Why We’re Lazy

We all get lazy sometimes. It’s okay: there’s a perfectly good reason for it, and it’s not always a bad thing. But it’s important to know where it comes from, and important to know when to fight it, and why.

Laziness is tied to some of our very deepest survival behaviors. “This thing works, and I understand it, and it at least isn’t harming me; trying something new or doing something else could put me at risk.”

For example, if you’re the type of person who’s satisfied with “basic” foods when you eat out, you might not enjoy going to a “fancier” restaurant that has foods you’re either not sure about, or know you don’t like. Some of your friends might mock you (sadly, I probably would, as I love food), but look: you worked hard for your money and your time, and you want to spend them both on something you know is risk-free. Fine.

But you have to be careful about applying that same kind of thinking to other aspects of your life. For example, if you’ve decided to go to the gym and make some kind of change in your body – whether for appearance or health or both – you have to stare the laziness in the face and conquer it. And you’ll probably have to do it every day for a long time before your deep-brain stops fighting you.

Sometimes, just acknowledging the fact of the matter can help. “I’m being lazy about this, and I know I need to stop,” said aloud, can at least give you the opening to look for solutions. Or even for tricks, or other motivations, or whatever. Knowing what you’re up against can give you the opportunity to be thoughtful and deliberate about dealing with it.

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