The key to some of the crucial things in life lies in the paradox, and wealth is no exception.
What if you were told that laziness is part of the wealth creation process?
A couple of centuries back this statement alone would be grounds for being ostracized and sent to what at the time was a lunatic asylum. Before this is misconstrued I’m not condoning laziness, but merely asking the readers to keep an open mind.
Is there really an upside to laziness? For wealth purposes we will focus on selective laziness.
Selective laziness, as used in this context, is not to be confused with normal laziness i.e. where the individual is lethargic, enervated and the inevitable outcome is dire and the very opposite of wealthy.
The ’selective` aspect indicates that the individual is only lazy when it comes to performing certain tasks e.g. physically demanding activities, but has no problem performing other tasks using their mental faculties.
Selective laziness can lead to inventions. For instance consider a hypothetical situation where someone has to clean the floor, but the person is lazy to go down on their knees to do so. Instead the individual attaches a rug to a stick and a prototype of a mop is conceived!
It becomes apparent that selective laziness needs to be correlated with some creative intelligence for it to yield positive outcomes. Some geniuses actually turn out to be people who were merely lazy to do things the conventional way.
Those who invented the television remote surely were not lazy to think, but clearly saw how tedious it was for people to be getting up all the time to change the channel. A lot of work went into developing the idea and there were several improvements over the years, but the whole idea was rooted on laziness. It’s no wonder the first television remote was called ‘Lazy Bones`.
Selective laziness is actually an internal survival mechanism which keeps people from becoming overwhelmed. Those who maximise on it use their senses and mental faculties to identify what they are not keen on doing, and then…this is paramount…they pivot from that lazy feeling and figure out an easier way to get it done.
Businesses thrive using selective laziness e.g. CEOs identify duties and roles that are not the CEOs main strength and delegate these to other staff, enabling them to focus and channel their energy on their main strengths e.g. business strategy. Companies also identify complementary services that are not their core business and outsource those services so that they remain focused on their specialty so as to become leaders in their field and increase their market share.
Some people prefer the Do It Yourself (D.I.Y) process, claiming they are reducing financial costs. The D.I.Y. process is not a selective laziness approach as it costs time. Paying an expert to do something for you may cost you money, but you can always make more money. Time however is irreplaceable! Also an expert can easily pin-point underlying and potentially problematic issues which are not obvious to the layman.
Even those who do not intentionally set out to take the lazy approach have it induced upon them. Induced laziness is what I call it, but most are used to the politically correct term which is convenience. Convenience in this context refers to the saving of time and effort.
‘First selective laziness, now induced laziness; eeish…so much laziness!` So what’s the difference?
Well, selective laziness is mostly applicable to the inventor, entrepreneur, or whoever creates the process / product whilst induced laziness is associated with the consumer or end-user of the invention, process or product. Selective laziness…willing to get the job done, but not the hard way. Basically asks is there an easier way? Induced laziness…I was willing to do it the conventional way, but an easier way has been presented to me so why choose the hard way?
With induced laziness the end-user did not go seeking an easier way but the better choice was brought to their awareness. Before this option was available the consumer did not necessarily stress over the conventional way, but now that there is a better alternative they then start opting for the better option as it gives them a chance to be lazy i.e. they can use less time and effort than before.
The wealthy or those who intend to be wealthy cannot undermine induced laziness. Induced laziness has made several businesses redundant over the years. For instance how many people do you know personally who in this day still write letters and put them in envelopes, attach stamps and mail them at the post office? Compare this with the number of people you know who send e-mails on a daily basis.
The next time you observe lazy tendencies, rather than criticize or condemn, think potential opportunities instead. Figure out how to do what they (or even you) are lazy to do in a way that saves time and effort. If you can duplicate the process then even better. Of course don’t forget to monetise (or cryptonise) your solution; for the objective is wealth.