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Ask Dr. Elaine: Motivation & Laziness

20 May 2018  

Are you lazy, or just not motivated? What’s the difference?

In this column, Dr. Elaine Kissel answers your questions; helping to provide understanding and insight into a variety of topics, such as addictions, self-improvement, depression and much more. You can send in your questions to

Q. I'm being told I'm lazy because I don't feel like doing anything to make changes in my negative behaviors, for example, eat better, and I should exercise, do more to pursue my career goals. What's the difference between being lazy and not being motivated?

A. Motivation is the energy of incentive, that's the mental function or instinct that produces and sustains and regulates behaviors, driving a person towards a goal. Its the desire; desire is the emotional need that causes people to seek the satisfaction of achieving a goal. It is a sense of purpose, a need combined with desire.

Laziness is being idle, even indolent, inert, sluggish, even torpid. It certainty can be caused by lack of motivation. So many issues underlie a person's inability to move towards a goal or overcome inertia. Sometimes its simply lack of energy, either psychic or bio-physical, and those can be caused by many health or psychological problems.

Criticism or judgement or persuasion by others will never get you to or keep you moving. If anything they can cause resistance to change. Asking a person “why” they don't get going can also be ineffective because the individual themselves may not know for sure the answer to that. Gentle encouragement will work better, however, its seldom enough.

Not knowing you personally I cannot explain your situation or what is causing it. I suggest you have a thorough medical check up and find out if there is anything within your bio-physiological system that needs attention and adjustment. And also working with a well qualified expert to seek the underlying causes of your inertia would be advisable. I have helped many people through hypnosis discover the causes of their lack of motivation or so called laziness. At times its depression, or lack of confidence. What ever it is those issues need to be resolved on the deepest levels of mind in order to enable a person to take the necessary actions for self actualization and fulfillment.

Dr. Elaine Kissel