I have this friend who possesses an amazing ability. The ability to be fully functional when he got high. One day, a few of us were hitting the bong, listening to some throwbacks. Most of us were just chilling talking about trippy things and goofing around. Except for my one friend, who was sitting there with a physics textbook in one hand, and bong in the other hand. He was just doing his homework with no issue whatsoever. We were all blown away. How the hell was he able to focus on all these numbers and equations while he was stoned??
At that time, when I got that high, I could barely do simple algebra. Numbers and dense paragraphs would hurt my brain and there would be so much resistance that I gave up trying to be productive when I got high. I envied my friend’s ability.
How was he able to do this so effortlessly, when so many others were barely able to get off the couch after smoking?
We smoked the same weed, about the same amount and we all have pretty high tolerances.
So, after much consideration, this is my theory for why some people have this skill and others don’t. Note, I’m not saying you HAVE to be productive when you get high. But a lot of people need cannabis for health, among other reasons and it interferes with their productivity.
The Lazy Stoner Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
For decades, cannabis smokers have been portrayed as lazy, couch-sitting, food munching, hippies. In TV shows, news propaganda, movies, etc. cannabis smokers are often made to look unproductive.
So, before I even started smoking, I had this impression that weed just made you wanna sleep and that it made food taste better. My friends were under the same impression. I remember the first time we smoked, we used computer paper (shaking my head) to roll up. In hindsight, that was really dumb, don’t do it! But we got high and of course we were all laughing like children sitting there unable to move, eating chips like the stereotypical stoner. It was like a placebo effect, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
My mind and body was conditioned, before I even started smoking, to associate cannabis with laziness and silliness. So, when I first smoked that’s what happened, I became lazy and silly.
It’s a lot like Pavlov’s famous classical conditioning experiment. Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever his lab assistant entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food. The dogs associated the lab assistant walking in, to dinner time, and so they started to salivate whenever he walked in.
Similarly, someone who’s been conditioned by the Lazy Stoner Self-Fulfilling Prophecy will become lazy when they smoke.
Our brains work by association. If you’ve been conditioned to associate cannabis with laziness, then smoking will trigger all these thoughts of laziness and they will manifest.
Someone may not enjoy reading because they associate it with homework, boring textbooks, or being teased about being a ‘nerd’ when they were a kid.
Someone may enjoy sports because they associate it with getting together with their friends and family for the Super Bowl.
Someone may hate a song because it reminds them of their first heartbreak or love it because it brings back memories of an awesome summer.
How to Reverse The Lazy Stoner Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
What I found interesting about productive stoners was that they had completely different associations. Most people I talked to who are able to function perfectly fine after smoking, associated cannabis with creativity and productivity.
My friend, who I mentioned earlier, started smoking with his friend who was a glassblower. He’s always been a creative person, so he would draw and create sculptures whenever he got high. His brain associated cannabis with artwork and getting stuff done. There was no reason for him to believe that weed makes you lazy because he was surrounded by plenty of creative individuals who smoked and weren’t in the slightest lazy.
I once had the attitude that “I can’t be productive when I’m high”. To me, this was a fact. Your words are very powerful. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, you’re not gonna put in the effort to do it, you’re just going to give up when you’re met with resistance.
After seeing what my friend was capable of, I switched my mentality to “I CAN be productive when I’m high, it’s just gonna be difficult at first”, because your brain neurons need time to rewire themselves. At first I just read easy books like Harry Potter, then I started writing and drawing when I got high. Over time, I kept increasing the difficulty to the point where today, I can smoke a blunt and teach myself anything, read a complicated textbook, solve equations, do computer programming, etc.
If you believe you can’t do something, you probably can’t do it. Your mind and body won’t give it all. You’ll subconsciously be thinking “This is impossible, why should I waste my energy?”
However if you believe you CAN do something, your mind and body will push forward and look for solutions, rather than accepting defeat.
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