're going somewhere just for fun anymore. In the case where business, however vague it may be, no longer presents a possible justification, his forehead wrinkles, his gaze becomes even more concerned and he says to himself: "My doctor tells me to rest"

On the other hand, a few days ago I had the opportunity to meet again with my Chemical Engineering students from the La Salle University, who participated in 1984, in a course entitled "Chemistry of Colloids and Surfaces".

In a recent chat on WhatsApp and as a joke, I asked them to watch the video clip that appears above this text and tell me what type of innovation the amphibious car that appeared there belonged to: Incremental, Disruptive or Radical? No one answered me, however, one of them, José Manuel Fernández, a very enthusiastic, jovial and intelligent person, ironically told me: Idle and useless innovation.

His surprising response reminded me of the In Praise of Laziness" by Jacques Leclercq mentioned above.

Reflecting on José Manuel's response, I replied: "You will say this about idle and useless innovation as a joke, however, it is somehow true" and, paraphrasing LUISGÉ MARTÍN, a columnist for the newspaper El País, I said to José Manuel: What would happen if all country leaders and their cabinets, company directors like many of you, instead of traveling and stressed by work, just "lazy"?

Most likely, the results would be very productive since the "Mental-Intellectual Disconnection" generates great results due to the "Law of Reverse Effort"; "Less Stress on the Mind generates creative responses to life's challenges" and this is one of the foundations of the INTUITION.


Paraphrasing about the article "In Praise of Laziness" by Luisgé Martín and my own experiences, I remember that, in the year 1985, working for "Shell México", I was witnessing how the first PC arrived at our office on Insurgentes Avenue in Mexico City, it was truly a moment of great expectation, since nobody even knew how to turn on the computer.

After a couple of training sessions, we all marveled that our workdays were going to be reduced from 8 hours a day to 6 or maybe less.

Faced with this scenario, we all began to talk about the new division of labor and the civilization of leisure.

The "beating hype" technology heralded the advent of happiness: the technological revolution that was taking place would allow human beings to finally stop earning their bread with the sweat of their brow and dedicate themselves to their family, to their hobbies and their pleasures.

How far we were from reality, today, we work longer hours, without time limits, without respecting rest hours at night and on weekends, and all this for less money.

Birthday parties in companies and to avoid wasting time, are done in packages, that is, the birthdays of one month get together on the same day to celebrate them and thus avoid distractions.

Now we are asked to retire later, if we can retire, also, we should not get sick if we want to collect our salary.

Because of the above, "The Civilization of Leisure" was replaced by the "Culture of Effort".

It seems that we had bitten the apple of some forbidden tree, for which we were expelled from a paradise that not even many of the new generations got to know.


See below this text, the evolution of a work desk

The Lost Paradise that I knew: in my first working years, working was not as enslaving as it is today, because The Age of Intensive Information and Communication had not yet appeared. In that yesterday, for example, going on a work trip seemed like going on vacation, since there were no cell phones or laptops, it was very difficult and expensive for your boss to call you. They also didn't make calls to you or send you WhatsApp's at inappropriate times to your house and less on weekends.

Neither did the "Zoom" that has become (by the Home Office) an invader of the privacy of your home.

It is as if, in reality, between the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, we had made a mistake that threw us from the comfort of a Low-Risk Culture, to a High-Risk Culture, of High Effort, where there is no time for that "Humanizing Leisure".

The question is, how can we claim to achieve a better balance between Extreme Leisure and Extreme Industriousness?

What is the break-even point?

To answer this question, use "The Law of Polarity".

On this planet everything is a balance; for example, if we see the attached image, on the left side we have ice, on the right steam and in a state of equilibrium Water.

The ice maintains the balance on the planet so that the seas do not overflow the continents; the steam maintains the balance to generate the rains and renew the seas; the seas maintain the balance for the generation of oxygen to sustain life.

Regarding Laziness, what is the balance point?

Using "The Law of Polarity", for example, there are people who are too responsible (almost Workaholic), who feel "guilty" for giving themselves a time for leisure, but leisure on its far left is unproductive is laziness; its opposite, on the far right, is a workaholic and, at its point of equilibrium, there is a CARDINAL VIRTUE: TEMPERANCE , which stimulates serenity, generates creativity and stimulates intuition.

Another basic rule for living well in this "Culture of Effort" is knowing how to live in the Present:

The Past is History,

The Future is Uncertainty,

This moment we are living,

It is a Gift and for this reason it is called a Present

Will we see the advent of a New Humanity that managed to digest technique and balance Laziness with Diligence?



1) Echeverri, José Manuel. LinkdIn profile. -echeverri-948aa015/

4) Erdozain, Juan Carlos. Intuitive Thought, Beyond the Rational. intuitive-thinking-beyond-rational

5) Leclercq. Jacques. Praise of laziness. © 2014.

7) Keller,Gary. "The One Thing"

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