Let me take time out of my busy couch-surfing schedule to explore just how a person can end up being a lazy bum while another can be quite hardworking. While the tendency to be lazy seems to be inherent in all of us, not everyone succumbs to the temptation in the same degree. So why’s that?
That’s a very good question, and in fact many thinkers have been contemplating the subject far more industriously than I can even imagine. After all, on the whole, laziness doesn’t exactly provide a lot of rewards, while hard work tends to offer a lot of benefits. If you workout hard and exercise diligently, you get a more appealing body and you live longer. You work harder at the office, and you get a promotion. Even doing the chores at home provides you with a better environment to relax in.
According to Religion
According to the Christian faith, laziness (or sloth if you want to refer to it in the old way) is actually not a good thing, and both the Old and New Testament rails against it. Catholics even regard it as one of the 7 deadly sins, and there’s even talk that you may be under the influence of the demon Belphegor if you are lazy. The Islamic faith hates it too, and even the Buddhists regard it as a spiritual affliction.
So what’s the solution? Well, the Muslims are counseled to pray five times a day and to fast during Ramadan. For Christians, the thought of eternal damnation ought to be one hell (get it?) of a motivational tool. Or you can be reborn as an actual sloth if you’re too lazy, even though reincarnation doesn’t really seem to be part of the Buddhist faith. I’d explain it in more detail, but suffice it to say that you need a lot of meditation to even begin to understand.
According to Psychology
While Freud may have discussed the pleasure principle at length, most books on psychology don’t seem to like to focus on laziness. It’s still largely unexplored, although a lot of wannabe psychologists say that laziness is a sign of arrogance, self-centeredness, and ignorance.
Personally, I think that the reward of doing nothing is immediate, while the rewards of hard work are too far in the future for some people. So if you want to motivate yourself, have constant reminders of what the rewards would be if you work hard.
According to Doctors
Laziness may be a sign of depression, which is a medical condition. If you are really feeling lethargic most of the time, you may want to see a doctor. Then you can find out if you are sick or if you are just a lazy good-for-nothing—which, in a sense, is a sickness as well. But depression can be treated, while being a bum is more complicated.
According to Scientists
Scientists from the University of Missouri bred active mice with other active mice, and lazy ones with other lazy ones. Their descendants displayed similar traits as well, which indicates that there’s a genetic factor at work. This genetic explanation carries a lot of appeal to many lazy folks (“It’s not my fault! I’m born this way!”) because it allows them to escape the responsibility of having to exert too much effort. For example, you can’t blame a writer for coming up with a short 600-word article about laziness instead of writing a freakin’ term paper to examine the subject in greater detail. It’s really not my fault.
While this kind of excuse can be quite offensive to a lot of people who decided to grit their teeth and do the work that needs to be done, at the very least if we can finally pinpoint the true causes of laziness (whether genetic or not) then we can come up with more effective ways of motivating people who just can’t get their lazy butts off the couch!
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