In order to embrace your laziness, you have to take the easy way out. And the easy way out, when it comes to attaining goals is to go ahead and, well, actually attain it.
Woah, wait, hold up now! I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking how can it possibly be lazy at all to work towards a goal? Wouldn’t it be more lazy to just quit it and forget about it than actually put in effort towards... something?
True, true. I mean, working towards a goal is a lot more hard work than lying around doing nothing...or at least it seems that way, on the surface. It seems like “taking the easy way out” has nothing to do with any sort of productivity.
But just because you manage to be productive doesn’t mean you aren’t being lazy. In fact, you are at your laziest when you can be productive without trying really hard to do so. That’s sprezzatura, baby!
It’s all about minimizing effort and maximizing results. That’s laziness at its core. Doing a lot without the “try hard”.
And let me tell you. By giving up on a goal, you are not, absolutely NOT minimizing effort. You are, quite conversely, putting in a shit ton of effort. You are putting in a huge amount of “try”.
Let’s face it, in giving up, you already put in effort into that goal. All of which is gone to waste the minute you say “I’m done”. All effort, no results. You’re left with the aching feeling of what “could be” had you just pushed yourself a little further.
Ah yes, push a little further. Not something ya wanna hear as a lazy procrastin8r. But when I say push further I mean to take it just one simple step at a time. I don’t mean strenuously drive forward in a speedy motion. Be Slow, Smooth, and Deliberate. Embrace your inner sloth
Do or do not. There is no try. “Trying” means working hard. “Doing” means taking it easy and just going with the flow.
See, cause when you give up on a goal it's not just like you say “Ah, okay, I give up.” and call it a day. No.
It’s not that simple or straightforward. At least if the goal is anything even remotely worthwhile.
You’re going to guilt yourself. You’re going to feel your own shame. You’re going to pity yourself in feelings of woe and despair as you regret NOT doing said goal. You’re going to torture yourself through remorse nearly endlessly.
You’ll regret not doing it, not going for it, not seeing it through to completion. And that takes a lot more effort to deal with than it takes to deal with moving forward in your goal.
Not to mention, you can’t give up on something that you haven’t even started. Otherwise, that would mean you simply decide not to do it. You can’t “give up” on losing weight if you haven’t even made an attempt to exercise or eat healthy at all.
Giving up, through its very nature, implies that there is something in which you have or in which are are doing that you are going to cease or get rid of. It is halting the progress of something completely.
You don’t “give up” a goal that you haven’t made any progress on. You simply choose not to do it. If, for example, you’ve been wanting to learn a new instrument, but keep putting it off and putting it off, procrastinating if you will, never picking up the guitar or whatever, yet alone learning to strum a chord, it’s not that you “gave up” on it, it’s that you made the decision not to. Maybe you just “couldn’t help it”. You couldn’t help putting off learning guitar because you’re too quote on quote “lazy”. You sort of chose not to start the goal on a whim.
Here’s the thing: You’ve procrastinated without a purpose. You’ve become what I like to call Impulsively Idle - that’s when you don’t consciously make the decision on what to procrastinate on but rather just let it happen...on impulse. It’s not that you shouldn’t procrastinate at all, it’s that you must procrastinate on shit that ain’t worth your time.
Now if there is a goal that you believe IS worth your time, yet you’re sittin’ around procrastinating on it. That is Impulsive Idleness. You’re putting off something important to you and that’s no bueno. You must learn to procrastinate on the unimportant things to you so that you can focus on that which is important.
If you started playing guitar, only to stop after learning one or two songs, that would be giving up because you made progress in your goal of learning to play guitar, only to put it to a full stop after a few lessons.
The moment you halt progress is the moment you give up.
Whether or not you do actually make any progress on a goal, that is, whether or not you choose to start it in the first place, whether or not you give up or procractive Impulsive Idleness, you're bound to face the ugliness of guilt. Guilt of not pulling through. Guilt of not even starting.
The thing is, lying around doing nothing, instead of working towards that goal you have, is in fact doing something. It is in fact putting effort towards something. Upon giving up a goal, you’re putting effort towards going through all seven stages of grief. You’re putting effort towards convincing yourself, your own damn mind, that stopping any and all progress you made or could make is okay (hint: it’s not and you know it).
And that’s a lot of work, dude.
Your goal, unless it’s something you truly didn’t really care about in the first place, is something you’ve become emotionally attached to. It’s something you learned to admire and perhaps dream about. And just like the loss of someone close, someone you similarly admire, giving it up, losing the goal completely causes pain. It brings about grief. Literally.
You’ll go through the denial and the bargaining and pleading. Like “oh I didn’t really want to lose that weight. I didn’t really want to learn to play guitar.” You’ll then get angry and blame something external like “goddamn the gym is too expensive!” or some shit. You’ll then feel sorry for yourself. And hit a “oh woe is me” stage. It’s grief though. Giving up a goal causes grief.
While it’s possible to mourn over it, it really ain’t worth the (emotional) effort), man. Why put yourself through grief when you can be happy with what you’re doing instead?
Certainly, dealing with grief is a good skill to have and definitely possible (which maybe we’ll talk about in a future post…eventually), but unnecessary grief is NOT okay. You shouldn’t put yourself through those seven levels of hell, ahem err, seven stages of grief, if you don’t have to.
There are particular circumstances that are unavoidable, things in which you can’t control. A pet dies, you get into a car accident, some random kid smashes your front porch lamp, ya know shit like that. It’s possible those things can cause grief, or at the very least stress.
Dealing with grief and stress takes energy, a LOT of energy, and anything that takes energy must be avoided as much as possible to a lazy man. You can’t control certain situations, but the ones you can, you should take advantage of by doing the lazy thing of avoiding stress and grief that comes about if you instead choose to give up.
It’s in your control, it’s within your choice, on whether or not to give up or remain Impulsively Idle on a goal, so it goes to say that in that particular circumstance, you dictate whether you have to put the boulder on your shoulder so to speak, or lean back and relax, going with the flow.
You should save your energy to deal with stress and grief on the things OUTSIDE of your control. Stressing yourself out or making yourself grieve over something completely WITHIN your control is not only unlazy of you to do, it’s, frankly, quite insane!
Although you may not be putting effort into the goal itself, you are putting effort into avoiding that goal...as wacky as that sounds. But it does take effort on your part to let go of a goal. Effort in which could be used to complete said goal or better yet, make PROGRESS.
There really is no benefit towards giving up the goal other than the fact that you don’t have to do it anymore. I suppose “less responsibility” could be seen as an advantage and one could argue that responsibility does in fact cause stress.
I suppose either way there’s going to be a bit of stress, maybe a bit of grief. There are going to be negative feelings involved no matter if you give up on a goal or continue making progress.
But I reckon guilt is a lot more stressful to deal with than responsibility. Take the easy way out. Take the lazy path and take responsibility rather than guilt.
If, say, you are able to let go and not give a fuck, then it probably wasn’t really that important of a goal to begin with. It probably isn’t worth your time or effort anyway, so let it go and continue not giving a fuck.
However, if you find it difficult to simply “give up”. If you feel like you’re sort of mourning over the loss of someone near and dear by giving up a goal, then you have to realize that it’s something actually worth doing.
By far, worse than letting others down is the feeling of letting yourself down. You know a goal is truly important if you feel disappointed in yourself, as opposed to fearful of someone else’s disapproval if you choose not to do it. That’s how you know it’s something you must abide by, like the Dude.
Disapproving of yourself is NOT lazy at all. Heck, you don’t want a boss who berates you for “not doing your job”, so why do it to yourself? Hold yourself accountable. Take responsibility; it’s a heck of a lot easier (and not to mention less stressful) than dealing with self disappointment and self rejection.
Insecurity stems from your own inability, no, your own REFUSAL to make progress towards a goal that you find important. The key to confidence is taking slow n’ steady action, slow n’ steady progress towards what you find to be important. Otherwise, you feel like you’re not good enough. You feel you’re not good enough because you’re not being your real self, your big self, the real you and all the potential you can reach.
Embracing your laziness means embracing yourself. It means embracing the opportunity to move forward, ever slow and ever stead, towards becoming your ideal self. Any goal that you can simply “give up” or procrastinate on with purpose, without taking a second look is not part of who you truly are and what you’re all about.
But any goal that has you regretting not reaching for it, is exactly what defines you and you need to make it happen.
Don’t give yourself a reason to be disapproving towards yourself. Do the thing that you deep down approve of. Do the thing that you are proud of, the thing that you can say to yourself, in a mini celebration that yes, you did it! Do...you!
In short, a goal you care about is much easier to do than to give it up and also a lot more rewarding. You’ll feel not only accomplished and proud of yourself but also joyful and that’s maximizing results, baby!
Last week, we covered how the lazy man doesn’t give up on his goals. Instead, he gets there...eventually.
After all, it’s a helluva lot more work, emotional energy to deal with the guilt of not completing your goal than it is to actually, ya know, do it.
But the question is: how do you go about completing your goals? How does one actually “make it happen”?
I mean it’s one thing to know not to give up. It’s another to know how to move forward in your goal or project. You can tell yourself not to give up all you want, but that doesn’t really matter does it, if you’re not making progress?
Progress is key to goals, not necessarily “getting there”. Progress is what you do with a goal, instead of giving up. Progress is “eventually.”
Eventually you’re going to be where you want to be. Eventually you’re going to do what you set out to do.
Anything can be accomplished through progress, through the procrastin8r mindset of “eventually”.
If you’re looking for the cliche advice to go in no holds barred and to work your ass off, then that’s not what I’m about to tell you. Nor am I to tell you that it’s “all or nothing”.
Nah, that’s not what I do, that’s not what I’m about. I’m lazy as fuck, just like you. And I reject the notion that exerting a lot of effort is necessary for success, so any sort of advice that conveys some sort of “go all out” message is wrong in my book.
You don’t have to go all the way with a goal. In fact, that completely defeats the entire purpose of a goal. A goal at its very core is slowly, yet surely leveling up and getting better over a long period of time, until you EVENTUALLY get to where you want. It doesn’t happen instantly and certainly disciplining yourself to
There’s no point in having a finish line if you’re not taking (slow n’ steady) steps to get there.
Put it this way: something is okay. Something is better than nothing. Half ass is better than no ass.
The way you must approach goals, the way you must approach anything really, is patiently. Patiently through progress.
It’s not so much about the destination but the journey. That is to say, the progress is more important than the goal itself.
A big reason as to why you would want to give up your goal is because you simply aren’t patient enough.
You have this idea (that’s frankly been fed to you) that you either gotta make it or break it, ya know, all or nothing sort of thing. You want that immediate gratification of achieving your goal, without actually making the progress to attain it.
In a world where you can order literally anything at the click of a button and have it delivered to your doorstep in as little as a few hours, we’ve developed a bit of an expectation to just get things RIGHT AWAY.
But good things don’t come right away. Good things aren’t immediate. Good things are slow to come.
Most people who win the lottery wind up broke within a few months. Statistical fact. That goes to show that the accomplishment itself means shit. It’s not about what you achieve, it’s about how you get there and what you learn along the way.
Lucky little Lottery winners got the immediate goal accomplished of getting rich, only to blow it all away soon after. But a person who takes his time to build that wealth is unlikely to be such a spendthrift. That’s because they took the time to make progress in becoming financially suave and in doing so manage to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make strong economic decisions.
Having a goal handed to you immediately, like winning the lottery -- It’s like skipping to the last chapter of the book, without getting the full story. You don’t know what’s going on or who any of the characters are. You have to take your time to read all the chapters leading up to the conclusion in order to really “get the most” out of the book. Likewise, you have to build your own story, go through the journey, take the path of progress in order to “get the most out of” a goal.
In setting yourself to either hit the goal now or never, you’re always going to be falling short, or at least feel that way, simply due to the fact that you’re not “it” yet. But that’s okay.
Look, it’s okay to be in the process. It’s okay to be in the making. Stars aren’t born. They’re made (literally by plasma but we won’t get too scientific here).
Take your slow ass time to get to where you want, man. There’s no rush. No hurry at all.
Besides even if you did somehow (through a series of very fortunate luck) manage to achieve your big goal suddenly, you wouldn’t be prepared to maintain it, just like a lottery winner isn’t prepared to maintain their own sudden wealth bestowed upon them.
You know not to give up. The next step is to, well, take a step. Always take a step. Always move forward.
Aim for progress not perfection.
You don’t want to exert more energy than you have to in grieving over a loss (of a goal). You don’t want to create your own loss, which is why you choose to pursue a goal in the first place. You avoid the guilt of not doing it. I mean not only do you avoid a loss but you also create a win (by achieving said goal)
In the same vein, you don’t want to exert more energy than you have to in pushing to overcome a goal as quickly as possible. Take your time. Slow n’ steady wins the race.
Oh and be comfortable with mistakes. Making a mistake doesn't MAKE you a mistake.
The harder you try to push, the harder you’re going to fall and the harder you’re going to be tempted to give up. And if you choose to give up, the harder the regret will be to deal with.
You’re here because you want to take the easy way out. You’re here because you want to be lazy and get away with it.
So I tell you this: don’t put hard work on yourself unnecessarily.
Make progress towards your goal and don’t ever, ever give up.
After all, after reading this, I’m sure you’ll feel a lot more guilty if you do.
Live life as a perpetual "eventually". Eventually is better than never.
Take it easy,