Can a Lazy Person Become Successful?

lazy person become successful

Can a lazy person become successful? This is one of the most debacle topics. Most people believe that you can only achieve great success in life if you are hard-working. But is that so?

I read an article saying that Sir Winston Churchill was a lazy person. At school, he got the worst result and didn’t get to college. He was indifferent to sport and his favorite activity was sitting on a rocking chair.

But, were these showing that Sir Winston Churchill someone who was lazy?

The article also mentions Charles Darwin. The author said that Charles Darwin was incredibly lazy and he slept right in the middle of the class. Can someone lazy really achieved so much and even found the theory of biological evolution?

The same went for Albert Einstein. Some people regarded Einstein as someone who was lazy because he slept most of the time and daydreamed a lot.

However, when it comes to remarkable scientists and thinkers, you can almost always find Einstein’s name on the top.

I don’t think that successful people are lazy. And I don’t think that everyone is lazy.

I just believe that no matter how lazy you are, there will be something that will catch your attention and calls you to put all of your energy and focus there.

Like Albert Einstein. You can say that he was a lazy person, but when it comes to the theory of relativity, he was insanely passionate about the topic.

You can be lazy with your work, but I bet that when it comes to something that you love doing, you can wake up earlier and stay later than most people to pursue it.

So, I don’t think that people are lazy. They are only lazy in a certain part of their lives.

How Do You Define Laziness?

If you want to answer the question of whether can a lazy person become successful, you must first define laziness.

What does it mean when you say that someone is lazy?

Does it mean that he refuses to do the work? Or because he’s not willing to do it and prefer to do something else?

Or perhaps being lazy means doing the easy stuff rather than the hard stuff.

If someone is lazy to study, does that mean that he will be less successful? No. We have seen many successful people achieved spectacular results in life despite having no formal education.

Look at people like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. Jobs was a college dropout, but do you consider him lazy and unsuccessful? You know the answer.

Hence, being successful in life has nothing to do with being lazy.

Someone lazy to study doesn’t mean that he is lazy in pursuing his dreams.

Similarly, someone who is hardworking to study at school doesn’t mean that he is guaranteed to succeed in life.

Thus, laziness has many forms and definitions.

You can be lazy at one thing but extremely hard working at another.

Read: Stop Working Hard Unless You Fulfill These 5 Principles

Lazy People Are Smarter?

According to this article from CNBC, lazy people tend to be smarter.

Well, that doesn’t add up to say that lazy people tend to be more successful. Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world once said that he would choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.

First, the lazy person needs to be hard working at finding the solution to a difficult problem. And second, Gates himself is someone who’s extremely hard working. In an interview, he said:

bill gates

“I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one. And I’m still fanatical, but now I’m a little less fanatical.”

Yes, lazy people may be a little smarter and with higher IQ, but that doesn’t determine a person’s success.

It depends on the application.

If you are a lazy but smart person, but if you are not applying your cleverness in the right place, you can’t be successful even if you are smart.

On the other hand, if you are a hardworking person but less smart, you can still be successful if you work on the right thing at the right time.

Can a Lazy Person Become Successful?

I think the answer is clear. Laziness may not be the main factor that determines your success in life.

First, you can be lazy at one thing but are extremely hard working at another.

Hence, when you know how to channel your energy and work hard on the things that you’re passionate about, you can be successful.

Second, it is not about being lazy, it is about being resourcefulness.

You can be lazy, but if you are willing to use your head and think strategically, you can invent a system to work for you and achieve success from there.

Of course, no matter how you will still need to put in some work to build the system in the first place.

In conclusion, I believe that lazy people can become successful, as long as they know how to channel their motivation and focus on the right strategy.

Success isn’t just about working hard or being lazy, it is about working at the right things.

If you are working hard but using the wrong method, you will only end up getting to the wrong place faster.

And if you are lazy but you have a good system, you still can’t make it work because you somehow need to put in the hard work to make the system work.

Read: A Simple Plan to Get Motivated When You Feel Lazy

How to Become Successful If You Are Lazy

What if you think that you are a lazy person and you want to be successful? Can you do that?

Well, yes. Here are a few tips to help…

1. Become a strategic thinker

First, learn to become a strategic thinker. Be more innovative and come up with great ideas for success.

For instance, consider the business model of Wikipedia, Uber, and Airbnb. These are creative business ideas that capture the market quickly and people love these ideas.

When you have the right idea, and you put in the work, it will work. I’m not saying that you don’t have to work hard when you have a good idea.

You will still need to pour in some real effort to make an idea work. The point is that when your idea is great, you greatly increase your chances of success.

2. Build a career out of your passion

Learn to channel your motivation to the right place. You can be someone lazy in math, but you can be extremely passionate about art.

You just need to learn to channel your energy and motivation from arts to the place where you want success.

For example, I have seen people who love to play computer games so much that they are willing to wake up early, skip dinner, and sacrifice their sleep time for it.

Meaning, they are extremely hard working when it comes to gaming but are lazy at other things.

This is what I mean when I said that you need to learn to channel your motivation correctly.

And one way how you can do so is to pursue your passion. I love the way how Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos put it:

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”

3. Know when to take a rest

Sometimes, it is not about working hard, it is about knowing when to take a rest and stop for reflection.

After Steve Jobs was fired from the very own company he started, he took a couple of months off. Eventually, he found that he still loved what he did, and he went on to start another company called NeXT Computer.

And then he bought Pixar and eventually went back to Apple as the CEO again. Jobs even said that being fired by Apple at that time was a good event because it made him someone better.

Therefore, know when to take a rest. You must learn to reflect and review your life.

This is why sometimes being lazy can be good. You get to slow down and experience life and understand yourself better.

4. Learn to play the game better than anyone else

If you know that you are someone lazy, but you want to win the game, then you must master the game and play it better than anyone else.

In his best-selling book, The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss said that he won the gold medal at the Chinese Kickboxing National Championships. He did it despite only gone through 4 weeks of training.

In the book, he said that he used the technical loophole to win the title. If one combatant fell off the elevated platform 3 times in a round, his opponent won by default.

Thus, Ferriss worked on this technical loophole and pushed his opponent off the stage and went home as a kickboxing champion.

It may seem like a glory victory, but he won nonetheless.

So, learn the rule of the game and play it better than anyone else. You can win even if you are not the most hard-working person.

5. Make the best use of technology

These days, you can become successful by leveraging on technology. Decades ago, hard work is compulsory if you want to achieve great success in life.

But today, you can leverage and build a 7-figure business out from the comfort of your home.

There are many bloggers and influencers who leverage the power of the technology and built a successful online business from their home.

Starting a business is much easier today than many years ago. You don’t have to rent a brick-and-mortar shop or office to run your business, you can do almost everything online these days.

Like running this blog. I’m making a side income from the advertisements and sales of my own product, Goal Setting Formula.

It may not be easy, anyone can do it. And it is not all about working hard, it is about working with the right system.

6. Hire great talents

Another reason why someone lazy can become successful is the use of talents. You can hire great talents to help you create the results you want.

Just how I built Goal Setting Formula’s website, I have no technical skills, so what I did is hire a freelancer to do it for me.

No matter how hardworking you are, you can’t do everything on your own. You need help and support from others.

In fact, if you try to do everything by yourself, you will end up wasting a lot of time and become unproductive.

If you want to grow your business, you should focus on doing work that will give you the most success, not on things like website design or administration works.

Thus, learn to hire great talents. It is alright if you don’t have much expertise, you can learn from others and hire others to do it for you.


I believe that laziness is something that all of us have experienced from time to time. There are times when we don’t have the motivation and we just want to do nothing. And there are also times when we are so driven, and we take massive actions throughout the day.

The key to success is to master your motivation, build productive habits, and learn to work on the right things.

You can be a lazy person, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be lazy forever.

So, don’t worry so much about being lazy. Instead, learn to understand yourself and focus on growing your abilities.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”

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  1. This is an interesting article.

    I have done a small piece of research on this very topic. My findings were quite similar to this article.

    Something that I would like to add here is that often times people who are ill with a mental health illness may appear to also be lazy. However, many times their levels of motivation toward their passions can be trapped inside of a mind that is struggling to make sense of what is happening inside of itself. When they reach out into the world seeking their passions and their motivation toward those passions they see them moving farther and farther into the wrinkled matter around and in their mind.

    I ask you, Are they lazy?

    1. Hi Bren, that all depends on your definition of laziness, as I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Plus, everyone’s circumstances are different too, like what you said. But I believe that no matter the situation, making progress is key. Every big success starts with one small step, regardless of how small it is.. 🙂

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