Laziness is Not the Issue

Eric Teplitz
8 min readJun 7, 2022
Image: Shutterstock

Recently, I asked a coaching client what was stopping him from taking action on a task he had given himself to do but had not yet seen through.

His reply: “It all comes down to one big reason: laziness.”


Is this accurate? Or could it be that “laziness” is nothing but a damning self-judgment that also serves as a blanket excuse for whenever we fail to do something?

If we self-identify as lazy, we take this to be a character flaw — something extremely difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.

But maybe laziness is not the issue. Maybe laziness does not even exist! Maybe there is simply being motivated to do a particular thing, and not.

If you are a human being, I am willing to bet that you have experienced yourself as both incredibly motivated in certain situations and utterly unmotivated in others.

I told my client that I have observed about myself that when I am not taking action on something, it’s usually for one of three reasons:

1) It’s not important to me.

2) It is important to me, but I’m avoiding it because I anticipate it will be difficult or unpleasant.

3) It’s a “it’d be nice to do” as opposed to being a “must do” — in other words, the stakes are not subjectively high enough, so I’m not making it a priority.

If you are defaulting to “laziness” as your reason for not doing something you claim you want to do, I invite you to probe deeper.

Whereas “laziness” does not offer us much to work with, the above are statements that, when considered, can allow us to move forward rather than remain stuck.

Let’s look at each of them, one by one:

1) It’s not important to me.

We may tell ourselves that something is important to us when, in fact, it is not.

Maybe by stating that x is important to us, it convinces us that we are a certain kind of person, one with character traits or values that we like to associate with ourselves. (An example: that promotion is important to me because I am an ambitious person.)

Eric Teplitz

Life coach devoted to living with passion and authenticity, and helping others do the same: