What if I’m Lazy??

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What if Im lazy

I recently had the most liberating epiphany… “what if I’m lazy?” At another time in my life I would have been mortified at the possibility that it might actually be true. And yet, in my current mental/emotional state it feels more like a relief, because it means I don’t have to keep up with anyone or anything else, and I can trust myself to know what’s right for me. What if it’s just how I’m programmed? What if I just move more slowly than other people and that’s ok? It’s not that I’m giving myself an out from doing the work, it’s that I’m giving myself an out from unproductive, unrealistic expectations.

It seems so simple. I mean, I talk to clients all the time about comparing, because it’s really one of the meanest things we can do to ourselves. We’re basically shaming ourselves for not being more like who or what we think we should be. And shaming doesn’t work in the long-term, whether directed toward yourself or others. What does work is acceptance and compassion and positive reinforcement. In this case, accepting myself might mean, “it’s ok if I’m lazy.” Of course, if I’m missing deadlines and upsetting clients then that’s one thing, but if I’m just operating at a slower pace than my self-shaming-inner-gauge says I should, then who cares?

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’ve accomplished a lot, and I plan to accomplish a lot more. I’ve got goals and vision boards and affirmations, and I’m about as prepared as I can be for what I set out to do. But, I am also acutely aware that I could always be doing more. However, doing “more” inevitably comes at the expense of something else. Maybe it comes at the expense of activities that weren’t serving me anyway, which is fine. But if it means sacrificing sleep, exercise or relationships on a regular basis, I’m gonna say “no thank you.” Am I lazy? Maybe. But the better question might be, “What if I’m balanced?”

Slow and steady wins the race!


John Kalinowski
John Kalinowski is a Redding native based in New York. He’s an NYU-Certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Expert, Columnist, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Art-Lover, and Truth-Teller. You can connect with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or visit his website at johnkalinowski.com.
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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Rod says:


    Why not buckle-on your spurs and kick yourself in the ribs?  Lazy is a cop-out for a lack of self respect and motivation.  The rest of us need you to be at the top of your game.   Excuses for not climbing as high as possible is the kiss of death.


    The recent debacle at Slaughterhouse Island was a result of LAZY.



  2. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    Hmmmm, Rod . . . I think you missed the point . . .  or was that said tongue in cheek?

    No, I think what’s being promulgated here is giving ourselves permission to make choices based on our own goals, NOT on what someone else has decided our goals should be. . . even when we’ve taken those choices to be our own.  Recognizing our own choices can be difficult as, in living, we are constantly taking in and assessing information.

    The choice those folks at Lake Shasta made, was choosing to attend the event. Once that choice was made, it carried with it responsibilities, which they ignored. THAT was lazy. Choosing not to attend would not have been lazy, it would have been just that, a choice.

    • Avatar Rod says:

      I got the point,  I think you missed it.

      The topic is lazy.  You interjected choices and goals.

      Survival requires competition.  Not for second or last but for first place.  Lazy condones being dead weight which oppresses your spirit and desire to be more beneficial.  It’s a downward spiral to being eaten by the hard chargers directly behind you.


  3. Avatar A Brady says:

    There are certain phases of your life that require different levels of energy and participation. I have spent 60 years getting to the “Am I lazy? Who Cares!”phase and I am enjoying every single day of it.

  4. Avatar Viv says:

    I’ve had the 24 hour flu for the first time in I don’t know how long. It’s been a very “lazy” 24 hours. Right now I’m feeling a bit better, but I did hear my inner voice telling me this and that needed or should be done. I kept wondering why I couldn’t allow myself to just do nothing for a while.  Then I  read this! Thank you. 🙂

    • Feel better soon, Viv, and just ignore that inner voice that tells you to do anything but rest and take care of yourself. xod

      • Avatar EasternCounty says:

        I remember a list of Things I Would Do Differently by the wonderful Erma Bombeck.  One of them was that she would go to bed when she was sick rather than feel guilty and think the world would come to an end if she wasn’t there to tend to her family.  Good advice even if Rod above thinks otherwise.  I’m certainly glad he wasn’t my parent.

      • Avatar EasternCounty says:

        By the way, dear Doni.  I missed reading your health column Thursday — or that of one of your contributors.  So I’ll ask, how are the cello lessons coming?

        • I’ll post my Weight is Over column tomorrow. Here’s what happened last week: It was a crazy, crazy Wednesday and I was going to be up all night writing and my twin reminded me that hell, I own the site, so I could do what I wanted. And I needed sleep.

          I actually told her that you are one of a couple of people I knew would call me out on it  and ask about my MIA column. (She owes me a latte now.)

          And the cello lesson, although it pains me to say this, I have some arthritis in the first joints of my fingers that made it painful to play, so the cello and I parted ways.  The lesson I learned there is don’t wait too long to do something on your bucket list. 🙁


          • Avatar EasternCounty says:

            I can think of no instrument that doesn’t require finger dexterity except perhaps the marimba or — that greatest instrument of all — the voice.  As an aside, long before Thalidomide (this was in the late ’30’s well before my time), a baby in our community was born without arms.  Nothing stopped her.  She wanted to play an instrument, and it was decided she could play the marimba by holding the sticks with her toes.  She sat on a platform above the instrument and played away.  In the early ’50’s as a high school student, she appeared on a Los Angeles television program.  She was very popular, and her friends sat with her in the school cafeteria and fed her.  Otherwise, she did everything herself at home.  He mother made her dresses that had a capelet to cover her arms.  She went on to marry, have two babies, and wrote a book about her life.

  5. Avatar kay ekwall says:

    Hi John, I actually looked up the definition of the word ‘lazy’ and it seems to be you are anything ‘but lazy’. It just seems that you are taking ‘time/space’ for yourself to just ‘be’ without the demands/expectations of others as well as those of your own standards of who/what you should do/be. Isn’t this part of learning to love oneself? I have had conversations with some who are ‘driven’ all the time, obsessed that they have to do this or that and all it does is put more stress on themselves and their families. It seems that their identity of ‘who’ they are is based upon ‘what they do’, and isn’t that what we are trying so hard to help others understand, that is ok to just ‘be’. It is in connecting with that inner peace in those moments/times that keeps us in balance (as you said) in the harder times. So strange that ‘others’ can only justify their existance by attacking ‘anyone/anytime/anywhere’. They could use a little ‘chill’ time for themselves too.

    Great article…thanks, Kay


  6. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Lazy was one of the worst things you could call someone when I was growing up.  It described parents who couldn’t muster the energy to feed the kids or keep them clean, or the farmer whose fences were falling down and livestock was running around in the road.  I can understand where Rod is coming from.

    Maybe we need a different word for the characteristic many of us share. We’re so lazy we avoid work by over-learning things so we don’t have to redo the learning time.  We organize things so that we can find the tool for the job we’re doing instead of being busy searching for what we need.   We pretend that we’re reading the Wall Street Journal when we’re really rolling ideas and thoughts around in our heads and don’t want to look like we’re doing nothing!

    I learned to work quickly when I was a waitress and be busy and productive every moment of my shift.  I realized later that I could have gotten as much done if I had slowed down and stopped trying to convince everyone that I wasn’t lazy!

    Some good things can only happen over time with a lot of “stop and reflect” moments.

    Great article!


  7. Avatar cheyenne says:

    Am I lazy?  I looked forward to retirement so I would have time to do the many things I could not do when I was working and raising a family.  Now that I have the time, doing many of those things seems to not be so important.  I start out a day to go somewhere and become sidetracked as my goals sometimes change hourly.  What I wanted to do can be done another day.  If I meet a friend, or even a stranger, I can take the time to talk to them because nothing is imminent now, except death, and I plan on seeing a lot more before that happens.  Procrastination has become a very tangible part of my life.  Does that make me lazy?

  8. Avatar Alumionosity says:

    The true analogy for this excert is “Work Smarter, NOT Harder”. I give myself permission on occasions too be slower, or rather take time off from the demands of life. You call it Lazy, I call it down time that is necessary in order to accomplish more in the end.  We can not care for others in our life without first taking care of ourselves.

    This has taken me a long time to finally grasp that concept, and since I am completely balanced with myself.