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  1. #1
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Default The origin of laziness

    I've been thinking a lot about my life and what I want to do with it lately, and I've realized every single problem I've ever had, for the most part could have been solved by not being as lazy.

    But what is the origin of laziness? Why are some people more lazy than others? Why am I so fucking lazy, and does it seem intrinsic?

    Some will say it's a matter of attitude. I have lived enough to understand that I can work hard as good as anyone, I just seem to apparently fall in a lazy frame of mind more quickly and more easily than most of other people I know.

    It used to be funny and I'd nonchalantly make it seem like an attribute...but it's starting to really destroying my life. Always caught up in problems that could have been solved if I had started sooner. And I lack motivation for most things. I've always been like this too.

    So, what do you think is the origin of laziness? And how can one "cure" it at a more subconscious level (cause anyone drag myself into doing things...but there comes to a point where one defaults to our natural mode....in my case, not J at all )?
    Last edited by Moiety; 07-26-2010 at 03:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I'm pretty interested in this as I agree with Eric Fromm that laziness should be considered as pathological rather than moralistically, I believe that people have a natural and innate inclination towards productivity, it can be said to be characteristic of a well human being. Its only when that is cut off or obstructed that laziness arises.

    Although I would say that laziness is pretty broad, are you describing apathy? Demotivation? Disinterest? Or is it greater still and verging on personal neglect? Is it a clue to a greater aversion to responsibility or autonomy?

    It was a little mystical but Fromm suggested that in part mankind can get locked into craving the state of complete womb like or infantile dependency as a means of escape from the anxiety provoked by individual sovereignty in the modenity.

    Its a temptation anyone and everyone experiences, although its not necessarily ontological, Fromm thought a lot of it arose from the contradictions in the economy, culture, society, insight can help but he had a list of about eight or nine factors important in overcoming this "modern character neurosis", I dont recall them all but there was examining your unconscious, regular mediation/reflection, being socially involved etc.

  3. #3
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    It used to be funny and I'd nonchalantly make it seem like an attribute...but it's starting to really destroying my life. Always caught up in problems that could have been solved if I had started sooner. And I lack motivation for most things. I've always been like this too.
    I am in the same place. I have had this huge project for months now and I have so much responsibility for the outcome that it somehow overwhelms me and I can't get myself to just sit to the computer and start doing it. At the same time I am confident that I am the best person to do it, but my laziness is doing some serious damage to the project.

    Before, with small projects, it has been a problem, but now the scale is to big that the laziness just seems like a monumental wall I can't get over. Everything in your post is just like my life at the moment.

    The reason for laziness... Could it be that when everything is ok, the mind tries to make us do less, since it is more energy efficient. It seems logical when you think about all the imaginary goals that are programmed into people. For example, many people work hard in order to raise their status. I have never understood what status is, except maybe in terms of respect, but it seems that the status the career people work for is not respect at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I believe that people have a natural and innate inclination towards productivity, it can be said to be characteristic of a well human being. Its only when that is cut off or obstructed that laziness arises.
    What if I can see that everything is basically fine, and don't need to produce anything to better my well being?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    It was a little mystical but Fromm suggested that in part mankind can get locked into craving the state of complete womb like or infantile dependency as a means of escape from the anxiety provoked by individual sovereignty in the modenity.
    That's an interesting idea...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    What if I can see that everything is basically fine, and don't need to produce anything to better my well being?
    What does that look like? What does that involve? Fromm's definition of productivity is not the synonymous with wage earning for instance or procurement or consuming or any of those activities, I mean do you mean complete inertia, I'm sure you dont.

  5. #5
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Some members and I were talking in another forum about laziness, and we determined that Is, possible INs especially, are prone to what others may see as "laziness" due to our need for solitude and "down time" to just be alone with our thoughts. After an exhausting day out in the world, where we have to be "on" all day, talk to people, pay attention to outside stimuli, etc, we need alone time to recharge. But a lot of us noticed that even if we're at home alone, say, cleaning the house, or doing something productive, that doesn't always cut it. Many times, I feel the need for time to just sit on the couch and watch TV or browse the internet or do something else mindless. Of course, it's not really mindless - I'm usually paying more attention to my thoughts than the rerun of Law & Order I've seen several times. So I tend to try to schedule my weekends (since I am, after all, a J) like this:
    -Time for spending with friends/family
    -Time for spending with my husband, usually determined by his work schedule
    -Time for being alone, also determined by my husband's work schedule. This is broken down into sub categories of Productive Time and Me Time.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with that overall. I don't think of myself as a lazy person, because if there's something that needs to be done, I'll do it. I might let it sit for a few days, in order to reserve some time for Me Time, but I will get it done. Of course, there are times when I have SO much to get done that I need to sacrifice my Me Time to get to it all. I have a really hard time motivating myself to do that, and yeah, I guess that could be considered laziness and a vice.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I guess I tend toward 'laziness' too in a lot of ways. What I have started doing is asking myself 'do I want to be being lazy right now?' If the answer is yes, then I keep doing it and don't feel bad about it and just really enjoy it like just lying in the grass reading or eating a spoonful of honey reeeealllllly slowlyyy. If there's something I actually think I want to be doing instead, then I do that. Doing things makes me want to do things more. Not doing things makes me not want to do things more. So that's an important principle for me to keep in mind.

    Not sure if this is helpful or not...
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  7. #7
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    But what is the origin of laziness? Why are some people more lazy than others? Why am I so fucking lazy, and does it seem intrinsic?

    Some will say it's a matter of attitude. I have lived enough to understand that I can work hard as good as anyone, I just seem to apparently fall in a lazy frame of mind more quickly and more easily than most of other people I know.
    Hard work has its place. But it is also over-rated. The idea dates from the industrial and pre-industial era. And it is Biblically sanctioned: work for 6 days and rest for one.

    For most post-industrial societies the dynamic has changed forever, but the virtue clings on. In the industrial era the advice was simple: learn a trade - specialise; in the post-industial era you'd be a fool to follow that advice. Back in the 70s, career advisors were recommending be a welder, be a shipbuilder, be a miner. To succeed in the industrial, enlightened world hard work was critical to progress.

    Foolish advice. Hard work is the virtue of the specialist; laziness the virtue of the jack of all trades.

    We all know the office loser, head down, who works like a donkey but achieves nothing. He goes home satisfied and tired, but he's fooling himself. He's a steelworker transplanted into a office.

    The hedgehog is the specialist. The fox is the jack of all trades. If you're lazy, be a fox.

    After all, if hard work were such a virtue we'd all still be rolling logs, not driving cars.

    Laziness is a virtue.

  8. #8
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Hard work has its place. But it is also over-rated. The idea dates from the industrial and pre-industial era. And it is Biblically sanctioned: work for 6 days and rest for one.

    For most post-industrial societies the dynamic has changed forever, but the virtue clings on. In the industrial era the advice was simple: learn a trade - specialise; in the post-industial era you'd be a fool to follow that advice. Back in the 70s, career advisors were recommending be a welder, be a shipbuilder, be a miner. To succeed in the industrial, enlightened world hard work was critical to progress.

    Foolish advice. Hard work is the virtue of the specialist; laziness the virtue of the jack of all trades.

    We all know the office loser, head down, who works like a donkey but achieves nothing. He goes home satisfied and tired, but he's fooling himself. He's a steelworker transplanted into a office.

    The hedgehog is the specialist. The fox is the jack of all trades. If you're lazy, be a fox.

    After all, if hard work were such a virtue we'd all still be rolling logs, not driving cars.

    Laziness is a virtue.
    This relates to how "creativity quotients" that they took in the 1950s of school children were FAR FAR better predictors of future success in EVERYTHING (political careers, business careers, tech careers etc etc etc) than IQ scores were.

    I could see "lazy people" just as people who dont want to be locked down into overly linear work patterns. They refuse to be taped down to one pathway of work .

  9. #9
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What does that look like? What does that involve? Fromm's definition of productivity is not the synonymous with wage earning for instance or procurement or consuming or any of those activities, I mean do you mean complete inertia, I'm sure you dont.
    Not inertia, no... hmm... I guess I mean action (including mind-action) that is not goal-directed. It is not productive because there is no product to come out of it, or if there is, it is not thought of when doing whatever it is we do when being lazy. Like now, for example, I sit on my bed chatting here while I could be doing something productive, like washing the dishes. While I read this stuff and think about it, I do learn some things and most likely will have more brain activity than doing the dishes, but it is not productive.

    For some reason I started thinking my room-mate's dog. It just sleeps all the day if there is nothing important missing. If it is hungry or needs to go out, it will come to ask for it. So, is this also unnatural? Are people by nature more "productive" than dogs? Why? Even monkeys seem to sit around if they are content. I have a tendency to think that this productivity of ours is taken to an unnatural level, and we are basically running around to make sure that everything is producing something, even if we don't specifically know what is missing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Not inertia, no... hmm... I guess I mean action (including mind-action) that is not goal-directed. It is not productive because there is no product to come out of it, or if there is, it is not thought of when doing whatever it is we do when being lazy. Like now, for example, I sit on my bed chatting here while I could be doing something productive, like washing the dishes. While I read this stuff and think about it, I do learn some things and most likely will have more brain activity than doing the dishes, but it is not productive.

    For some reason I started thinking my room-mate's dog. It just sleeps all the day if there is nothing important missing. If it is hungry or needs to go out, it will come to ask for it. So, is this also unnatural? Are people by nature more "productive" than dogs? Why? Even monkeys seem to sit around if they are content. I have a tendency to think that this productivity of ours is taken to an unnatural level, and we are basically running around to make sure that everything is producing something, even if we don't specifically know what is missing.
    Hmm, I think you've got to ask the question what exactly is productive, you must at some level believe its productive to visit here otherwise you'd be visiting some other forum or not online at all.

    Similarly, the dog is behaving in a way that it believes is productive, my dog sleeps a lot but when it determines its time to go out territorial pissing its springs to it, infact even if it hasnt decided that the word "walk" or anything phonetically similar will activate him and have him jumping up.

    I know what you're getting at, productivity and laziness are words which have different meanings depending who is deploying them and why, I loved the bit in Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy about the dolphins, mankind had thought they where stupid because they did nothing but frolick around and eat fish, dolphins actually thought mankind was stupid for not doing so or the entire movie Office Space was one big long rumination on pointless seeming toil versus living and working.

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