Frequently Asked Questions

Are you accusing me of laziness?  No.  PAL never accuses anyone of being lazy.  Although we do assert that the phenomenon of laziness (or sloth) exists in the world.  We only work with clients after they themselves have already come to the conclusion that laziness is an issue in their lives.  It doesn’t make sense to accuse anyone of being lazy, anyway, since laziness is an internal state.  Because there are so many factors that can impact a person’s productivity, it is really impossible for an “outsider” to accurately assess what is going on inside another person’s mind.  Again, we only work with clients who have already, on their own, decided that laziness is an important factor blocking their success in life.

What is laziness?  There are many “real” things in life which are very difficult to define. For example:  Love, Anger, Loneliness, Joy and many others.   Laziness is like that, too.  We know that it exists, and we recognize it when we see it in ourselves, but it is difficult to precisely define what it is.   A good definition for Laziness needs to take into account the fact that there are many organic-disease factors that can impact a person’s capability and willingness to be productive.  Also, human life is not all about work – there are many other legitimate pursuits (rest, sleep, down-time, etc, etc) that make up a balanced life.  With that in mind, we offer these two (slightly different) definitions for Laziness:

1 ) Laziness occurs when there is a willful lack of reasonable self-exertion in a situation in which a) self-exertion is morally required and b) the individual has the capacity to self-exert.

2) When work is morally obligatory, but a person chooses to not exert themselves to the level (perhaps a diminished level) at which they are capable (or, at least to the level necessary to satisfy the obligation in question), then that is laziness.

If you have a suggestion for an improved definition, then please post a comment below.

Are the People Against Laziness volunteers medical professionals?  No.  Your PAL volunteer encourager is not a doctor or psychologist or psychiatrist or any other type of medical professional.   PAL volunteers are not trained to treat or diagnose any illness or psychiatric condition.  Your PAL volunteer encourager is just a non-professional friend who is willing to help you to stay focused on the career goals that you, yourself choose.

Is PAL affiliated with a religious group or a research institution?  No.  PAL is not allied with any religious organization or research institution.  People Against Laziness, LLC is a privately held Pennsylvania LLC.

People Against Laziness sounds kind of mean!  If you think that PAL is mean, then try “real life.”  We are only trying to help people who will, eventually, look back on their lives with pain and regret (unless they start to use their time more productively.)

Are lazy people happy? There are a lot of things that sound good, but, after you really check into them, you find out that there is another side to the story. That is the way laziness is. In the beginning it seems like a great life-style, but, eventually most lazy people look back over their lives and have regrets.  Who wants to look back at life with regret?  Another way to answer this question revolves around the difference between “freedom from pain” versus “overall life satisfaction.”

Is laziness sometimes caused by an “enabler”? Yes, of course.  Almost everyone can think of a specific example in their own circle of acquaintances.

Isn’t laziness just a symptom of depression?  A lot of people ask that question. Depression is certainly a real disease and one of it’s symptoms is low productivity. Laziness also has the symptom of low productivity, but it also has another component which has to do with free-will and personal choices.  A lazy person’s inner, personal choices, in turn, are driven by false beliefs.  For example, when a person lies to themselves enough times, they may begin to believe their own lies.  One common lie is: “I will take care of ‘that’ task tomorrow.”   But then, when tomorrow comes, they might just use the same trick to avoid having to do the work, again.  In any case, a false belief is being nurtured and the inactive, unproductive lifestyle is reinforced.  These false beliefs that lie at the core of laziness are a distinct and separate condition from the physical and mental illness of depression.

Can someone be physically or mentally ill, and, in addition, be lazy?   Yes, that is certainly possible.  We all know that it is common for two or more diseases to affect a person at the some time, so why shouldn’t this also be true about laziness?   Of course this gets very tricky to try to tease out whether a person’s low productivity is due to a physical illness, or a mental illness or laziness.  Our view is that laziness is a disease of the belief system.   PAL does not accuse anyone of being lazy.  We only work with clients who, from the starting point, have already concluded that laziness is a factor in their lives. Sometimes a client comes to us and says: “Yes, I am definitely lazy, but I also have these other medical conditions, A, B & C.”  Since we are not medical professionals, we can only suggest to clients that they talk with their own medical doctor(s) about their other conditions.

Lazy people don’t need any “help” – they just need a good kick in the rear!  Many people look at it that way.   But what if laziness is due, in part, to a type of brainwashing?  To the extent that it is due to brainwashing, we believe that it makes sense to offer help to a lazy person.

How many Americans are disabled by laziness? This is another very difficult question to answer.   Estimates range from between 0% to 20%.   PAL’s answer refers back to idea of the the four Types of Laziness, and the idea of the “Primary Barrier”.  Our charter focuses on  Type-2 Laziness.  Our best estimate is that between 0.5% and 1% of the adult American population is currently disabled due to T2L.

If laziness really is a disability, then can I get SSD payments for it? This may sound like a sarcastic question, but it is actually a very good one, since it forces us to think about the meaning of the word “disabled”.  To the extent that a person has been brainwashed into Learned Helplessness, then, yes, it probably does make sense that they should be covered by SSD and Medicaid.  However, the Medicaid payments should be oriented towards reversing the effect of the brainwashing that is keeping them “disabled.”

Are there “players” that have a vested interest in keeping people lazy? That is a good question, but maybe this is a better one:  Are there “players” that have a vested interest in keeping people busy doing irrelevant tasks?   Yes.  The entertainment industry: TV, WWW, Music, Hollywood.  When someone is busy with (or even addicted to) irrelevant stuff, does that help them to stay reasonably focused and productive?

Is “People Against Laziness” the same as “Mothers Against Laziness”?  Originally, this whole project was know as “MAL.”  Then we decided to change our name to “PAL.”  Hey, mothers are people, too, right?

How much does it cost for a person to get help from PAL? Zero!  It is completely free.  PAL is a charity.   Type 2 Laziness is a disease of the belief system.  It is just as real as a “regular” disease – like Diabetes or Cancer.

I am definitely lazy.  How do I get in touch with PAL?  Great!  We really want to meet you.  Please check our Connect page, and read the “New Client” section.  You can contact us by email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


4 Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Michael says:

    I like the website! But i think there needs to be some incentive, some motivation for someone wanting to talk about this. The biggest problem is asking for help. People realize that they’re lazy, but think that talking to someone about it would do nothing..just saying hey i help people that struggle with laziness doesn’t seem too appealing, especially to our culture. So somehow it needs to be spiced up abit, but i don’t know how you could do that. Other than that it looks good! Just need a way to get people more interested

    • adpal says:

      Hi Michael – Thank you much for the encouragement! The plan is to start advertising soon – help-wanted in local papers – and offer to pay folks a few dollars ($10?) to participate in a one hour interview – basically the questionairre from the http://peopleagainstlaziness.org/self-discovery/ tab. As nearly as I can tell, the only “treatment” that I could really offer is personal-coaching and encouragement and the thought medicine from our http://peopleagainstlaziness.org/medicine/ tab. But if you have some other suggestions they are certainly welcome. In any case, thanks for the encouragement. If you would like to participate or get involved in helping the folks who come to us – see our “Contact” tab. We need volunteers! :-D

  2. Ideas says:

    I have a suggestion for a definition of laziness – it is a willful refusal to accept or seek encouragement. Or a willful decision to seek and accept messages of discouragement. Perhaps that is a way to diagnos L rather than a definition for L?

    • Ideas says:

      Btw that is me. I do accept and seek encouragement – but I give it a cold welcome. So my mind remains largely polluted by discouragement …

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