Redefining ‘Lazy’

The word ‘lazy’ has usually been used to describe a serious flaw in a person’s character. It bestows a pile of personal and public shame. Does this shame help to resolve this problem or deepen it?

Certainly, if one were to look at it from a mental health perspective, there might easily be a connection to depression, chemical dependency or other disorders. None of the treatments for those advocate for a person to held up for public humiliation.

Perhaps a better way to think about it would be to consider laziness the absence of something … like motivation. Clearly, when anyone is adequately motivated, they can often do amazing things. Likewise, when motivation is diminished, small speed bumps can seem insurmountable.

Ponder for a moment the problems related to dealing with success and failure. If a person feels like they should succeed at everything, what happens when they are faced with failure? What happens to their motivation? Likewise, when a person is confronted with nothing but failure, how do they find the capacity to overcome the next challenge and succeed? It would seem that people who can take on the greatest of challenges and succeed, keep these things in perspective, and see the value and opportunity built into every failure.

There are any number of things that motivate people to perform, but the most valuable of them come from within. Surprisingly, things like praise or money (extrinsic forces) only motivate momentarily. If something is really worth doing in the longer term, it is because of some substantial intrinsic value … some higher purpose. Those who feel connected to a higher calling, find the greatest depth of energy to continue on.

Perhaps there are things that would work better than simply bestowing shame for being lazy.

Just a thought … DonC


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