How To Achieve Any Goal By Being Lazy
Every day we are bombarded with images of the American dream. We are taught that to become a success we need to work hard, push limits, and exert every ounce of force we can. In my years working with clients I’ve found a much more understated and consistently effective strategy to achieve goals. I’ve discovered the power of laziness.
Tortoise and the Hair
This age-old fable holds the key to the case for laziness. Slow and consistent effort trumps excessive work and an inner push. Many people don’t achieve their goals because they don’t know how to start, or they feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Often when people do start they set unrealistic or unkind goals for themselves and they either burn out or lose motivation when they can’t exercise two hours every day or read a book a week. Taking sudden bursts towards a goal in the style of the rabbit often comes out of procrastination and sudden fear. That is not a recipe for success. The tortoise has infinitely more power than the hair through its slow, consistent, and effortless approach.
Strategic laziness teaches to exert less effort, more often. Don’t exercise for two hours every day. Start with five minutes. No need to read a book a week, that sounds hard. Read three pages a day. You could do that on the toilet. By embracing strategic laziness and by setting tiny goals we are acting as the tortoise, in taking one small step every day. These small efforts compound and the goal becomes closer by the day.
Laziness and Motivation
I’m not saying to embrace laziness all the way and do nothing, but to embrace the tenants of laziness. The spirit of laziness. Ease of movement, minimalism in effort, approachability in strategy. By setting very small, achievable, and consistent goals you will not only move towards your larger goal, you will feel more motivated by your little victories every day. “I did my ten minutes of exercise today. I’ve accomplished what I set for myself today”. That kind of daily achievement will make you continue to do your exercises.
If I were to tell you to run a marathon tomorrow, without any training, that goal would feel pretty daunting. You probably wouldn’t finish the race and even if you did you’d most likely injure yourself, or at the very least, not feel very well. But if I said, walk for three minutes tomorrow. Then five minutes the day after that, then seven minutes and so on until you were running for five minutes then for seven and so on, you’d be ready for your marathon given some time. The beautiful thing about incremental growth is that you don’t feel the strain. The difference between running five minutes and running seven minutes is negligible. But add two minutes a day for long enough and you have a marathon. Add hypnosis and other tools to access unconscious resources and you have a rock-solid strategy.
The tenants and lessons of laziness are counter-intuitive but powerful. Slow and steady truly does win the race. The additional incorporation of hypnosis and other unconscious tools to this incremental growth provides the ideal psychological state. When a goal is integrated at a deep level it becomes effortless. It becomes a calming joy. In working with my clients I incorporate conscious consistent effort with unconscious integration and tools for a slow progressive change that lasts. When the outward effort matches the inward alignment goals are reached more quickly, more easily, and with greater staying power.
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