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“Laziness arises when the cost of an activity seems to outweigh the benefits.”

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

Laziness is a trait all humans have. Laziness is also not something we can control, at least not without extraordinary effort. Laziness is our mind’s way of conserving energy for other tasks known or unknown.

As a leader sensing laziness it is simple to rest in frustration at what appears to be disengagement and in fact humans are simply at the effect of an ability of the mind. Learning to read laziness as feedback however may provide insights into how the human system is accepting of a given experiment.

If the benefits are obvious and in line with the motivation path there is less risk of laziness invocation. If the benefits are ambiguous then laziness will be more prevelant.

When observing laziness in an this is a time to ask ourselves questions about our approach:

  • Have I communicated the benefits well enough?
  • Have I connected emotionally to the people I intend to influence?
  • Considering the world, where does our human system fall in the priority list of places they spend energy?


Connect with the feeling of laziness. Notice when activity in the mind is pushing away from an activity. If we notice then evaluate, what is missing for you in that moment? Is it that the activity is not important to you, this is our physiology in action.

In a business, consider factors outside of the organization that would create laziness to appear in the office. How do we connect humans with their sense of value to the world in a way that creates meaning that connects with motivation.