Weekend Insight-Three Enemies Of Laziness
April 25, 2021
Children can be powerful teachers, thanks to their innocent actions. When dealing with my kids, I often get some “aha” insights. I got one such lesson observing my younger son.
My son loves cricket. When there is a cricket match to be played, he is upon his own early, all ready and eager. He doesn’t need an alarm or anyone to wake him up on match day. Even if the game were to be played under a blazing sun, he is very happy putting in the necessary physical effort.
My son is in high school presently. He is a couple of years away from flying the nest, ready to go to college. He wants to get into one of the top colleges and he worries that if he doesn’t score well in his exams, he will struggle to get admission into the top college. So that fear and can-do spirit keep him on his toes. He puts in a lot of discretionary effort and tries to be on top of his academic game.
My son is also a budding violinist. Though he is very talented, practicing music is a chore for him. My wife and I have to be on his case every other day to remind him to practice diligently. Even when practicing, he is a clock watcher. “Mom told me to practice for one hour. I will practice exactly for one hour, and that’s it.” But, something interesting happened recently. He was asked to offer his services to record some background tunes for a music album, where he would be paid money. This was the first time he was being remunerated for playing music, and I could sense a dramatic shift in his attitude. He was willing to spend a couple of hours or more to complete the task without complaining or resisting. He was enthusiastic and happy playing music.
So, what is the big lesson here?
When it comes to doing certain activities, we all tend to slack out, being lazy. But, we can overcome our laziness and become very effective if we have three things going for us.
If I don’t do this, I will get hurt. There will be consequences that will be very painful. So better to do it. If you don’t start working out and losing weight, you risk a heart attack. Fear is an excellent motivator for overcoming laziness.
If I do this, I will get this. There is a positive motivator. It could be money, happiness, health. When the upside is tangible and clear, you will be willing to do it, overcoming your natural laziness and diffidence.
This is the most natural of the instincts. When you love something intrinsically, you will be willing to do it, no matter the obstacles and challenges. Love for something is a vaccination against laziness. It is a natural motivator.
If you feel like you are struggling with laziness, struggling to do stuff, it means all the three factors are missing. It means that you are in a state of indifference concerning that task or activity.
The insight I got observing my son was this. Indifference and boredom are the sources of our laziness because we don’t have any meaningful attachment to doing something. When you have fear, an inducement , or love towards something, you will not suffer from laziness !!