How Laziness Prevent Most People from Succeeding

Laziness is a shared and inherent human weakness. We avoid boring tasks at all costs and opt for the easiest route when facing a work situation. The easiest route to solving a challenge is good only when that route presents the best outcome. Most often than not, the easiest route leads to a solution other that the best option.

Were it not for laziness, employees wouldn’t need motivation to do work their employers paid them to do. Smart fellows created an industry worth several billions of any currency in the world out of selling motivation to people more accustomed to smart phones and television than they’re to work.

Consider, for instance, the instinct by most people, bosses and colleagues alike, to take credit for someone else’s efforts. They fancy the recognition that trails success but loathe the struggles that precede it.

They know with success they can get other men at their employ, confine as many beautiful women, (or built men in some cases) as they deem fit to their harem, take elaborate trips around the world, ride the most luxurious of cars, live in the most glamorous of houses, shop in the choicest malls available, among many other rewards that come with success. But even with these knowledge, most people are still forced to go to work or study out of fear of consequences rather than out of love for rewards and benefits.

Laziness hinder most people from succeeding; they can’t put up with the level of work that success demands.

There’s a quote attributed to Bill Gates and bandied about by supporters of idleness. It goes something like, “I’ll always choose a lazy person to do a hard job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” It hasn’t been verified that Gates said so. Quote investigator, a website that represents its name, traced the comment to a few other people other than Bill Gates. Yet, It doesn’t count who said so or didn’t say so. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, Outliers; the story of success, demonstrated the 10,000 hours’ principle of success with Gates’ example. He wrote about how Gates coded away his entire teenage years and spent up to 10,000 hours learning to write codes and writing them, before he attained mastery of programming.

Image Source: https://www.gatesnotes.com/

Toiling away at tasks, both boring and interesting ones, year after year, for several years depending on individual circumstances, is the hallmark of successful people. There’s no substitute for hard work; working smarter to cut down hours and achieve quality results is only a plus.

A Few Manifestations of Laziness

  1. At any time, there’s a level of resources we command and the level we’re are capable of commanding. In the least, the resources we command are our time, or skills, or knowledge. When money is out of the list, we fold our hands, failing to act on our ideas, and blaming our inaction on the lack of money. Allowing the other resources at our disposal to wane, out of disuse. Working in a 9 to 5 job is another excuse people bandy about for not acting on ideas even when there is the capital to do so. They complain to no end about their lack of time.
  2. Toiling away at tasks that appear easy in gross neglect of the work, which you ought to do and that’s a major requirement of your business or situation at the time, is laziness.
  3. Mental hibernation is a kind of laziness that supersedes inaction. The easy route here is to flow with the crowd, doing what everyone else is doing and making do with whatever life throws at you. All in gross negligence of the hard and successful route of digging deeper for your own unique possibilities and opportunities. Mental laziness is the failure to use the mind and imagination to unearth the unique set of latent talents lying low within your unconscious, because your situation is different from everyone else’s. These latent talents and possibilities are the primary sources of your competitiveness. They set you apart from the rest of the world; with them you can make your mark on the world by adding something new and valuable to what’s existing in the market. Failing to dig them up for use leads to a dip in your competitiveness.

Laziness’s Antidote

The antidote to laziness is consistent and strategic action, not mere hard work.

The market place is all about creating valuable products and services to meet ever-evolving customer and user demands. To do so, the business owner executes tasks that’ll fulfill the needs and demands of his market. This involves daily and regular work. Some of it is directly related to the core aspect of the business like production and manufacturing, the rest is ancillary like sales and marketing. In this respect, entrepreneurship differs from a job by a wide margin. You can’t take vacations at will. You have to be up to the task of your business. Sometimes, that means thinking, planning, and working through most days of the year with fewer vacations. Although, when the business reaches the stage of a system that runs on its own, the entrepreneur can then splurge. Until such time, a successful business owner laziness must rule out the urge to be lazy. He can splurge and return to the hustle when he’s had time away enough to refresh. He rests on his oars and risks losing his success.

The entrepreneur’s work schedule is best when it’s a predictable routine. Joggling between learning, exercise, meditation, networking, and most importantly, work and rest. Not necessarily in that order though. Notice the absence of laziness on the list.

You must make out time for those activities even though it’s hard to do so.

You don’t arrive at breakthrough ideas and business models by idling away all day watching television and playing video games. You do so by tinkering with options and fine-tuning solutions till you get the best possible outcome.

Even a lazy man’s approach to relaxation time is counterproductive. He can’t submit to total relaxation by tuning off the distractions that cut down the value we derive from our rest time. That’s the link I found between distraction and laziness; they both distract from work and from rest. They prevent success.

Originally published at influence.com.ng on August 23, 2017.