Labor and the Lazy Losers Who Avoid It

by Brad Isaac on October 19, 2006

With goal setting there is often a belief that by setting goals there doesn’t need to be a lot of effort in order to make them come true. Doesn’t that seem familiar? With product headlines screaming nonsense like Effortless weight loss! and Make Money in your sleep! There is even a book titled The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches. So it’s almost intoxicating to think you can get something like a brand new life without any work.

The original version of The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches by Joe Karbo was a huge bestseller. But what people don’t know is the amount of work – yeah, I said WORK! – that Karbo went through to make and market the book. This “lazy man” wrote and rewrote his marketing materials countless times. He tested headline after headline. Each time he bought ad space in a magazine it brought him closer to financial ruin. In fact, he was virtually bankrupt in 1973 when finally he hit on the one marketing package that brought in the book orders and eventually made him a millionaire.

The point is, there is a temptation is to believe that there is an easy, “no work” way to achieve all our dreams. I’m here to tell you ..that isn’t going to happen. Even the “laziest” successes of our time worked hard, damn hard to achieve their goals. There was no magic song and dance where presto their dreams came true. But instead, there was a process that included work – many times lots of it.

Productive goal setting doesn’t mean less work, it means smarter work. Never is it “no work”.

And here’s a dichotomy for ya. It’s possible to be highly motivated and action oriented and still lazy when it comes to goals. As Seth Godin put it, “Lazy, as in not willing to do the work to create long term benefits. Lazy as in not willing to read the instructions, follow the manual, do all the steps, invest the time in the research.” It’s possible to be extremely motivated and in a hurry, but looking for shortcuts to avoid labor.

You can be lazy as long as you are lazy about stuff that doesn’t affect your long term outcomes. Be lazy when it comes to adding gold trim to your car. Be lazy when it comes to buying another TV for your house. Be lazy when it comes to office gossip about the new marketing manager. Just don’t be lazy when it comes to making steady and predictable progress on your goal.

Technorati Tags: goals and goal setting, lazy, laziness, riches, weight loss

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October 20, 2006 at 11:59 am

There is almost nothing that will motivate me to work harder than searching for an easier way to do something!

Brad Isaac October 20, 2006 at 4:40 pm

Andrew, I know what you mean. I often feel that with software. I’d almost rather configure an application for 3 hours to save 1/2 an hour than to just do the hour long task.

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