"All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today."
-Pope Paul VI
This was necessary for survival, as coming up empty handed - a very real concern - could result in the severe risk of starvation. No food => no calories => no energy to hunt => starvation. Failure caused a futile energy burn compounding the calories needed for replenishment. This innate laziness – a sense that one should not exert any more energy than necessary or risk starvation – unfortunately still exists in humans today, even though society have obviously significantly evolved over the last 12,000 years.
Ludwig von Mises, known for his work on human action in the Austrian School of economics writes, "The expenditure of labor is deemed painful. Not to work is considered a state of affairs more satisfactory than working. Leisure is, other things being equal, preferred to travail (work). People work only when they value the return of labor higher than the decrease in satisfaction brought about by the curtailment of leisure. To work involves disutility." I.e., "What am I going to get by doing this?"
Once we recognize what laziness is - that it is a part of our genetic makeup passed on from the earliest of generations - we can address it and find ways to overcome it.
Keys to fend off the call of the couch!
-Don't settle once a milestone has been reached. Remember, the journey is often the most rewarding aspect of goal seeking. Those who get ahead, keep moving forward.
-Don't be shy discussing your dreams, but say only what you intend to actually accomplish. Do you really want to start that business, or do you just say you are starting one because it gain the attention of others? Do you really want that promotion? Or is that just what society wants you to say? If you consistently say whatever comes to your mind regarding all the things you wish to accomplish, you will get used to not keeping your word and, in turn, promote a lazy mind. No one will take you seriously, including yourself!
-Avoid shortcuts and "Get Rich Quick" ideas. Cliché, but there is no easy way to accomplish your goal. Only the lazy man seeks out these schemes.
-Focus constantly on your passion. Spend just a few minutes each morning envisioning yourself achieving your goal. That will put you in a proper mindset for a productive day. That should be the only sitting around you do!
-Train yourself to repel laziness. When you reach for the channel changer, stop, think, refocus, reassess your goals, and change your plan of action. Soon enough, this will become second nature. When you are sitting down for lunch, you start to automatically think to yourself, "I feel like I should be doing something productive. What else could I be doing?"
Keep pressing! You will eventually see the changes you want to see!