We can picture the stereotype: the Cheetos-covered guy who basically lives on the couch playing games, the snapchat socialite who has her nose permanently pressed against her phone’s screen, or the old man in his white, sleeveless t-shirt reclined in front of the TV. Laziness, it seems, is an image we can easily conjure up. But what if it doesn’t really exist?
Loving Every Minute of It
Have you ever been dying to go to work? You were working on a project that was so cool, so much fun, so exciting that you couldn’t wait to get out of bed? Maybe it was just how challenging and thought provoking it was. Perhaps it was that the people you worked with were such a blast. Whatever the reason, you were able to hop out of bed, even before the alarm went off.
At the same time, I’m sure you’ve had times where you were paralyzed in bed. You knew you needed to get up, but you just couldn’t. I’ve had periods in my life where I sat in bed, racking my brain for any reason to get out of bed, and yet I couldn’t conjure any up. I was only able to get up by sheer force of will.
What Makes Us Special?
We see “lazy people” and wonder “why are they so lazy! Why can’t they just get off their asses and be productive members of society?”
What makes us so different? Why are we productive when they are stagnant? Maybe they aren’t lazy at all. Maybe they aren’t any different than us. Maybe they simply haven’t found the things that pull them out of bed in the morning. Maybe they simply are stuck in a world where there is no reason to move forward and the fact that they get out of bed is a major accomplishment.
Bad Labels and Better Approaches
If people are already in a stew of bland existence and feeling a lack of flavor for anything that comes their way, throwing a “lazy” label on them may just stick. After all, if they don’t feel valuable or that life is any fun, they may just start to think they are lazy. And the more people that throw it at them just makes it seem that much more real.
Perhaps instead we could try to lead them toward something that engages them, that motivates them, that inspires them. We’ve all seen kids that went from listless and bored to focused and engaged when they became intrigued by something that enticed them. Adults do that too.
Maybe we should stop worrying why people are lazy and start considering ways to motivate people toward a better life. The more we focus on laziness, the more we focus on their failure. The more we look for motivating solutions, the more we move them toward a better life, and isn’t that something that motivates everyone to action?