In high school I had a track and cross country coach that was the prototypical phys ed teacher. He didn’t put much professional thought into being a teacher. His teaching podium was a chair three feet high tied down to a box (like a lifeguard) and he had a lot of “movie days”. His effort wasn’t in changing lives in the classroom, it was on the track. I transferred to that high school just to run for him where he coached me to a state championship and an athletic scholarship. Not long after he chose to run for city office and placed an enormous effort into that (he lost by just a few hundred votes).
“Okay” teacher, fantastic coach and hard worker when he wants – Big deal, right? What my coach did well was being “lazy motivated”. Placing his efforts into what he’s passionate about, doing an okay job when needed and working hard to be the best when it’s needed. I know I’m not giving the guy complete justice by describing him as that but he is one of the most interesting characters I know. He changed lives on the track (and even off the track). Sure, no one won a Nobel Prize from his curriculum but he’s coached numerous people to athletic scholarships and pro sports contracts. His ability to keep his networks close (demonstrated amazingly when he ran for office) is the reason why so many of his former athletes like me keep in touch.
Being lazy motivated isn’t something you should set out to do. It’s not even something you should tell people you are. It’s a way to describe your efforts in creating the easiest possible avenue to doing what you’re passionate about and being successful at that. Tim Ferris makes a living writing books about how to “hack” your life so you can take heavy loads off. That may be in the form of:
- Lifehacks (tips for everyday life that save time/effort)
- Outsource work
- Productivity increases in your work
In many ways these can be described of as “lazy” endeavors that take “motivation” to accomplish. Don’t let shortcuts fool you into thinking you’re cheating in life. Everything you do in life should be looked at with a fine scope so you can determine how you can improve that process.
Everyday I look at what I do and see how I can not just get better at what I’m doing but I become faster at what I’ve already been doing. That’s the only way I can keep up with the scope of work for my clients and continue to get better. The idea is to think “lazy” while being “motivated” to improve your work and life!
Even the corporate world has a form of “lazy motivators”: Get promoted and have someone else do your menial tasks so you can do what you’re better at. If you’re the best sales caller, the management will make sure you aren’t wasting half your day pushing papers and instead are spending that time developing relationships with clients. If you like what you’re doing enough then you’re efforts will make your job not even seem like work anymore.
So whenever you’re having a lazy day and just want to sit around – Think about how you can just put forth a little motivation into finding out how you can fit some of your work into that period of “no work”. That way you find out how to do better work faster and focus on what you’re best at.