Vote for the Articles that You would Like to Read

Temporal Selfishness - Selfishness may be part of the underlying cause of sloth.  For example, if a person is selfish, then, once their personal needs have been met, they may decide that they do not want to expend any further energy to help to meet the needs of others in the community.   But, how about the concept of selfishness as it applies to the individual themselves, but at different periods in their own life?  For example, imagine a selfish college freshman who does not want to spend time studying because they know that they wont have to enter the work-force for another 4 years?  The thinking might go like this:  ”Me in 2011 does not feel the pain (or joy) of ‘Me in 2015′ – so, I think that I am just going to take care of ‘Me in 2011′ now, and let that 2015 person handle things himself when his turn comes …”  This may be a powerful idea.  It might also be a type of schizophrenia since there is a sense in which the individual views himself as two separate people. 

How Much Help is Enough? - “The eyes of man are never full.”  (Solomon)  ”Scarborough Fair” is a song that discusses a lost and embittered love.  The singer lists a series of impossible conditions that his “true-love” must full-fill in order to regain the romantic connection.   The point is that the singer does not really want to regain the romantic connection, regardless of any proof of love that could be provided to him.  The list of impossible conditions insulates the singer from coming to terms with the fact that he has already decided to sabotage the relationship, regardless of his former sweet-heart’s display of sincerity.  Could there be a similar dynamic in the minds of some career seekers?  For example, some people excuse their lack of job-search by pointing out that they do not have a computer + high-speed modem in their own home.   Prior to 2000, most people did not have access to computers in their homes, so what was the excuse then?  Perhaps that their local library did not have computers and modems?  Prior to 1990, most libraries did not have computers, so what was their excuse then?  

The point is that, for a person who is not really eager to accomplish a task, it becomes very easy for them to invent impossible obstacles that prevent them from ever getting started on the task.  

Benjamin Franklin said:  ”A man who is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.”  Public libraries are available in nearly every community in the USA.  These libraries contain books that explain in minute detail, exactly the skills that a person would need to know in order to be able to perform many different types of work.  For people who do not know how to read, there are books that will teach you that, too!   And for a completely illiterate person, it is very likely that the librarian or other community volunteer would be willing to teach you the basics of how to read and how to use a dictionary.  120 years ago, libraries were not nearly as widely available.  In many cases, they were not free, either.  But now they are both widely available and free.  So what is your excuse, now?  How much help is enough help?  (This also ties in with the ideas behind the article stub for “Knowledge and Anti-Knowledge” below.) 

Structured Procrastination - For more details see:

My Life’s Mission - People who have a “mission” that is greater than their own life tend to be more productive (or at least more goal oriented.)  Clients need to be encouraged to answer the question:  ”What is my mission in life?”  For a person who is very religious, the mission normally revolves around their idea of what God’s will is for their life.  While there are notable examples in which people seem to be mistaken about the will of God, at least we can agree that religiously-centered people tend to be do-ers.  In any case, by being a do-er, a person avoids being a non-do-er (which pretty much sums up one definition of laziness.)  Presumably, when God’s will is correctly understood, the “doing” involves something worthwhile.   In summary, by taking some time to decide on my mission in life, it will, presumably help me to avoid laziness.  In a way this sounds kind of scary since it seems to suggest “giving up on myself.”  Whoever looses his life (for my sake) will gain it.  (Jesus Christ said that.)  Also, there is a potential for mistakenly picking up nutty life mission.  History is replete with people, who, from our perspective today, picked up nutty life missions.  People with a Mission (nutty or not) tend to command much more respect than people who just serve their personal interests.  Warning:  in the case in which a person adopts a mission, which they subsequently decide to be worthless, there might be a big sense of depression as they realize their mistake.  For this reason, a person should be encouraged to pick their mission wisely.

23 Responses to Vote for the Articles that You would Like to Read

  1. full_time_80 says:

    I vote for the blood-letting article for its persuasive arguement to remove the ‘faulty’ life-blood-draining excuses for being lazy. The training article sounds good also. If an employer sees a possible hiree trying to educate him or herself in their field, it makes sense that this person would qualify as a good employee simply for not allowing the fact that they don’t have a learned trade in that field as an excuse to stop them from trying. It shows initiative. Even reading and posting as I do now, I am learning to show initiative for learning to better myself and to find gratitude in any situation in life.

  2. full_time_80 says:

    THe ACS and PAL article is very poignant. I believe that employers have lost billions because of the effects of laziness on the part of employers. It may have even spawned the need for robotic machinery in the work industry as well. The discouragement article is something I can relate to, but now realize out of necessity how can we just give up on ourselves and our families. So let’s ‘move the ball’ in the right direction.

  3. admal says:

    I am really intrigued by the idea of “Temporal Selfishness” as a cause of sloth. It also strikes me as a type of schizophrenia, since the person is acting as if me-in-2011 is actually a different person from me-in-2015. Is it a different person? BTW, if it really is a different person, then why would someone want to save for retirement? /// In any case, perhaps something that would be a treatment for selfishness would also work on laziness? So what is a “treatment” for selfishness?

  4. Bill says:

    RE; lazi vs depression. I know what i can try ( work) to achieve the result that would be nice. AHHHH whats the use, i’ve tried hard at others , even some similar, and the results were Nill, so I’m not gone do it, it won’t work, nothing works for me, ever.

    • adpal says:

      Hi Bill – Welcome to PAL! Are there any articles that caught your attention? We would be very interested to hear your sincere thoughts. Your opinion matters. :-)

  5. bill says:


  6. bill says:

    Why is there a simple math problem just above the Comment space? The photo, of the tree lined road , is GREAT

    • adpal says:

      Bill – That is there, so when you enter a comment you prove that you are human and not a computer trying to post spam messages. The photo came with the WordPress installation. I like it too. BTW, do you have any thoughts about the content of the articles? I would be very interested to read your comments about the content of the articles. :-)

  7. bill says:

    I dont beleive that any one is Lazy. That is a derogatory term, intended for use to shame, and label people , whom the user of the term has decided that others are not comforming with what he, or she , wants them to do.

    • adpal says:

      Maybe you are right. It may be that laziness does not really exist. A doctor actually told me once something very similar. He said: “Laziness does not exist – it is just depression.” But if that is correct, then what are we to make of all of the references to laziness in ancient literature? For example, Benjamin Franklin warned people about laziness quite a bit. Also, laziness (aka “sloth”) is listed as one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” in very ancient spiritual books. Do you think it should be removed from that list? Do you think that there are other items on that list of 7 deadly sins that should also be removed?

  8. perception vs reality says:

    Laziness is an example of a “maladaptive behavior” … How about an article that discusses various maladaptive behaviors and what they have in common?

  9. perception vs reality says:

    Be prepared – how about an article about hurricane sandy? Was laziness a factor that caused some ppl to fail to prepare?

  10. perception vs reality says:

    Favorite arties i would like to see:
    What causes poverty?
    Sacred cow in the war on poverty?
    Can laziness cause poverty?
    Knowledge versus anti-knowledge
    How to get a free college education

  11. perception vs reality says:

    Years ago knowledge was exspensive and commodities were cheap. Now it is just the opposite. We tend to value things depending on how much we have to pay for them and by the value that ppl in our social group put on them.

  12. perception vs reality says:

    What might have been … There are roughly three possible life outcomes corresponding to 1) laziness 2) reasonable productivity and 3) workaholism. How about an article to compare contrast these. Ask the reader to come up with his own outcomes for each of the three in his own life and suggest your own too. Then compare it with where u r at. And the remaining portion of yr life …?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rich lazy and veryunhappy. A lot of ppl in that category. Seems strange. Lack of perspective forgetting to count blessings.

  14. Anonymous says:

    There’s still time to change the road you’re on … Reversible and non-reversible decisions. Some decisions r clearly reversible and some r clearly not reversible. Like suicide. Then there is a large swath of in-between-type decisions that r (technically) reversible but, in Practise they r only very rarely reversed. Like “starting smoking”. Because earlier decisions create momentum in our lives. Another decision has to do with self-exertion and time management. If the choice is made to exert at a low level then it can become a habit. Generally habits come into being bcz there is some kind of positive feedback system at work. The habit of unhealthfully low self-exertion is Aka “laziness.”

  15. Anonymous says:

    Working vs looking for work. Ppl tend to b willing to self-exert at different levels in these two important components of the career life. Rejection is hard to handle. And preparation or study is hard to justify if there is an unclear “guarantee” of payoff for the non-compensated prep work.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hiding out – means that I hope no one calls bcz I don’t want to go out – and I don’t want to leave the house until after “work hours” so ppl will assume that I really am working. That is a sucky way to live. I have done that. Has to do with shame.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sick and healthy

    Many ppl have a healthy sex instinct but a sick gather-resources-by-work instinct. So generally there are two ways of looking at ppl: sick and healthy. We all exist somewhere on a spectrum between those two points. So do u want to meet a girl who is more sick or more healthy? Obviously u want to meet a healthy woman. So what kind of man does a healthy woman want to meet? There is yr answer. She wants a man with a healthy sex instinct AND a healthy gather-resources-work instinct. U have got the first part generally under control. How about the second part?

    Alternatively you could just go for a woman who is closer to the “sick” side of the spectrum. She would probably b happy to accept u as u r with a poor work ethic. But is there a downside to getting into that type of relationship?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Create a chart showing how couples get together and how the health or sickness of their individual sex and work instincts impact the health or sickness of the relationship

    This chart describes four different combinations of (H)ealthy and (S)ick sex and work instincts as they can occur in couples. Each of the four lines describes a man / woman in a couple. Cases of S(ick) instincts are marked in red to make it clearer where potential problems can arise.

    1) Sex: H, Work: H / Sex: H, Work: H
    2) Sex: H, Work: H / Sex: H, Work: S
    3) Sex: H, Work: S / Sex: H, Work: H
    4) Sex: H, Work: S / Sex: H, Work: S

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Goldilocks Zone – too lazy or too workaholic or just right? U decide. In your ownmind u factor in your illness your history your own measurement of what a reasonable day looks like for u.

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