I have come to the conclusion that most of us men are lazy. I know I certainly am. Thankfully, it’s not always a bad thing. There are two very different forms of laziness. The first is what most people associate with being lazy: slow and inefficient. The other makes me think of something Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” I’m the latter one.
Men often confuse action with productivity. It’s never about how hard you work, or how many hours you put in, but what you get done.
In the early years of my marriage, back when I was an English teacher, I was constantly reminded of this by my wife who is one heck of an amazing woman. She’s intelligent, organized, hard-working, an amazing chef and she gets stuff done. There were times when she would ask me to prepare rice for our evening meal, vacuum or pick up something from the store, and I would forget.
Why? I suppose it’s the reason many men “forget.” We don’t place much value on such things. After all, vacuuming can wait, can’t it?
When it came to business, it was a different story altogether. I was known as someone who got things done. I was prepared. I organized my time well, and if we ran into trouble I could think on the fly. I was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
As I learned from my mentor, Jim Rohn, listening to his audio CDs over and over again, if you can’t handle the little things, you’ll never be able to handle the big things. There’s one thing he forgot though, it’s often the little things that people appreciate the most.
My wife appreciates me bringing home the bacon and taking care of our son, but those are a given. It’s the little things that don’t get done that often lead to the most contempt.
The truth is there is no reason why we couldn’t spend 20 minutes vacuuming, 10 minutes cleaning the bath or five minutes making the rice. And the last thing you want after a long day is to come home and find that your partner didn’t do them.
Don’t get me wrong, occasionally, we are really that busy. But most of the time, we simply chose to do something else, or neglected to do what we were asked (because we didn’t want to do it).
We love to use the “I-didn’t-have-time” excuse, or the “I-was-busy” line, as our get-out-of-jail-free card, but that doesn’t change the fact that things didn’t get done. Unless we have some fantastic news that will make up for our not doing what we were asked, there will be hell to pay.
In dealing with new clients, I often give them a few small, easy tasks that they need to do daily. Those that succeed are ready to make big changes in their lives because they have the get-it-done-no-matter-what attitude. Those that fail, need to understand why they are failing to implement simple changes, and just what a difference they are having in their lives before we can go any further.
To use a baseball metaphor, too many men want to hit home runs, and they forget about the bunts, the sacrifices, the stolen bases, the teamwork. Life is made up of lots of little things, and often times how we handle them will determine just how successful we become.