It isn’t easy to be lazy. It is more complicated than you might believe. Those who have mastered being lazy have had to work very hard to maintain their slothfulness. What follows here is a primer on how you can master the art of being lazy.
The lazy have found ways to avoid work of any kind, including the job someone is paying them to do. While they show up to work, they don’t show up to do any real work. Instead, they show up to have a place to go for hours, so they don’t appear to be lazy at home. When they are at the location they call work, and that is all it is to the lazy, they pretend to do things and look busy, so as not to draw attention to themselves. The modern lazy person is blessed in this regard, thanks to the computer, a device that provides them with no end of ways to look busy without actually doing anything. That same device provides infinite distractions and novelties to consume their time without their having to do any work. In the course of their day, the lazy manage to achieve no meaningful, work-related outcomes without feeling any sense of guilt when they collect their paycheck.
When one who has mastered the art of being lazy is required to work, they cram the work, always doing it late the night before it is due, and still turning in something poorly conceived and disastrously executed. Although they had plenty of time to do the work, they will come screaming across the deadline with something wholly inadequate, but just barely enough to avoid the negative consequence that would cause them to lose the paycheck and a place to go during the day.
Much of the challenges of being lazy are more difficult than you might recognize. You have to give up believing in yourself and abandon your goals, ambitions, and desires. It isn’t easy to give up on oneself, but the lazy manage it with relative ease. They make excuses as to why they could never reach their goal to begin with, blaming their parents, their education, Western Civilization, some defect in the circumstances of their birth, or some ailment recently approved by the American Psychological Association. Those who have mastered the craft of laziness are always less than they could be, and they have less than they would, were they productive.
You might want to believe that a person with no gumption to act on their behalf and build the life they want for themselves might worry about regret because you would. Masters of indolence and inertia have developed methods for living without regret. They form a particular type of cynicism that protects them from feeling a sense of regret or longing. They criticize those who strive to “be more” as suckers for being sold a dream. When people “have more” because of their efforts, the lazy will tell you that those same people aren’t happy. The lazy look down on those who work hard, convincing themselves that there is something wrong with them.
Laziness requires that one shirk their responsibilities. The effort to avoid your responsibilities is considerable at first. But as one masters their craft, it becomes natural to avert what is required of them. There are well-known methods to avoid responsibility handed down through generations of masters.
Those who have mastered laziness have also mastered “learned helplessness,” something that is not easy for well-adjusted adults. Learned helplessness requires a great deal of creativity, while also requiring you to be manipulative at the same time. To prove that you can’t do something that almost any adult homo sapiens is capable of, you have to come up with some story about how it is impossible for you. You have to convince other adult human beings that you never learned to do something, that you are prevented from doing so because of injury from years ago, that your religion prevents it, or that you have an allergic reaction to anything that would require you exert the smallest amount of effort to learn. If that sounds easy to you, try it for yourself.
Asking other people to be complicit in infantilizing you isn’t something productive people can imagine doing. Those who have mastered laziness are required to manipulate the productive into treating them like a baby, asking them to do this task that is too difficult or this other task for which they lack the training. At first, they feel guilty manipulating others. But over time, once they become comfortable taking advantage of their loved ones, taking advantage of people at work becomes second nature. Over time, the learned helplessness and manipulation turn into a sense of entitlement.
To master the art of being lazy, you have to become comfortable with your lack of self-discipline, abandoning your sense of agency, the idea that you can act on your behalf. You must rationalize all the adverse outcomes of being lazy, including wasting the single, short life you have been given, expressing an unmatched ingratitude for the gift you have been given to you, free and clear of any obligation.
If you think working hard and hustling is difficult, try being lazy.