Welcome to Day 1 of a 3-day "Productivity Blog Showdown." If you’re
just joining us, here’s the quick background of what’s going on. A few
days ago, I noted that I’d like to see a "showdown" between two upcoming gurus of personal productivity, Fred Gratzon and Steve Pavlina. Both guys agreed to do the showdown, we collected some questions from readers, and here we are.
We’ll start off by laying some groundwork, which will help provide a
little bit of context for the next couple of days. I’ve collected some
key words that are thrown around in conversations about productivity
and I’ve asked both Steve and Fred to define them for us. The following
words are what I’ve asked them to define: success, hard work/working,
passion, happiness, laziness/lazy, productivity, work ethic,
efficiency, motivation. I received Fred’s response first, so we’ll
begin with him.
Fred Gratzon is the author of The Lazy Way to Success, and also keeps a blog over here.
He has also founded two very different companies, an ice cream
manufacturing company and a long distance company–more info about that
in this interview.
His unique point of view is delivered from a comfortable perch within a
hammock–ostensibly somewhere near palm trees, but I think it’s
actually nearer to Iowa, USA. So, without further commentary, here is Fred’s response…
I warned you guys from the get-go that I’m lazy.
So with regard to the list of terms you want me to define, I’m going
to let Steve Pavlina do it. Let’s make that his punishment for
promoting the fraudulent concept of hard work in the first place.
It is high time that this be said – hard work is a hoax. Hard
work has nothing to do with success. As my proof, I offer the entire
human race. In my 59 orbits around the sun, I have heard ad nauseum
that to be successful you had to work hard. I have two simple
questions. If working hard is so good, how come all these people
preaching it aren’t fabulously successful? And why aren’t most
hard-working people in the upper class?
From my vantage point of refusing to do any work whatsoever, most
people in the world appear to be working hard. But instead of
widespread success, there is widespread stress-related disease, broken
homes, financial hardships, and a pandemic lack of personal fulfillment
– all of it caused by hard work.
Hard work is bogus concept. Anyone claiming that hard work has value
should be ignored. That person is misleading people who sincerely want
to be successful.
Herein lies the Truth-if you want success, then anything resembling work has to be completely purged from your life. Period.
Let me explain.
Once we strip away all the cheap perfume that hard work advocates
spray on that putrid concept, there are two ways of looking at work.
Both are nasty visions.
The first way to look at work is in terms of joy or its lack
thereof. As activity gets less joyful, it becomes more like work. Hard
work, which resides on the far end of the joy spectrum, is painfully
vile stuff because it is devoid of any joy. On the other hand, as joy
increases, the activity becomes more and more like play. If you want to
be successful, the joy that comes from your activity must first be
maximized. That way you become doubly successful. Not only will this
type of activity bear abundant fruit, the process of getting to that
fruit will be so much fun it will feel like fruit too. And joyful play,
unlike miserable work, won’t kill you.
The second way of looking at work is in terms of effort. As effort
increases, work becomes harder and harder. So in this model the
opposite of hard work is effortlessness or no effort at all. To be
successful, you must find ways where doing less accomplishes more.
Ultimately you will achieve the exalted state where doing nothing
A lazy person avoids work because he does not want to suffer and he does not want to waste energy.