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Why Being Lazy Helps You Create Things That Really Matter

Why Being Lazy Helps You Create Things That Really Matter

“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.”

– Agatha Christie

As a child, we were always taught that hard work is the ultimate key to success, but as we grew up we were baffled to see the hard workers hustling their way for the race of success only to see their lazier mates ahead of them.

No matter how much we may decorate perseverance, it’s like the phrase – the early bird may get the worm but the second mouse always gets the cheese – because the first mouse tries too hard and often gets killed in a trap or injured, leaving the second with very little to do in the pursuit of cheese.

If we ponder upon it, we can find many instances where the lazier ones among us have found the answers way earlier and with much less hard work than our workaholic counterparts. This is because hidebound hard work is not the only answer, most of the times our wittiness and common sense do the trick, saving us from trouble. Of course, we can volunteer to our vociferous laziness the ism of practically preparing our mind to do nothing.

Laziness is regarded as curse in our society and often a taboo; however, if we are cool enough, it is actually a blessing in disguise to help us create things that actually matters.

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Below are some good reasons why lazy people are often able to propel ahead of their hard working mates, despite their immense reluctance to the concept of “work”.

1. They pay attention to the tiniest of details.

Promptness is a quality that every worker should adhere to. You take a job and work your socks off because that’s what our conventional work ethic demands. However, when the hard workers channel most of their intelligence and energy in the work they are doing, they completely ignore the subtle nuances – and more often than not, these are the things that actually matter.

Being lazy gives the lazy bones all the time in the world to just contemplate about the job they are given over and over in their tiny little brains. The chances of missing tiny subtleties are extremely less. While their hard working partners sweat in stress, they can leave their common sense to take care of the situation.

2. They can think outside the box.

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it”, said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Obsessed with their ultimate passion of having as little as possible to do, the lazy people always find a simpleton solution of getting out of even the toughest predicaments.

They simply cannot help it. Chances are, their solutions will be unorthodox and a complete heresy to the conventional, but it would certainly work in a bizarre yet beautiful way.

3. Their methods of saving time innovates something.

Automobiles were only invented because men were too lazy to walk. Airplanes were only invented because men were too lazy to drive or sail. The lazy people focus on creating things that can give them the maximum number of days off.

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When we look through history, we can find numerous examples of laziness helping in famous inventions. McMillan invented bicycles to spare him the trouble of walking. Programmers invented loops to save tedious hours of typing commands over and over. It’s like the saying: “If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness is the father.”

4. They think of life hacks that normal people wouldn’t.

It’s the nature of hard workers to honestly walk over all the lengths and breadths, but the lazy people always choose the hypotenuse. Hard workers work like clockwork to fill and empty the water vessels, but lazy people develop sensors so they can control the mechanism with their remotes while lying on a couch watching TV commercials.

In a way, the minds of lazy people are controlled by a giant indolent monster which always puts oblique thoughts in their mind.

5. They make machines do their work.

“Human beings were supposed to work less, not more, following the rise of the machines”, according to John Maynard Keynes. Working less does not mean the work has to be less effective. Lazy people try to automate things as much as they can. Even for the simplest of tasks, they devise a system to relegate themselves from physical work. They make use of different shopping cart software instead of just relying on human efforts at their retail store.

Lazy Facebook page owners will just schedule the task for a week and relax, the thing they intended would still be there, and out of nowhere, they have freed plenty of time for themselves. They make maximum use of resources near them in an attempt to avoid any physical labor.

6. They make money even while sleeping.

Lazy entrepreneurs often develop an enterprise that will generate them income even when they are dreaming. If KFC produces chicken, lazy social media geeks put up a page and hooks them with consumers (for a charge of service, naturally).

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While the hard workers work relentless office hours for a specified sum of money, the lazier minds come up with solution to earn money while doing things they love most – virtually nothing at all.

7. They believe genius happens in the moment.

Hours of rehearsals and preparations is not enough for most of the people to eradicate the nervousness of the moment. Meanwhile, those with an arrogant eerie of laziness do wonders just right at that moment with minimal preparations that put days of hard work to shame.

Lazy people are strong believers of carpe diem (seizing the day). They believe it’s the moment that creates something magical and not the days spent stressing over it. This way, they can juxtapose their perpetual idleness with a sense of accomplishments.

8. They are lazy because they are clever.

Our society does not trust lazy people with big responsibilities because they are full of mischiefs. Kurt Gebhard Adolf Philipp Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, the German Army Chief before the second World War was puzzled by the fact that all of his officers were either clever and lazy, or stupid and diligent. However, it was the former who qualified for higher posts because they possessed intelligence and composure to come out of difficult situations.

They avoided pointless staff meetings and formal derogatory talks, but when they were in battlefields, they were true talismans.

9. They are often too lazy to be lazy.

What if you like watching TV, but you are too lazy to actually go to the power socket and switch on the television? Sometimes the lazy people are so lazy that they say, “Darn everything! I am going to amuse myself” and that’s just about when they create something actually productive.

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Yes, they procrastinate things, and snooze their alarm, but in the moments of their mild epiphany, they are unstoppable. It’s something like the best political satires being written at times when press and media freedom lack the most.

10. Their ultimate goal is to create a lazier society.

Development works like induction – you develop and you beget further development. The lazy people actually contribute in creating a lazier society, where humans have to do less work. However, since the bars are always high, they contribute even further.

Conclusion

In addition to contribution for social development, they also can make time which they can spend with their families and friends. It is certainly better to chill with a beer and your friends, or enjoy barbecue with your family, than wasting your intelligence on hard hours at the office. Isn’t it?

Featured photo credit: Bill Gates, speaking at the UK-hosted GAVI immunisation Alliance pledging event by DFID via flickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen?

I think we can all agree that no matter your ambitions, achieving success can be difficult; and over time, the daily grind can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.

How do some people continually strive towards their personal goals year after year while others give up on them? How do those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much stacked against them?

Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to success. If you haven’t read Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, you should. In it, she shows that “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls ‘grit.’” In other words, mental toughness plays a significant role when it comes to achieving goals.

Sometimes, our goals wear us down and leave us feeling exhausted. Other times, our goals get difficult, and success seems impossible, so we lose hope, become discouraged, and want to quit.

At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.

Want to know the good news?

No matter who you are, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop the mental toughness you need to be successful.

All you need to do is learn to develop a positive mindset, focus on your why, and utilize the people around you for support.

1. Develop a Positive Mindset

If you’re going to increase your mental toughness, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.[1]

That’s roughly 45,600 negative thoughts per day!

Carrying around these negative thoughts is like going on a hike in the mountains with a backpack full of rocks. The hike is hard enough on its own, but having extra junk weighing you down is a recipe for failure.

Sometimes, building mental toughness isn’t as much about building new strength as it is about saving your strength for the right tasks. Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the rocks out of the backpack instead of trying to get strong enough to carry the extra weight?

Absolutely!

But how can we learn to spot those 45,600 negative thoughts and get rid of them? How can we empty our metaphorical backpack?

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Well, it gets a whole lot easier if you know what you’re looking for. Some of the most prominent types of negative thoughts are self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, and dwelling.

Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs

It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. Here are some examples:

“I’m not smart enough to…”

“I don’t have enough experience to…”

“I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…”

When we allow these self-limiting beliefs to flood our minds, negative self-talk runs rampant, and we crowd out our ability to think positively. We’re effectively working against ourselves.

If you want to keep your mind strong on your path to success, you have to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back by realizing one key truth: self-limiting beliefs are thoughts, not facts.

When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

  • “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”
  • “I may not have as much experience as someone else, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I have enough experience to get started. I’ll figure the rest out on the way.”
  • “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

Get Rid of the All-or-Nothing Thinking

Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking.

All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was totally good or totally awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.

But this isn’t true!

If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!

If you allow all-or-nothing thinking to rule your mind, you’ll be on cloud nine when you succeed, but you’ll beat yourself up when you “fail.” Acknowledging the shades of gray in between will allow you to see success more often and it will help you celebrate your smaller wins.

When you recognize an all-or-nothing thought, remember to look for the positive in the situation. What did you gain by trying? What would you have missed out on had you not tried? Could you do better if you were to try again?

Ditch the Dwelling

Self-Limiting Beliefs and All-or-Nothing Thinking can lead to a bad case of dwelling on the negative. If you want to build some mental toughness and keep your mind strong, you have to ditch the dwelling.

Every day, bad things happen to each of us, and while there’s nothing we can do to prevent that, we can control how we react to these situations.

When we dwell on our misfortunes, we waste massive amounts of energy that we could be using to achieve our goals. When this happens, we’re more likely to quit altogether.

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But that doesn’t mean you’re not mentally tough; it just means you’re misusing your energy.

The next time something bad happens, it’s important to allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration, but work on reducing the amount of time you dwell on the situation.

Easier said than done, right? Try these:

  1. Call a friend or mentor and talk it through with them. Get some outside perspective on your situation.
  2. Time block your dwelling by allowing yourself to dwell for no more than one hour.
  3. Then, tell yourself to move on, that you’re human, and you’re allowed to make mistakes or experience setbacks.
  4. If all else fails, find a good way to distract yourself until you can calm down and reexamine things with a clear mind.

The faster you can focus on the positives and move past the problem, the quicker you can get back to achieving success in your life.

Be Patient about the Process

No matter which negative thoughts tend to run around your mind, working to replace them with positive thoughts can take time.

Learning to spot self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, or dwelling is one thing, but learning to quiet those thoughts is another thing entirely.

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and try again. As you work towards improving your mindfulness and your mental toughness, remember that you’re going to get better with time.

To make things a little easier, it helps to connect with your purpose.

2. Connect with Your Purpose

One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong ‘why’ for everything you want to do.

If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a ‘why’ for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.

Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution and things weren’t going well, maybe you even wanted to quit. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower. Maybe you told yourself that you didn’t have enough discipline.

Here’s the truth: you just didn’t have a strong enough why.

Simon Sinek has been spreading his message “Start with Why” across the globe.[2] In short, he says that:

“Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.”

One of the biggest drains on your mental energy is pursuing a goal or a task that you don’t have a ‘why’ for. This is when we tend to look for external motivation or question our willpower, but those aren’t the issues.

Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.

Find Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is our innate desire to do something and it comes when we work towards something that satisfies ourselves above all else—not our parents or our bosses or our teachers.

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Let’s say you think you want to quit smoking because you know it’s bad for you, but you really enjoy smoking. If you don’t truly want to quit smoking, it’s going to be nearly impossible, regardless of your willpower or mental toughness.

But if you want to quit smoking because you just had a baby, and you don’t want your baby growing up around smoke, then that ‘why’ is going to give you intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than sheer stubborn willpower, and it’s far easier to maintain over the long haul.

If you’re trying to develop mental toughness, connecting a why to everything you want to achieve will reduce the effort and energy it will take to achieve those things. Once you’ve found a strong why for all of your goals, you’ll find that you’ll have significantly more energy to pursue your more difficult challenges.

3. Find Strength in Unity

The final aspect of developing mental toughness is embracing the idea that you’re not in this alone. It’s a fact, anyone who’s ever achieved success in anything didn’t do so alone.

Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft alone. Oprah didn’t build her network by herself. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone without a team. Michelle Obama didn’t implement the “Let’s Move” campaign on her own.

Behind all of these successful people were countless other people who were there offering support, mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

If you want to develop unmatched mental toughness, you need to understand that you don’t have to go it alone. Even the toughest Navy Seals have a team backing them up.

If you want to stay strong in your endeavors, you need to build a team of supporters who will step in and back you up when it counts.

Find a Mentor or Committee of Mentors

The benefits of having a great mentor are far too many to list, but to boil it down to the basics, a mentor is someone who will help show you the path to success.

A good mentor will help you discover your greatest strengths, spot and overcome your blind spots, and work through your weaknesses.

If you’re struggling to deal with your internal negativity or with finding your purpose, talk it through with a mentor. Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees, and a mentor can help us take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Here’s how to find the right mentor for yourself: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

Recruit Some Cheerleaders

If you want to stay strong, it never hurts to have a group of personal cheerleaders. Unlike mentors who are going to jump in and help you address your problems, a group of cheerleaders will help keep your spirits up.

Even if you have a strong ‘why’ and a positive mindset, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. It doesn’t make you weak to need some help from time to time. Having a group of people cheering you on will make all the difference in the world.

As you work towards your goals, tell a few close friends about what you’re doing, and when things get tough, tell them about it. And when they give you the pep talk you need, don’t resist their positivity or counter it with your self-limiting beliefs or your all-or-nothing attitude.

Allow their optimism to refill your energy and use that energy to press on.

Form an Accountability Group

Cheerleaders are great, but sometimes we need someone to give us the kick we need to keep going. You might have a strong ‘why’ for running a marathon or losing 30 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; and trying to force yourself to follow through is a sure way to tax your mental energy.

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Why not save some of your mental energy by forming an accountability group?

Find a person or a few people who have similar goals, or at the very least, the need for an accountability partner. Then, form an agreement within the group to push each other every day.

Even if your goals aren’t the same, accountability partners are great for giving us the push we need when we need it most.

Regardless of which relationships you choose, sometimes we have to be able to work through things on our own. Mentors, cheerleaders, and accountability partners are a great way for us to combat our naturally negative mindsets, but occasionally we have to be able to pick ourselves back up.

4. Learn to Pick Yourself Back Up After Setbacks

Building a strong mindset and developing mental toughness isn’t easy! Anyone who’s ever achieved massive success knows that obstacles, setbacks, and failure are inevitable, and you’re no different.

As you work on your goals, you’re going to face many ups and downs, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have mental toughness, willpower, or discipline.

We all struggle. We all fail. It’s what we decide to do after we fail that truly counts.

When you find yourself in a low spot, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Am I being too hard on myself?”
  • “Are negative thoughts such as Self-Limiting Beliefs or All-or-Nothing Thinking distorting my view?”
  • “What’s the positive side of this setback/obstacle/failure?”
  • “Why was this goal important to me? What was my purpose?”
  • “Is this goal still important to me? Do I still have a ‘why’?”
  • “Who can I ask for help? Who can mentor me or cheer me on? Who can help hold me accountable?”

Asking yourself these questions is a great way to check in on your mindset. When we get lost in negative thinking or lose connection to our purpose, it’s far too easy to become discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we start feeling weak, maybe even a little hopeless.

Also, this article provides some useful tips to help you get back on track: How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

Tying it All Together

Are you still with me? I know I’ve thrown a lot at you, from developing a positive mindset and combatting your internal voice to connecting with purpose and building a committee of mentors. It’s a lot to take it!

But here’s the bottom line:

A crucial part of developing mental toughness is learning to recognize these tendencies and taking action to correct them early on. Developing mental toughness is not about eliminating weakness, but learning how to deal with it and overcome it.

No one is perfect, but when we focus on the right things, we can develop a mental toughness worthy of life’s biggest challenges.

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Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

Reference

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