People Against Laziness is a charity that helps lazy people to become happy and productive in a career of their own choice.
Our primary therapeutic method is one-on-one encouragement between a (non-professional) PAL volunteer and the client. To begin the process, the client must be willing to admit that part of their career “problem” is laziness. The first session is really just a question-and-answer process designed to help the client to get a better handle on the real drivers that underlie his or her time-management choices. Our working theory is that laziness is largely a symptom of a disease of the belief system. Faulty or unhealthy beliefs become the drivers for poor present-moment choices. These choices, in turn, can become the foundation for unhappy career outcomes.
The PAL volunteer “encourager” begins by helping the client to become more aware of their own beliefs and “life-mottos.” The client is gently walked through a questionnaire that helps them to assess the validity and utility of their own mottos and beliefs – especially in the light of the mottos and beliefs of more “productive” people. Invariably, a point of disturbance is reached by the client as they become aware of the disconnect between their own life-mottos and the more realistic mottos of successful people. Usually, the difference in these world-views has to do with the role of persistence and self-exertion. In other words, characteristics that are the exact opposite of laziness.
This “point of disturbance” provides a opportunity for change. Now the role of the PAL encourager is to provide a safe and non-judgmental sounding board for the client as they themselves consider the process of changing their own world-view. This is a scary time for most clients, since it means admitting that they have been “at fault”. Frequently, at this point, a “blame-storming” struggle ensues in which the client recounts all of the many other, external factors (including health, national economy, educational opportunities, etc) that have impacted their career. The encourager acknowledges that these other factors are indeed players and listens as the client vents his legitimate frustrations.
Finally, when the smoke clears, the encourager can gently return the client’s attention to focus on the role that he, himself has played. The encourager works to steer the conversation in a win-win direction, rather than to focus on past errors or fault-finding. This can be facilitated by suggesting to the client that they have, to some extent, been a victim of a type of brain-washing – which has set many of their faulty beliefs in place. For most people, the concept of laziness as a symptom of a “sickness” in the belief system, makes a treatment plan much more palatable.
Once the client concedes that there is an element of sickness at work in their world-view, the encourager becomes more of a “coach” and fellow-traveler. Future sessions stay focused on past gains by reminding the client of their previous conclusions, and their own, personal decisions regarding the need for change.
We realize that laziness is an age-old problem, and that progress may be slow. The driving force behind the PAL charter is the unmistakable fact that sloth/laziness/call-it-what-you-will is, for many thousands (millions?) of Americans, the primary barrier that blocks them from becoming successful, happy and self-supporting. We realize that many other factors (including health, national economy, educational opportunities, etc) are also players in the quest for a satisfying career. We also recognize that the overwhelming majority of people are not lazy, so our plan is definitely not meant for everyone. Nonetheless, for those people, for whom laziness is a major factor, we believe that it makes the most sense to focus right there – on the primary barrier.