Imagine a time in the future … maybe not so distant … in which they have discovered a way to enable a person to temporarily leave his own body, and hire someone else to enter his body, in order to perform the tasks which he (the body-owner) wants to do, but does not like to do. Then, when some activity comes along that the body-owner does enjoy, he could just re-enter his body. Here are some examples of the things that you would no longer have to put up with: flossing, going to the gym, making those unpleasant phone calls, driving to work, going to school, studying & homework, going to the dentist, mowing the lawn, etc, etc. Wouldn’t that be great? (Hang on. Like all science-fiction stories, this one may end up having a weird twist at the end.)
So you hire the replacement person, and he comes over and hops inside your body. Meanwhile your “essence” slithers into a stainless-steel liquid-nitrogen “stasis” jar. (The word “stasis” means “a state of inactivity.” It rhymes with the word “basis.”) Now, what kind of to-do list would you have set-up for your replacement being?
First off, you wouldn’t want to be overly pushy with your replacement being – especially since he is walking around with your body, right? So, you want to make sure that he, the replacement, (lets call him “TR” for “the replacement”) gets paid generously for his efforts. (Notice that key word: “effort.”) And you also would want to be sure that he is treated fairly and reasonably (an hour lunch, two 15 minute coffee breaks, safe conditions, etc.) That would be important to you because you are a socially-conscious employer and you appreciate your worker. But you would also want to be sure to give TR a full schedule of challenging, do-able, realistic stuff. (So you can get your money’s worth!)
For example, if your body hasn’t been to the gym in ten years, then, on Day One, you might ask TR to go to the gym and walk, at a modest pace, for 30 minutes on the treadmill. Then maybe a few minutes lifting weights (just the easy stuff), then jump in the shower & get changed. Then off to the university to sign up for some tough (but do-able) college classes, then a few hours of studying at the library to get ready for the upcoming semester. And be sure to brush and floss, pick-up some groceries, work a part-time job, make those unpleasant phone calls, do the income tax returns, cook a fabulous dinner, and wash the dishes as soon as dinner is done. ”Oh, and see if you can pick up a babe for me while you’re at the gym or library, okay?”
Of course, you would probably want to step back into your body at a few points along the way – like at the end of the work-out. It’s a great feeling to walk back to the locker rooms after a tough work-out. Maybe you would like to stay in through the shower, since that is usually a pleasant time. Then back into the stasis jar while TR heads off to study in the college library, does the shopping, makes the calls, spends four hours at that boring telemarketing job, does the paper work, writes out the checks, vacuumes the floor, and makes dinner. ”Oh, and remember to listen to one of those ‘learn a foreign language’ tapes while you’re driving!”
Then you switch back in just in time to enjoy a delicious dinner. (Once dinner is over, you’ll probably want to switch back out again – until TR is done with the dishes.)
Finally, all of the “work” is done, so you switch back into your body one last time. Now you can spend a pleasant evening with friends doing whatever it is that you would like. (And maybe brag about how much you got done during the day?) Next day, the whole process starts over. After a few years, you’re in great shape, you have an interesting, challenging career, a whole host of new friends, and you’re fluent in two foreign languages! And you never need to do anything unpleasant ever again!
Well, lets hope that the stasis jar never becomes reality. I can see a few nightmare scenarios already. But, at least by imagining this capability, we have been able to observe that there are many things that we would all like to do, but, due to lack of self-discipline, we often skip them. And the activities that we skip are not things that are monstrously difficult. We skip activities that are really only things that we would reasonably expect from a person (TR) that we might otherwise have hired to do the work for us. These activities aren’t dangerous, or scary, and they don’t require super-intellect or super-strength to accomplish. They are just things which, we ourselves, could reasonably expect from our bodies and minds today, if we would only exert some focus and self-discipline.
So what’s the hold-up? There are a couple of ways to look at it. Maybe you could say: lack of self-discipline? Or maybe it’s fear? Maybe inferiority complex? Maybe addicted to www or TV? Or maybe just “inactivity due to a dislike of work?”
Hmmm … yes, that last one was an interesting one: ”inactivity due to a dislike of work.” Now where have we seen that before? Oh, yes, now I remember … it’s one of those pesky definitions for … laziness.
Now this little story comes to a close. It’s your life. Please re-enter your body, and continue on with your day. Thank you for using the PAL Reality-Check Service.
And make sure you get something done today – I’ll be watching you from inside my stasis-jar!