Creative Laziness

Nancy B. Alston

Laziness is a state of mind. A person is said to be in a lazy state of mind with respect to a task when he is not properly motivated to do the task. Lack of motivation to do a task can spring up from many causes such as physical lethargy, lack of reinforcement in the form of rewards, failure to value the reward intended for the task appropriately, preoccupation of mind with some other things which is important to the person concerned, lack of interest in executing the task, all can be regarded as the cause of laziness.

Laziness is always a looked down upon quality. A lazy mind is a work shop of devil. But who knows a lazy mind is a creative mind too. You know, the intellectual act of creativity needs a certain degree of laziness. Only a person who does not care for a disciplined life at least for one day in a week can be creative. Being free from daily structure of disciplined life give our brain enough space to breath. It comes out of the box of daily predictable routines and such a mental set up is the prime requirement for creativity.

You might have heard about some painters, poets and writers indulging in intoxicants like liquor, tea, coffee etc just before they enter into their creative phase. They depend upon these things to release their consciousness from their otherwise uncreative imaginations. For initiation of creativity an easy, flexible, somewhat lazy mind is the basic requirement.

Today’s class room activities do not ensure an atmosphere for students to be free and expressive of their own ideas. They are like tightly disciplined information imparting coaching centers that exhorts the student for nothing but to score grades in the examinations. Sometimes we can see that lazy minds are more creative than brilliant minds. These lazy minded pupils, their cause of laziness apart, get little opportunity to prove their presence in the group. Thus, year after year it becomes very much difficult for teachers to motivate them which results in thickening of their laziness. Thus they end up their student life with the tag of a lazy student.

Laziness in adequate amount is essential for a creative life. But if it begins to corrode the life of an individual we should pay attention to it. But almost all laziness is curable as long as the person feels a desire to come out of laziness which has become a habit. If the person doesn’t feel any qualm and he is comfortable with what he is and apathetic to troubles he incur upon himself and others, an intervention of expertise is essential. In such cases often laziness appears as a symptom of some other underlying psychological disturbances.

Lack of interest is the sole cause of laziness. Because, once you got interested almost all other hindrances can be surmounted. Interest is the only antidote to laziness. Lack of interest can be cured only by injecting interest. But injecting interest is not an easy task as interest is closely connected to reward one gets from the task. It may be subjective rewards like satisfaction, self esteem, recognition etc. or external rewards like money, position. Laziness can be rooted out only by catering to the former type of rewards. In the case of later, once reward is withdrawn interest start fading. In the former case, there is possibility of raising the person to such a level that he starts enjoying execution of the task in the long run.

There are different levels of laziness. If laziness is confined to particular task it is called located laziness. A student may feel lazy to learn Maths but never so in other subjects. General laziness is a trait. Its effect will be visible in almost all task individual execute. Yet, there is a third kind of laziness in which individual’s pleasure seeking tendency dominates his deeds or his preferences.

General laziness once cured, possibility for relapse is very little. But localized laziness may persist throughout individual’s life as its root is in biological or psychological disposition of individual. Here, person is lazy in an area just because of his lack of aptitude in that area. But it is harmless as there will be many other areas in which person evince adequate interest. The third kind of laziness can be removed by proper guidance. But in this case possibility of relapse is greater.

Workaholics hate laziness. They are an asset to the institutions to which they belong. But these persons find it difficult to relax. They can’t sit lazily on a beach for sometime and dream. And those who fail to dream miss the color of life. Without dreams there is no growth. So teach yourself to sit lazily somewhere for sometime. Let your thoughts take their own course. It will boost your creativity.

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