Let’s face facts: You’re lazy
- You watch tv instead of tackling that pile of dirty laundry.
- You surf the net instead of getting some exercise.
- You play video games instead of preparing a healthy meal for tomorrow’s lunch
And you’re not alone. Even me…Mr. Health Habits can be a lazy couch potato (usually during NFL Sunday afternoons).
But, what if I told you that waaaayyyyyy down deep in your primal DNA, you actually hate being lazy and instead you crave activity.
What if I told you that for each & every one of us….busyness = happyness….Would you believe me?
Would you believe these scientists when they hypothesize that:
- People dread idleness and desire busyness, but
- Without a reason to get busy, we revert to laziness.
- After leaving their belongings (e.g., cell phones, books) with the experimenter, participants were given the first survey.
- Upon finishing the survey, they were told that the second survey would not be ready for another 15 min and that they were to drop their completed first survey at a designated location during the waiting period.
- There were two such locations, one nearby (right outside the room) and the other far away (a 12- to 15-min round-trip walk).
- Participants could either deliver the survey to the nearby location and wait out the remaining time (the idle option) or deliver the survey to the faraway location, return, and then wait out the remaining time (the busy option).
- In both cases, they would receive a piece of candy when they dropped off the survey, as a token of appreciation.
- Some participants were told that the candy was the same in both locations while others were told that there were 2 different types of candy and that they would be chosen at random.
- In the “same candy” group, most participants were lazy and chose the closer location
- However, in the “random candy” group, more participants chose the faraway or “busy” location
The potential of a “better” candy was enough of an incentive to convince the participants to reject the “lazy” option and to choose the “busy” option.
- We’re happier when we are busy
- We’re less happy when we are lazy
- And yet, without a “reason”, we choose laziness over busyness.
As if being happy wasn’t enough of a reason.