When we ask how to stop being lazy and procrastinating, we are really only referring to ‘motivation.’
This reminds me of an interesting anecdote -
At the job interview:
The interview: Can you carry 100 pounds of weight?
The interviewee: Well, if it's a lovely girl, then hell yes! But if it is a bag of cement, then definitely no!
When you feel lazy, it just means that you do not have enough motivation to complete the task at hand, even if you HAVE to do them. This probably happens because you may not be inspired or just feel uncomfortable doing them.
In any case, you probably know (somewhere deep down inside of you) that even if you don’t do them, there isn’t going to be any major disaster.
Perhaps, you’ve been through situations when you must have had many things to do, but instead, you just lay on your couch sipping your favourite coffee and staring aimlessly at your TV or phone.
In these situations, you might have probably asked yourself, “Why am I so lazy”. You possibly even thought that you lack willpower.
Don’t worry; we have all been there! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This is a common trait found in all humans.
My Secret Mission
Let me tell you about a secret psychological research that I conducted while sitting in a fairly huge aircraft –
I walked around the airplane and observed what people did on their devices. I noticed that the majority of them did 1 of the 3 following things:
- Play games on their computer or mobile
- Watch movies
- Use social media
Although it was possible to do something productive (like, learn something new), the vast majority of the people instead chose to do something that was fairly easy or pleasant.
Therefore, you can see that laziness is a very typical trait of all. At the same time, there is GOOD NEWS – since this is a typical thing, there are proven and known ways to overcome this.
What Will Not Help?
Before we move on to effective techniques that will help us overcome laziness, let’s first understand what DOES NOT work.
You must have come across a lot of motivational articles, quotes and videos that didn’t really have that much of an impact on you.
This is because most of the tips offered by these resources are superficial and does not last that long.
Don’t worry, in this article, you’ll learn the root cause of laziness so that you can overcome it, once and for all.
How should I Motivate Myself?
As mentioned already, when we talk about laziness, we are really only referring to ‘motivation.’ There are two kinds of motivation:
- Negative Motivation:
This is when you have to address a problem or a “pain” and there is no way around it.
For instance, if you look at the wild animals in their natural habitat, they do not have the “laziness problem.”
This is because they have NO TIME TO BE LAZY. They have to search for their food and keep themselves safe, no matter what day of the year it is.
In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger (Hollywood actor, politician, bodybuilder) uses nature’s way of getting back to the basics as his motivation. His life motto is “To stay hungry”.
In this case, staying hungry means that you keep going forward every day – you constantly look to do something bigger and better.
- Positive Motivation: This is when you have a LIFE PURPOSE, a dream or a passion – something that innately drives you forward. A vision of an “ideal” state in your life of being happy, successful etc. will drive you to take actions towards achieving the same.
This was rightly captured by the expression “ambition drives the world”. This was what Socrates, a famous ancient Greek philosopher, had once said.
In fact, some people, on the other hand, believe that laziness drives progress. For example, the excavator was supposed to have been invented because people were too lazy to manually dig the ground.
However, this is not the case in reality. If you observe the rich people across the world, a common pattern among them is that they keep working.
You might have heard of Kōnosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic. Did you know he only took 2 days off per year!
Thus, it is safe to assume that it is really “ambition” that drives the happy and successful people in the world.
What Are My Choices?
Basically, now you have two choices:
Choice#1: You don’t do anything special but instead stick to doing what’s comfortable. You then wait to encounter a problem, which will in turn motivate you to take action.
Choice#2: You form your life purpose; your vision or your dream and you in turn make consistent efforts towards achieving the dream.
I know that Choice#2 is ‘easier said than done.’ Nevertheless, there are proven methods for determining your life purpose - read the article “How to set life goals and short-term goals”.
- Form your life purpose, positive motivation, vision or a dream that will make you want to get out of bed in morning. This article may help.
- You can then adopt the technique that Arnold Schwarzenegger uses to stay motivated – “Stay Hungry.” If you follow this motto, you will be full of energy and your life will be successful.