« Dealing with Obstacles, Setbacks, Failures, and Three-Putts | Main | How to Light the Inner Fire »


Andy Gimblett

I don't disagree with you, but I wanted to point out a logical issue. You said: "... the fallacious premise that hard work is necessary in order to be successful. ... then it would stand to reason that everyone who works hard should be successful."

The problem here, a common one, is confusion of "necessary" and "sufficient". "Everyone who works hard should be successful" is only true if hard work is _sufficient_ for success. Whereas, if we hold it to be _necessary_ for success, that means there's no success without hard work, _but_ you might actually need more than just hard work, so not everyone who works hard need be successful.

Now, it's clear you don't think hard work is neither necessary nor sufficient for success, and that's fair enough, I don't disagree... I just wanted to point out that your argument that it's not necessary is actually an argument that it's not sufficient. Please pardon my pedantry. :)

Fred Gratzon

Thanks for improving my logic. Power resides in the subtle.

Andre in LA

Of course! Here's the workout example: I used to belong to a gym and get moderate satisfaction from exercising. Every time I had to push myself to go, though, and frankly, it felt like work. This was not authentic exercise for me -- if I didn't "have" to do it, I wouldn't have done it.

Enter my passions for acrobatics, fighting and dance. Currently I go to a fighting class twice a week, spend 2.5 hours in intense acrobatic dance (google contact improvisation) and spend my Saturday mornings in a run-down gym where I learn front and back-flips and spend most of the time in a pure state of play.

So, fighting (which is basically body-based real-time improv with high stakes), dance (contact improv which is again acrobatics in a pure state of play) and then acrobatics and well, just play.

The cycles of exersion and recovery are beyond what I've experienced with any sport, the pleasure of full-body-play is unbeliavable and I am in the best shape of my life. Now, is this work? NO! Am I lazy? You bet! Does my body work out at its full capacity? Of course.

This to me is a reference of full surrender to play, joy and pleasure and having this surrender change who I am, what I am.

Now, I want to create this same experience in the area of my paid contributions to humanity. It would be impossible to not be great at what I do.

Eric N.

How about "Effortlessly". The word elicits a more positive connotation of something being done without "working" and doesn't retain a negative connotation.

When I am in the office, the time I spend "working" often involves periods of indigestion, hair pulling, and ultimately frustration. When I switch into effortless mode, or zone, I get things done much more smoothly. My results are similar in outcome as if I had worked hard but without the stress.

I often feel that I use a different part of my brain when taking a "work" approach versus "lazy/effortless" approach.

Maintaining this zone is hard, but something I aim for... and more often than not, isn't something I am able to effecitvely reproduce.


"Unfortunately I have not been able to find a single suitable word in the English language to describe what I am talking about."

Fred, didn't the ancient Taoist invented a word for this: "wu-wei"? Basically it means action through non-action, where you do nothing but everything gets done. Effortlessly, by tuning into Nature's own flow.


Thank you for clarifying your description of successful laziness and I agree with what you wrote in this post. Its been an ongoing debate that I have been having with my hardworking father in-law. He is adamant that success only comes from real hard work and the conversations I have with him about business would make one believe that becoming wealthy is an almost unachievable goal.

Fred, I've been enjoying your perspective as a lurker for several months now. While "lazy" caught my eye, I think what you're really talking about is "the effortless way to make money."

Dictionary.com lists effort as the difficult exertion of unusually earnest physical or mental energy, applying force against inertia to accomplish something. It seems to me that your whole point is that when something requires difficulty, earnestness, force, that it's not a good way to solve the problem. Sometimes seriousness and dignity is appropriate, e.g. a funeral, but all that force and struggle is not really required. And the people who have told us that money only comes to those who suffer are not telling us the whole truth.

I hope you'll be too lazy to change the title, however. "The effortless way to get rich" wouldn't be as catchy.



Great article. My old Kung Fu teacher used to refer to the state of "laziness" you describe as the "Rhythm of Fatigue" His point was that in combat, you can not, nor should you, be moving at full force and with full intention at all times -- you will undoubtedly run out of gas and lose focus very quickly. In the rhythm of fatigue, you are aware, but not focused, and moving but not acting. I think the same goes for "Laziness" at work.


It will be 36 years next month since Jimi departed for the next world.

I was watching Jimi at Woodstock on Google Video (link via http://www.mykesweblog.com/2006/08/flash_back.html) several days ago and felt elated from the power of his music and very sad that he left so young.

Thanks for remembering Jimi. His music still inspires.

Tom Verbroekken

Napoleon Hill writes in his classic book Think And Grow Rich:

"If you are one of those who believe that hard work and honesty, alone, will bring riches, perish the thought! It is not true! Riches, when they come in huge quantities, are never the result of HARD work! Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles, and not by chance or luck."

I think that pretty much sums up what Fred's trying to say here.

Fred Gratzon

I also maintain that good luck comes as a result of the application of definite principles. I've written about those principles in the past.

Life is too precious to spend even a second on hard work. Enjoy being yourself. Enjoy the process. And enjoy the results. Hard work is a concept that comes from an age of ignorance.


i strongly oppose ur sayings.this is because of the reason that you are not confident about yourself .At the same time you expressed ur thoughts in an confusion manner.My questions towards ur goodself is that 1.i am in confuse that whether hard work is better or else smart work

neeta johny

Great piece of work, i too agree with ur idea of work approach. With technology booming high all must turn to smart work. The world is moving fast and to keep pace with it i believe effortless work needed.


I agree that hard work doesn't guarantee success. However, you do have to get off your butt and make something happen. Money simply is not going to run to you. Digging holes in the ground and filling the back up with a shovel is not my idea of success. However, it is a paycheck for some. I think that creating a business system that runs with little effort would free up a lot of people's time. You do have to work hard in the beginning to get such a thing going.

demotivated soul

Oh man!! a man after my own heart.

Hardwork pays later
Laziness pays now


Keep up the good work




Excellent Article mate


Iam so glad cause i came from lazy country. (Indonesia) did you know, hey every body? ha... 7x

Balankeswar Patnaik

Have read and participated in many a discussion surrounding this topic following is my understanding.

Stage 1. Get a detailed view of work.(Study
MIS and compile a base report.
Stage 2. Make an analysis of bottlenecks
Stage 3. Devise methods to overcome same
Stage 4. Implement or Action new methods
Stage 5. Compare results with base.

Stage 5. Repeat stages 1- 4

My suggestion is Initially one has to Work Hard and follow it up with smart work.

The Cycle should be as below.

1. Hard Work - Stability
2. Smart Work- Growth
3. Growth - Low per unit cost of production
4. Higher Demand
5. R & D and Smarter work (marketing)
6. Higher profits........
7. Diversification
8. Repeat above ....


how to work hard
and not give up on the midway
i need ways not advices
how how how to work hard until the end
i need ways

Joe Caterisano

How about efficient, leverage, auto pilot, passive or residual.





And what if I'm too lazy to think up of smarter ways to accomplish my task?

Lazy is NOT a good word that you've chosen to describe whatever it is that you're trying to describe.

Perhaps hard work does describe mindless, teeth-gritting effort but that hardly makes its antonymn an appropriate descriptor of your "way to success".

I still say you should use terms as "passionate work" and "achieve your dreams by enjoying yourself" vs. "being lazy" and "achieving everything without doing nothing".

Technically speaking hard work folks are being lazy in that they aren't using their brains. They're too lazy to think up (or inquire about) ways that bring far greater levels of productivity with minimalstic input. So very ironically, you're rooting for hard work when you're advocating your "Lazy Way to Success".

(But of course, I get the real message you seem to be trying to send. Be. Passionate. About. Your. Work. Hopefully others do too.)


Great article. To quote Bronx Tale movie, " the working man is a sucker." Work smart, hard work mostly get you nowhere. Real life is not a "school" exam whereby those that study hard and are lemmings get ahead; quite the contrary those that work smart and put in minimal effort win out in the end. Those that do not Terry Nickel and dime their employees will win.


Nice article; another thing what is with all those baby boomer who are work addicted. Why don't they retire already. Many of these boomers are workaholics. They seem mentally deranged maybe have a mental disorder toward their self identities being reflected in "work." Do they actually think hard work and success are synomous?That indeed is falacy. Thank you for you inputs.

 Attorney Smith

With technology booming high all must turn to smart work. The world is moving fast and to keep pace with it. I believe effortless work needed. Money simply is not going to run to you either you have done a great heard work. I think that creating a business system that runs with little effort would free up a lot of people's time. You do have to work hard in the beginning to get such a thing going. Thanks for this informative post.


I just want to ask a question to you Sir, do you really believe that hard work can replace smart work

Marvin Barrett

Love this post.

For many years now, there has been this debate about hard work vs smart work (aka laziness).

I agree with your comments about "If hard work is supposed to produce success, then it would stand to reason that everyone who works hard should be successful. But that is far from the case. Most people who work hard never come close to being successful."

Also, they find that due to the hard work previously exerted, they have little energy to think and work smart afterwards. It's a shame really.

Thanks for sharing.


Great article, but I'm still skeptical. I'm the laziest human being on the face of this earth. And I have not a cent on me...HELP!

Fred Gratzon

You're lucky; being lazy is a great start. Now you have to harness that invincible force. You don't need money or talent or knowledge or experience to be successful. You just need the desire. Reading my book will give you some good insight.

All the best to you.


Article is favoulous, actually my group follows the same funda,whereas our parents always prevent us to do that but I personally said using wry sense of humour that "Papa its my way" .....Its gives moral support to all of us who follows the same strategy in their life...)))))))))))

Jack's Customized Fat Loss Review

I believe that even though we're not the smartest person as long as we work hard we will succeed.

- Jack Leak

UK Belstaff Jackets

I like you on facebook and follow through google reader!

The Famous Quotes

Great post. Thank you!

The comments to this entry are closed.