My Single Greatest Obstacle to Success!

March 25, 2015 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

TODAY there is one single greatest obstacle to my success in lifeI CAN GET STUCK IN A LAZY RUT!!!

Before I semi-retired in 2010, or so, I was way too busy to be lazy. I had too much to do: my job (25 hrs per wk), coaching baseball (25 hrs per wk), volunteering at church, cooking for the family, devoting time to my wife and son (other than baseball)… the list goes on.

Then I slowed down… a lot: very little work, no baseball, my wife was working 50-60 hours per week, my son lived out of state… I had nothing to do. Worse, I was just too “stuck in a lazy rut” to find something to do. I didn’t even read. Get this: I stopped painting because I was too lazy to change my clothes. LOL!!!

I think I felt that if I wasn’t doing something really productive it wasn’t worth doing at all. Nothing was worth doing! I’m not sure what filled my days. I just didn’t feel like doing anything, except going to movies. I saw almost every movie that was out in those days.

So I sat around and whined about not having anything to do. I know, wah, wah, wah.

Now I KNOW my story isn’t just for me and the retired. I think there are a whole bunch of us who have “ruts” as part of our genetic make-up, no matter what our age is. We procrastinate, we make excuses, we whine (oh do we whine), we blame, and then we even find “legitimate” reasons to be lazy. Yikes!!

What a bunch of losers? Or are we? Maybe we’re not lazy; maybe we’re afraid; or, maybe we simply can’t think of anything to do. But when we do think of something, we get too lazy to start it. A crazy downward-spiraling cycle.


I decided I had to do something—anything—that meant something. I had to do some good for others and myself. So here’s what I did…

  1. I devoted several hours to writing a “2014 4th Quarter Mission,” with goals and activities. I even highlighted the things I wanted to accomplish in 2015 and then created a system to hold myself accountable. (BTW: I will be offering this system on my website.)
  2. I started this blog and website.
  3. I landed a coaching gig with an unusually fascinating company, coaching 7 influential leaders.
  4. I started being forcefully proactive about my abstract painting. I forced myself to get back to what was once one of my favorite things to do. It’s so rewarding.
  5. I started paying more attention to the needs of my wife. I want to be a good husband.
  6. I forced myself to start reading again.
  7. I re-kindled meaningful friendships and started meeting with them regularly.
  8. I still go to a lot of movies.

Please notice one thing: I FORCED MYSELF. Sometimes that’s what is required. It’s a matter of will. Just DO what you know you need to do. Don’t let your demons get the best of you. It’s a gargantuan effort!


You know the hardest thing to do to defeat “a stuck lazy rut?” You have to simply quit being lazy and start doing something that means something to you. You have to FORCE yourself to “just do it.”


  1. No matter whether you’re 20 or 80, write one paragraph stating what you want people to say about you when you die. (I know, uck!) But it’s very important. This will become your temporary Mission Statement.
  1. Create a list of only 3 things you need to do to make your mission come true.
  1. Now the obvious. FORCE yourself to take one step at a time. Begin with just one action. A helpful trick is to write the action down and think of situations where you will use it during the week.
  1. On Sunday night or Monday morning create a schedule for the week–include movies and be sure to include free time, if you can. You need to rest. Or should I say: SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO BE LAZY!

Maybe it’s lazy; maybe it’s fear; maybe it’s something else altogether. I do know this: there just are times when I need to be radically proactive and force myself to be productive. Because if I don’t, I can be really good at being busy doing nothing.

On occasion laziness is really good for me. But when it becomes my life-style, I’m in trouble.

So what about you? How have you overcome laziness? Send a comment. I’d love to hear your personal antidotes for serial “lazy ruts.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Next Chapter Podcast
Living a life of meaning Living a life with adventure Living a life with awe