I like to avoid things. In fact, avoidance is one of my hobbies. One day I might even put on my resume that I am good at avoidance. Some examples of things that I like to avoid: Blowing my nose in public places, bugs that sting, confrontation, hospital odors, internet lists (see my article Why Lecturing is Ruining the Planet), loud gatherings, Screamo Rock, gossip, housecleaning, cleaning piles of things, puddles and olives.
I think that avoidance is the path to a healthy and happy life. Here is my list of 11 Ways that Avoidance Will Improve Your Life.
1. You will be safer. People who rush get heart attacks and stress, they have car accidents and they slip on things like ice, banana peels and old people. Stop rushing, avoid the crowds and you will be safer.
2. You will have more fun. Putting things off is fun. You can play computer games, organize papers into piles, stare into space, and update your Book of Face (That’s Facebook, for all the Newbies). Let’s face it, work is boring. Why else would they bribe you to stick around so long? Pay raises and vacation time are an anchor to your soul. Go ahead, be free. Avoid it all. Don’t plan your vacation 6 months from now, start it right now!
3. You won’t have to grow up. Getting serious about work and getting things done makes you old and wrinkly. Avoidance keeps you young and immature. A side benefit is that you won’t have to deal with things that you should have faced earlier in your life. You will have fresh opportunities to deal with the same issue over and over.
4. You have more time for things that don’t really matter. Let’s face it, time is the new currency. Forget money, oil, art or Bitcoin. When you and I avoid, we have time for other things. And when you have time, You are Richer Than You Think.
“All work is the avoidance of harder work.” James Richardson
5. You will have a great life strategy. When life hits hard and you are really stressed, you can just avoid it. When the bills come your way, avoid. When you need to study for that test, avoid it. Watch TV, eat, exercise, move your piles around, stay connected, do whatever you want. You will have a number of helpful strategies that will help you to cope with whatever life throws your way.
6. You have a diagnosis that will help explain things to your boss. This is an excellent one to bring up when you have to talk to your boss. Whenever they try to nail you down, just bring in your diagnosis of Avoidance Disorder. Don’t do it overtly, just talk about your therapy and how it is taking longer than you thought. The great thing is that when you avoid, EVERYTHING takes longer than you thought! It’s beautiful. Take your time, and have an excellent diagnosis that gives you a great reason for why things take so long!
7. You will escape blame. People always talk about how there are two groups in life, “Us or Them.” The Us group are the serious types who work all of the time and make the rest of us look bad. And Them is the group who likes to sit on their parent’s couch and scratch themselves. We avoiders are in the group that no one even notices, the “or” group. Bet you missed it… “Us or Them.” The or’s are the group that no one talks about because we are not even part of the discussion. Avoid being blamed for lost wages, lack of productivity, or identified as a cost savings. What they told you in school is a lie. The best defense is not a good offence; the best defense is to not even be on the field.
8. You will deal with facts, not feelings. Working through feelings is exhausting, trust me. It just takes time away from the important things (see #2 if you really need to). When you feel hungry, you won’t need to think about whether it is really hunger or the fact that you are avoiding a conflict, you can just eat! Go ahead, be gentle with yourself. Avoid feeling anything.
9. You will get to spend a lot of time alone. You should get used to this one. When you avoid a lot, you end up spending a lot of time by yourself. It’s better like this, because when you are alone you can control the remote and it’s okay to pick your nose. If you walk around in public picking your nose and holding a remote, it’s uncomfortable. For other people. To help them, just stay home.
10. You will avoid facing your fear and you will live longer. Facing your fear is one of the leading causes of getting yourself killed. Let’s say you are afraid of dying in high speed car chases. If you avoid that, you will live longer. Afraid of running through rush hour traffic? Just avoid it and live longer. Afraid of getting punched in the face by a sweaty toothed bouncer? Just avoid it and have punch free face as a bonus.
11. You will avoid things that tie you down and increase your stress. The best things in life to avoid are taxes, conflict, consequences, tests, exercise, eating vegetables, planning for retirement, flossing, rejection and disappointment.
I will leave you with one more piece of advice: don’t think of it as avoidance, remove that word from your mind. It’s not avoidance, it’s just plain logic. No one want’s new problems to deal with when they have too many already.
“I didn’t avoid my problems. I just didn’t feel as though I had to focus on them every minute of every day. And telling people about certain aspects of my life would only create trouble. If I was guilty of anything, it was of trying not to bring new problems into my life. That wasn’t avoidance. That was logical thinking.”
Keep it real