The protection of laziness

I have finished reading Dr Jason Fox's book on how we can change our motivation through how well and consciously we design our work.

One of the side points he makes in the book is that laziness can be seen as a self-preservation exercise. It ensures we do not put effort and energy into things that ultimately do not contribute to our survival or enhance our existence: stopping us from working on goals that we cannot ever achieve.  Way back in the cave day this meant that we put our energy into hunting for food and making shelter, and were lazy for things like perfectly clipping our nails and stylishly cutting our hair.

Today laziness has a bad name. Whilst I agree that laziness as an end state is not helpful to anybody, getting curious about instances where we find ourself being lazy might reveal some interesting insights into how we think and live.

My laziness in my corporate job extended for a number of years. It wasn't that I was so lazy zI stopped showing up, rather I could not summon the will to do it well for extended periods of time. In retrospect, if I was able to get curious about this (instead of feeling guilty about this), I might have realised that my laziness was protecting me from a job that ultimately was not going to bring me satisfaction, and deep down was out of alignment with my values.

I also struggled with laziness and exercise when I stopped playing team sport. I felt guilty for not being able to sustain early morning riding sessions with a bunch of other guys. Once again, a curiosity about my laziness might have revealed that I did not actually get a lot of benefit from solo sports like cycling, and that team sports offered so much more for me as a whole person.

At the lazy time of the year, a cheer for letting our laziness talk to us.