Below is a chapter from my recently published book, “Money Proverbs: 9 Principles for Earning, Saving and Giving Your Way to Wealth”. If you like my work, feel free to pick up a copy at Amazon or on iBooks.
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
As mentioned earlier, wealth is not about how much you make, rather it’s about how much you keep. The key here is that it is a very intentional progress. Have you ever met a person who got wealthy by accident? Me neither. Wealth that lasts is built diligently. Laziness brings the opposite effect.
Two Types of Laziness
With the initial reading of this proverb, the principle is pretty clear—don’t be lazy. And I am sure most of us would not consider ourselves lazy people. However, if we dig deeper, I would argue that there are two types of laziness. One type involves individuals who don’t want to work at all. The other type includes folks who do work, but they go about their work in a careless way.
Some people just don’t want to work. For these people, two options lay before them: work or chill. They decide to chill. But the decision is less about not working, and more about enjoying relaxation. From their perspective, they put a higher value on relaxing than working toward their goals. We all know people like this. I would define this as overt laziness.
I find myself in this group, more often than I would like. These people work, but they do the bare minimum. There is no effort, passion or creativity in their work. Usually, these individuals deliver mediocre work. Yes, the task was completed, but it is far from being presentable.
How Does Laziness Creep Into The Management Of Our Finances?
I have never met a person who said they want to stay broke or remain in debt. However, I do see people making decisions that will ultimately keep them broke or in debt. Why? Because when you are in debt or broke for so long, you can get used to it and it becomes comfortable.
“So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, kick back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty will be your permanent houseguest!” (Proverbs 6:9-11, The Message)
It is comfortable to add more debt on top of an already large pile of student loans. It is comfortable eating out instead of cooking at home. It is comfortable using the same car insurance you’ve had for years instead of shopping around for a better rate.
Combat Laziness with Diligence
Diligence is defined as a “constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken.” Diligence is uncomfortable. It takes effort and consistency. When I desired to get my finances in order, I had to decide to be disciplined with managing my money. A collection of small daily decisions will eventually build into wealth.