Ode to the laziness


Summer vacation is a strange break from the ordinary work, that it allows us not to do things for a while.

Change is good for the mind for sure, yet as we’ve recovered our strength what then? Is it okay to just be? Isn’t that lazy?

Exactly the word laziness is today’s theme, a word that has such a strong response from the Google. I get quotes such as:

  • Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. – Jules Renard
  • Run away from laziness; work hard. Touch intuition and listen to the heart, not marketing directors. Dream. – Alber Elbaz
  • Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. – Anne Frank
  • Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it’s only kept a secret from the person who fails. – Robert Half
  • A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. – Benjamin Franklin
  • When we hold back out of laziness, that is when we tie ourselves into knots of boredom. – Walter Annenberg

On the image side I see dozens of more quotes, about the same thing: successful people rejecting the whole idea of laziness.

Definition of laziness according to the free dictionary would be not willing to work [1].  Dictionary.com describes lazy as averse or disinclined to work, activity or exertion [2].

With these definitions it’s no wonder successful people who have worked very hard and so dismissive against the concept that is the opposite of working.

I would like to question the status of work as the holy grail these successful people are claiming it to be.

Work is really useful and necessary, when we have some kind of idea what we are doing. However, work does not need to be all the time the kind of necessary evil. Part of it always will be, yet as a greater part it can get something closer to the play it is is supposed to be.

True laziness is when we are lazy doing things we truly enjoy doing. Doing things we do not enjoy doing is not laziness, it’s just the resistance. Sometimes doing what we don’t want to be doing can be beneficial, sometimes harmful.

Laziness is such a concept that it’s really hard to find any more positive words to describe it. I.e. yesterday as I was reading Quora, I found a magnificent way to look & find your hidden talents. Today as I looked at the table there again, if by any chance there would be laziness there and it would’ve be somehow transformed into something positive, the result was a disappointing no, there was not.

Next I started Googling and I did not find as much positive about laziness, as I would’ve liked. As I said, I agree with that the work is really important. However, laziness in a way is a human tendency and therefore it should also serve some higher purpose. Despite it being a deadly sin, I say that the feeling of laziness when you are supposed to be doing something just happens to give a signal that you are doing the wrong thing. We never feel lazy about doing the right thing.

Desire for comfort and rest to the excess are different from the feeling of laziness. To feel lazy means not to want to exert oneself on the particular task, it does not mean that you do not want to do anything.

Motivations is born inside us, when we’ve interesting things to do we also find the energy and acceptance to work.

Laziness is reluctance to do the particular work, not all the work. When we find something meaningful to do we are not feeling lazy anymore, then we feel like playing instead of working.

Oh and by the way I happened to see some people who have also found value in the laziness:

  • Things come in a quieter way to me. It’s not laziness, and it’s not diffidence. I just know how far you have to bend for work. That’s important for me. – John Hurt
  • The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris. – Larry Wall
  • Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.  – Sam Keen
  • Laziness works. And the simple way to incorporate its health benefits into your life is simply to take a nap. – Tom Hodgkinson
  • I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it. – Bill Gates

To conclude, I think laziness as a emotion tells us to change up something to find something that has more meaning to ourselves. Something that feels like play, because play is what we should do more. Even doing nothing is sometimes really good, because at least we are not getting in the way of things as we are usually. Call that meditation, enlightenment or whatever you will.

Lazy person should have a great ability to identify the most fun to get out of the comfort zone through play. Life should be fun too.


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/laziness

[2] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lazy

One thought on “Ode to the laziness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s