Thursday, October 15, 2015

How to Conquer Laziness

I'm super lazy. But then so is everyone else. It's in our genes. We evolved to conserve our energy. 

Those who were better at it survived.

They passed down there awesome lazy genetics to their kids. For a thousand generations.

We are experts at laziness.

So if you decide to start running, or writing, or painting on cave walls, a big voice inside of you screams, "what the hell is wrong with you?!"

Good question.

Nonetheless, I enjoy the fruits of my hard work. Most prefer the easy-to-reach fruit of instant gratification. But that fruit has been replaced by hamburgers and donuts. So many end up conserving a little TOO much energy. So how do you reconcile hard work with laziness?

You don't! You embrace it! I love being lazy. But laziness for me is a reward. After I've run ten miles, I've earned my right to be a sack of shit on the couch. But to get to this point I've had to break my brain somewhat. As if it wasn't broken enough already.

If I don't run, or write, or draw, or do whatever it is I should be doing, I hate myself. The feeling of shame and guilt far outweighs the beautiful joy of doing absolutely nothing. Most "normal" folks don't feel that bad. They say to themselves, "eh, I'll do it later. Or tomorrow. Or you know, whenever." Whenever is a code word for never. But it's so easy to lie to ourselves.

And that's the thing. You have to be stupidly honest with yourself. Lie to everyone else, fine, go ahead. Tell your boss that, yes, a barracuda really did jump out of a stream and into your car and that's why you were late to work. But don't lie to yourself.

Here's a handy-dandy chart of common lies and what they mean.


It takes a while to get used to being honest. I mean, sometimes you really ARE tired. But so what? Your body doesn't magically shut down because you're a little fatigued. You may feel like you need to sleep for a month, but I guarantee you that you can go and run for an hour. Your body would bitch at first, but after a while it would say, "OK, fine, whatever."

You have to train yourself to recognize all your bullshit excuses. At first the lies will just slip right through. "Oh, it's raining, and I can't run with an umbrella. That's just weird. Just get wet? No, but then I would be wet." It takes practice. But once it becomes habit, once you start always telling yourself the truth, you become your own worst enemy. It's like having a drill sargeant screaming in your face 24/7.

"Why the f@#k are you eating that cookie you freakin' idiot!"

"You have 45 minutes you piece of shit. Do some gotdanged pushups you pussy!"

"Do you REALLY need to watch the next episode? You seriously could have run like 15 miles by now, you weak excuse of a human being."

"If I wasn't just an obnoxious voice in your head, I would seriously punch you in the face. Like really really hard. You f*^king suck."

It's kind of amazing, actually. It's like a superpower: Infinite motivation. In the form of self-hatred. But he's a cool drill sergeant, who says things like, "wow, I yelled at you, and instead of crying, you worked out for an hour in the snow. Have a beer. In fact, have five."

Oh sure there are all sorts of little "tips" for beating laziness. Forming habits is good. Making it a thing you do automatically at the same time. Sure. Setting goals. Great. Making friends with other crazy people. Fantastic. Do all these things.

But ultimately, the decision has to happen inside of you. Routines, goals, and maniac friends can't force you to do anything. Only you can do that. Once you decide that something is important to you, you have to do anything and everything you can to make it a reality.

I'm not resting. I'm hunting.

Your mind is an obstacle. It wants you to eat, and lounge around, and maybe have sex with whatever is in close proximity. But other than that, it will do everything within its power to make sure you do nothing extra. And considering that it's trapped inside you, you can't do much about it. You just have to punch it, and beat it, and twist it, and suplex it into submission. Constantly, through hard work. Until your brain is just so ruined that it can't stop you any longer.

Your brain is not your friend. Stop treating it like one. It's a tool. Your hammer doesn't get to tell you to have cake instead. Your tractor doesn't get to say that you should probably chill out today. They don't say anything. They just sit there and judge you.

Before you can train your body, you have to train your mind. I mean, you'll still be lazy. But you'll KNOW that you're being lazy. And not that your mom is visiting in, like, three hours and it will totally take three hours to sweep the couch.

And you'll be able to love your laziness. Because as much as it sucks to feel ashamed of your laziness, it feels amazing when you actually deserve to be lazy.

Laziness is awesome....

Wait, did my brain just win?

Laziness is awesome.


  1. Hey Pete I have read few of your write-ups and very cool especially because I can resonate with most of it
    All the best

  2. Hey peter
    I'm aditi from India.
    I'm really very thankful to you for writing this post. I needed it. It's like I've my schedule ready, targets stuck over wall, books ready, stationery ready BUT i fail studying and my exams are approaching.. i told my friends that i want to study but i just can't and i really don't know what's stopping me, they all said that I'm being stupid.. Some of them said I'm making them angry.
    I'm preparing for Chartered accountancy exams, it needs a lot of hardwork and constant studies to clear the exams..
    Thanks again and continue writing more of such blogs.

  3. Thankyou so much for writing this.
    I'm really very grateful to you.
    I finally have the solution of my problem
    I've got the most important exam of my life approaching and I'm just unable to study.
    Have tried making schedules, stuck targets on wall, have the material ready but i fail at studying.. I want to study but i just can't and with each day passing by i die with guilt and shame..
    Keep writing.. You write really well.
    When most of my friends and family failed at understanding me when i said that i really want to study but i just can't and i don't know what's stopping me, you did.

  4. keep it up.. good energy in the article.

  5. Something more on this topic please

  6. Really well written. Thank you. It really makes me think of the things I could accomplish.