How to Stop Being Lazy

Dear Reader, 

The number one reason people aren’t rich is that they’re lazy. 

Why the brutal honesty? I’ll tell you…

One of the things I loved most about the Marine Corps was that I never had to worry about what anyone was thinking. When I was preparing to be an officer, there was no sensitivity training. When superior officers spoke to you, they didn’t have to wrap their words in ribbons and bows and didn’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. We often went out of our way to hurt others’ feelings just to test their core toughness. 

When I returned from the war and entered the civilized world of business, I was shocked by the phoniness, the covert hostility, and the fake smiles that are rampant to this day. It’s been almost 50 years since I was discharged from the Marines, and I still haven’t adjusted.

But I’m happy to say that things are changing. We now have reality tv shows instead of shows like “Father Knows Best,” a phony show about fake family harmony from my era.

Donald Trump even won his way into the living rooms of millions of people from all over the world during his show “Apprentice” as they watched him tell contestants, “you’re fired.” American Idol started with a feisty judge spewing brutal honesty about a contestant’s voice.

Not to mention chef Gordon Ramsay’s brutal takedowns of restaurant owners  in Kitchen Nightmares… 

All of this overt honesty, while sometimes contrived, encourages me to be more honest about my favorite subject — getting rich, and who’s most likely to do so.

The L Words

It’s in this spirit that I opened by saying that lazy people don’t get rich. I also say that the difference between “God” and “gold” is a simple “L,” as in “lazy,” or “looting.” The conquistadors who looted the Inca Empire in the name of God weren’t lazy. They were thugs with guns, but they had ambition.

Another word that begins with “L” is “loser.” Over the years, I’ve met many losers who pray to God to give them gold. They’ll never get it that way because, as the Sunday school I went to taught me, God helps those who help themselves. Again, the conquistadors may have been killers and thieves, but at least they knew how to help themselves.

As some of you may be aware, I wasn’t born rich. And I’ve written openly about my failures as an entrepreneur and my losses as an investor. I haven’t hidden my horror stories. The reason I don’t keep them secret is that my failures are the best learning experiences of my life. We learn by making mistakes — except in school, where we’re punished for making mistakes. This may be why most school teachers aren’t rich.

I’m not recommending that you become an ambitious looter, I only want to point out that if you’re not a lazy loser, you may find yourself with more gold in your life without having to resort to looting.

Overcome Laziness by Asking “What’s in It for Me?”

I have a radio station that’s my favorite. It’s called, “What’s in it for me?” Or WII-FM. OK, it’s not a real station, but it’s an easy way for me to remember that important question.

We need to sit down and ask questions like, “What would my life be like if I never had to work again?” “What would I do if I had all the money I needed?” Without the desire to have something better, progress is never made. And wanting something better, whether we acknowledge it or not, takes a little bit of greed. It means asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Our world progresses because we all desire a better life. New inventions are made, we go to school and study hard, and we make sacrifices, all because we want a better life. So whenever you find yourself facing something so hard that you’d prefer to avoid it and be lazy, ask, “What’s in it for me?” Be a little greedy. It’s the best cure for laziness.

Once you have an idea of what you want your ideal future to be, it can often be a challenge to keep going if you’re comparing your present to a far-off future.

The best way to overcome laziness is by making small, incremental gains every day. Don’t set a goal to be a financial genius. Set a goal to read one financial book a month. Once you do that, bump it out to two.

A growth mindset is continually improving day in and day out. Nothing shuts down a growth mindset and leads to laziness more than biting off more than you can chew.

Finally, a word of caution. Too much greed, like almost anything in excess, is not good. Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street said, “Greed is good.” Rich Dad said it differently, “Guilt is worse than greed. Guilt robs the body of its soul.”

Don’t feel guilty about wanting a better life and working hard to attain it, but also don’t become guilty of sacrificing the most important things in life, your family, health, and integrity, to attain them. Because at the end of the day, money is only important if you can enjoy it with the ones you love and with a clear conscience.

Stop Being Lazy and Take Action!

“Save money!

Put money in your 401k!

Live below your means!” 

I’ve seen so many people who just sit back and let others control their money. These people aren’t stupid; they’re lazy!

But in today’s world, you can’t be lazy. You can’t be passive, hoping and praying that things are going to change.

You’ve got to be active. So if you are one of these lazy people, wake up!

Start by thinking differently. For example, if you’re only getting 1% interest on your savings, start thinking, “Where can I get a better return on my money?” And if you don’t know, go learn. Go study. Go figure it out because there are plenty of places out there where you can get a better return on your money. After all, with inflation reported at about 5%, you’re going to get 1% interest and pay 4% inflation so that’s negative 3%.

Now, I’m not saying to go out and buy a ten-unit apartment building or throw all of your money in the stock market. I am saying… do something! Learn about other options… just get started.

Play it smart, 

Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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