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If you want to lose friends and alienate people, be lazy. It works whenever it’s tried.

Lazy people are undependable. If you send one to do an errand for you, there’s no telling when he will return. Worse still, he may never come back. Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t care nearly as much about your business as you do.

Have you had an employee who just didn’t give a rip whether your business succeeded so long as he could draw a paycheck? Maybe you never associated that with laziness before, but here it is. He brings pain to his employer because, like a wheelbarrow, he always has to be pushed to do things that someone who cared about his job would do without asking.

These folks’ greatest concern is the benefits package. Note he doesn’t plan to toil excessively to get paid. Just getting by is the modus operandi for him. If you were to ask if he is working hard or hardly working, my guess is the answer would be the latter.

The lazy person’s eye is always on the clock. When it strikes quitting time, he is out the door as fast as a bullet leaves a gun when the trigger is pulled. Perhaps this is the time when they move the fastest all day long. The only possible exception is the haste they make to get to work on time when they’ve left with only enough time to get there with no unexpected delays.

Have you ever worked with someone on a project and they gladly delegated their work to you? When the ball rolls to him, he is perpetually unprepared. What’s worse is, he doesn’t even seem to care. His reason for working is to pay the bills not build the organization he is involved in. If it should fall apart, he is caught by surprise.

Lazy people are chronic complainers. When you ask one of them how life is going, you may regret it. You’ll hear about how unfair the boss is, how he gives more hours to his personal favorites. He may whine about his office conditions being inadequate and the equipment being so old that even the dinosaurs forgot about it. If there is a reduction in his benefits, he will have to tell everyone he knows about that.

Laziness is an attitude. If you find yourself guilty of wallowing in your problems rather than looking for solutions, you should check your brain for signs of paralysis. If you find that your finger is sore from all the pointing you’ve done at others, spread Am I Depressed or Lazy out your palm. If your idea of fun is a pity party or a roast of the boss, you should get a hobby or find some people outside work to mix with.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Man, some of that stuff sounds like what I do sometimes. Is there hope for me?”

Yes. But change may not be easy. Facing the reality of your own behavior can be unpleasant sometimes. But if something is holding you back from being your best, wouldn’t you like to know about it?

I would. And yes, I’ve faced my share of ugly behavior. I’ve let fear keep me from doing lots of things I could have. When I was in high school, I had maybe one or two friends. And even those weren’t good close friends. The reason I didn’t have friends is because I let fear keep me from being one.

You don’t have to keep doing the same ineffective thing expecting different results. You can solve your problems.

Here’s how.

First, take a good look at your life. Is your conversation consumed with complaints? Do you care about your job even if you are making someone else rich? Will you steer your ship rather than just dog paddle to stay afloat?

There is a simple approach to beat the laziness out of you. And it will only work when you have the desire to do it. Others may have tried and failed. An addict cannot break free from the drugs without an overriding will to be clean. Rehabilitation cannot fix someone who won’t participate.