A man wearing a black suit and white shirt, with his hands in front of him, palms up. Action - Understanding Laziness

Understanding Laziness

What is laziness

This word is the cause of many a failure, of many dreams never realised. It is the cause of why many men and women never achieve what they want to achieve. But what is laziness?

The online Oxford dictionary defines it as “being unwilling to work or use energy”. Synonyms to laziness are idleness, slothfulness, inactivity and so on.

Be aware that nowhere on that list is procrastination listed. Procrastination and laziness are not the same thing. When we procrastinate we delay doing what we know we have to do (finishing off homework, writing the final paper, doing the washing up), in favour of something that brings us more joy or something that is just wasting time. But eventually we have to do it and we get it done.

Laziness on the other hand is never lifting a finger to do something altogether. It’s a decision to do nothing. It’s when you say, “I can’t be bothered” and nothing follows it. It’s not doing the homework even though it must be done, the final paper because it must be done, living your environment in an unclean state because it’s “too much effort”.

And there lies the key. Laziness is synonymous to a lack of effort. It’s not putting it off until later; it’s not doing it at all – ever.

Don’t confuse laziness with temporary inaction. Taking time off from your schedule is not laziness. Sometimes you have to take time out and relax and chill, do nothing, think about nothing and recuperate. When we strive for our goals we forget to give ourselves the time off.

Why do we get lazy

The only character trait that cannot be altered by any form of self help, personal development or reading books, is that of laziness. It is something that we must willingly and consciously change.

A lack of motivation is the main reason for being lazy. But what is motivation?

Reading your daily bout of motivational quotes on the net is not what I’m referring to, although sometimes they can give us a bit of a momentary pick-up. What I am referring to is the motivation of a single most desire to be, do or have something.

It’s the motivation that drives you daily towards a definite goal that you want to achieve.

Will this alone overcome laziness? No!

With the goal, the desire, there has to be discipline. The discipline to get yourself up and going to do what must be done to achieve your goals. There will be a number of steps to get to where you want to get to. You’re not going to suddenly find yourself there; it will be a product of a number of actions in the past, however small.

Without discipline to keep you in check you will falter. Discipline and persistence go hand-in-hand. Laziness requires neither. It requires no effort.

The Physical effects of being lazy

Another effect of laziness is the result it has on your physical well being, your body.

It’s a consequence of becoming indifferent to your physical well being and your health. You don’t do any form of exercise, living your body to deteriorate over time, which will eventually result in adding excess and unwanted weight, in the form of fats.

Even when you cannot see the effects externally it will affect your body internally.

This can be the result of simply not exercising but it can also be the result of an unhealthy diet. Eating “junk food” instead of preparing a nutritious meal, even something as basic as a salad instead of reaching for the packet of crisps or chocolate bar.

What you put into your body affects you in the present and, just as important, the future you. And it does so mentally as well.

The mental effects of believing your lazy

Being lazy is one thing. Telling yourself you are lazy or being told you are lazy, levels things up. It becomes an idea and a self fulfilling prophecy.

Remember that the subconscious will take on any idea given to it with feeling. If someone tells you you are lazy or, worse, you tell yourself you are lazy and you do so with emotional content, you are going to plant that idea into your subconscious.

And since the subconscious is purely automatic, you will unconsciously act lazily. You will become the epitome of laziness just by telling yourself that you are. What’s worse is that there are people out there who think that by telling that you are lazy you are going to change. It’s not likely going to happen. They are simply reinforcing the idea.
If you can block others peoples opinions of you, who you are, who you should be, and simply be you, then so much the better. Provided you are not acting from the ego and simply protecting, rather than becoming aware.

Can we overcome laziness

Overcoming laziness has to be a choice. It can’t be forced but it must be disciplined. There needs to be a reason for moving away from inactivity and unwillingness, to a state of action and doing, moving towards something.

Depending on the external world will provide only a short pulse of activity, unless that is what drives you, such as the environment and improving it. Again, however, that is still an internal shift – it’s a want to make something, our environment, better.

There needs to be a “Why” – why are you alive? And each of us does have a why. The reason most people don’t even make that shift is because of the effort it takes to THINK.

It’s not just the ideas and thoughts that we daily have but thinking on a conscious level, as if we are observing our own thoughts as we would observe clouds in the sky. It’s standing back and taking a look at thing objectively.

You have to continually tell yourself that you are a person of action, that you are doing what needs to be done to reach your goals, that you have the confidence to do so. And even if you don’t believe it at first, you will find that after repeating it to yourself for a while, that you begin to think that it might be possible. Eventually you will know that it’s possible. And you will question what else and greater is also possible.

Effort is needed in anything when we want to achieve our dreams. The person unwilling to put that effort in will never attain their full potential, will never attain their dreams.

We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
Proverbs 10:4 (KJV)

Photograph by: Jacek Dylag on Unsplash


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