The Lazy Life
By Bret Burquest

Being lazy is one of the most underrated, misunderstood forms of human existence.

It may also be a more healthful way of life than performing high-energy activities. Dr. Peter Axt, a professor of health science at Fulda University near Frankfurt, has recently written a book titled "The Joy of Laziness" that makes the following claims:

1) Everybody has a limited amount of "life energy" and the speed with which it is consumed determines their life span.

2) If you lead a stressful life and exercise excessively, your body produces hormones which lead to high blood pressure and can damage your heart and arteries.

3) Lazy people produce less free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules that speed up the aging process).

4) Exercise and stress causes the body to produce the hormone cortisol which can damage cells in the brain and lead to memory loss and premature senility.

5) Late sleepers live longer than early risers because they conserve their energy.

Being a fairly lazy person myself, here are 10 steps I recommend to achieve the joy of laziness.

1) Maximize your free time. Free time is much more valuable than money or possessions. If your time doesn't belong to you, you are a slave to someone or something else.

2) Rely only upon yourself. Become self-employed or as close to self-employed as possible, preferably doing something you enjoy. You can't be lazy if your time and energy are obligated to others.

3) Meet the monthly nut. Make sure you have enough income to meet your financial expenses, including some extra cash to squirrel away for emergencies. You can't be free to be lazy if you're financially burdened.

4) First things first. Always take care of important matters immediately. You're never free to be lazy if you have pending business or chores requiring your attention. Procrastination is not laziness; it's irresponsibility.

5) Don't be a prisoner of your possessions. You don't need new cars, new clothes or new anything. Jewelry is for egomaniacs. Live wisely with what you have and only add more to it when necessary. 

6) Minimize travel. You don't need to travel half way around the world to find happiness. Live in a place you appreciate and enjoy your surroundings. The search for happiness begins at home.

7) Buy a home you can afford. Extravagance is for those who have low self-esteem and need the approval of others. If you have an overwhelming desire to show off, stand naked on a busy street – you'll soon get over it.

8) Pay cash. If you need a loan to purchase anything other than a home, you can't afford it. Pay cash for your vehicles and other high ticket items. Avoid credit cards. Being lazy means being debt free.

9) Don't exercise just to exercise. There is plenty of work to be done without making it up. Mow the lawn, wash the car, fix things, etc. If you're going to expend energy, at least you should accomplish something.

10) Ignore envious critics. Whenever someone looks down on you for your lifestyle it's usually because they're jealous. They've trapped themselves into a life of slavery and are working hard just trying to stay even.

The key to happiness isn't money or possessions – it's having the free time to enjoy life. Happiness comes from within. When you slow down and smell the roses, the joy of laziness will set you free.

Being lazy isn't as simple as it seems. I've spent a lifetime perfecting laziness, often interrupted by periods of excessive activity caused by inevitable external forces, such as school, a military obligation, marriage, divorce, employment, etc. But if you work at it long enough and hard enough, you can turn laziness into an art form.

We're spiritual beings born into a carnal world in order to cleanse our eternal soul. To spend such a precious slice of existence in this dimension working hard and stressing out is a foolish waste of time and energy.

Be lazy and enjoy it – you'll live longer and pay less taxes.

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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. Contact




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