Why Being Lazy Will Never Make You Happy

by Paul Hudson

In the world, there only exists action and inaction. Movement and stagnation are the only two options presented to you on any given day. There are few known truths in this world, but from what little we do know, it is certain that without action, there is no reaction and therefore, no change and no results. Consider the thought process that courses through your mind every time you have to make the most important decision that any human being makes in his or her lifetime: to give in or not to give in to laziness.

Laziness is the most rational irrationality there is. Human beings are lazy because we are survivors; we minimize the amount of action we take in order to conserve energy, conserve strength and to avoid immediate harm. You won’t get eaten by a bear if you choose to stay out of the woods and not go on that 10-mile hike.

Laziness is an evolutionary trait that is completely natural and rational. The problem arises when our needs are met and our wants come into the picture -- what most would argue is the natural progression. Wanting seems just as natural as needing, yet not always quite as rational. Wanting itself can only be seen as rational as long as feeding one's ego is rational, which it arguably can be. Nevertheless, at a certain point, our natural instinct to be lazy becomes more irrational and illogical than it is useful.

We can’t justify sitting on our asses all day in front of the television if we know that we would be better off going for a run. This is the line where laziness crosses over from being a survival mechanism to being a way to comfort ourselves. Comfort is not a need; it’s a want. When we come to accept this, we realize that all we need to do in order to be most productive and happy is to give into our wants, but not randomly. In order to lead the best lives we can, we need to prioritize our wants, factor in the time it takes to fulfill said want, and then pursue the wants in order, from holding most value to least.

Some things only take a few months to accomplish, like preparing for a marathon, while others take years, like launching a successful startup. Whichever goals you value more is dependent on you, but what is most important is having those couple of things that we want more than anything else -- we all have them, even if we haven’t yet realized it.

Those things we want most are very basic, such as making a great living, having a happy and healthy family, starting our own business and being our own boss, helping those in need around the world, being healthy, fit and happy, having a good time… The most basic wants of ours are those that we cannot avoid pursuing if we wish to be happy. These are the things that we want more than anything else and the things we need to do our best to achieve because they are literally the most important to us.

Back to laziness. Even once we become fully aware of what is most important to us, our laziness doesn’t let up. It still does its best to slow us down, to allow us to remain comfortable. This is where you have to use your brain. Thankfully, you were born intelligent enough to decide whether or not you want to act or to remain stagnant. All you need is a reason.

The reason is this: What is most important to you is likely to remain, at the very least, very important to you over the years. Never gaining or achieving what is most important to you is certain to leave you feeling less than happy. Not attempting to achieve something almost guarantees you never achieving it, and it’s an indisputable fact that every person in the world wants to be happy.

Therefore, by not going after what you want almost constantly and continuously, you are submitting yourself to unhappiness. Don't fall weak to laziness; put in the effort to achieve happiness.

Photo credit: Jeannette Woitzik, click here to check out her amazing work.