Laziness is the Key to Success

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Whoa! That’s a provocative title,” but it’s true. Being lazy can be an awesome character trait.

I would hazard a guess and say that laziness has helped keep my budget sane, and also has helped keep me relatively healthy even with a stressful, time-consuming job. Although venerating laziness is definitely contrarian, there’s actually a whole magazine devoted to being lazy.

There’s a great exchange in Office Space which illustrates the power of doing nothing:

Peter: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I’ll tell you what I’d do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter: That’s it? If you had a million dollars, you’d do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; ’cause chicks dig dudes with money.
Peter: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that’d double up on a dude like me do.
Peter: Good point.
Lawrence: Well, what about you now? What would you do?
Peter: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well, yeah.
Peter: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter: I would relax… I would sit on my ass all day… I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well, you don’t need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he’s broke, don’t do shit.

When it comes to personal finance, I’m just too lazy to want to spend money. It’s funny, but it’s true. When I have to visit a mall, I just want to go to sleep. The same goes for a big department store. It’s just exhausting for me to go out and spend money. I’d rather relax at home or do something that interests me.

If your lifestyle doesn’t revolve around going to the movie theater, shopping in the mall, and buying expensive experiences, it’s a lot easier to be on firm financial footing. If you don’t have friends who are profligate spenders and prefer something a little quieter, you will save money compared to having friends that just want to drink, play cards, or go to expensive concerts.

The same goes for food. I do everything I can to abstain from buying junk food when I’m shopping. Many weekends I’ll only eat a little bit because I’m too lazy to want to do dishes and prepare food! These are the times that I’m thankful I’m so lazy.

You might be surprised to find out that there’s even a diet based on laziness! It’s call the Warrior Diet, and the idea is that you just eat a single meal each day. Supposedly this is scientifically determined to be good for you. I don’t really trust any nutritional science at this point. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just eating once a day.

When I eat at work, I’ll usually just prepare oatmeal. I can pick up a canister at the supermarket on the way to work, and it will last me about 2 weeks. Preparing breakfast and lunch is as easy as going to the coffee machine and pressing the hot water button. That might sound extreme, but the past few weeks, I’ve gotten even lazier than that – and sometimes I won’t even eat lunch at work. It’s great: I get to be lazy, don’t need to prepare as much, and I actually have *more* energy than when I have a big lunch.

Isn’t laziness wonderful?

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  1. Laziness can lead to a very simple, yet fulfilling life! You only expend energy and money on the things that you really care about.

    Though, I think you would agree that there’s a fine line between too lazy and just lazy enough 🙂

  2. m741

     /  January 30, 2012

    No doubt about it. The key is to focus your laziness… or alternately, to focus your energy on what matters and let laziness handle the rest.

  3. Shawn Isaacs

     /  January 31, 2012

    Lazy is not a new concept even in FIRE realms. Your spin on it is refreshing. In my spendthrift days, overachievement in my profession spilled over into personal and hobby life. It created a lot of clutter that could have been avoided by being lazy. Learning about and being lazy is very nice.


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