Being smart about when to be diligent

This is an interesting refinement on my laziness vs. diligence argument a while back. The danger is that it just becomes a slightly more clever way to reinforce the Protestant ethic Properly interpreted, however, Ballard provides a logic for making diligence pay off in compound interest terms.

Let’s all get lazy

If you want to be lazy over a lifetime, work harder in high school, college or grad school. That’s the message from Stanton Ballard, geologist, geophysicist and inventor of “Mr. Ballard’s Lazy Lecture.”

Ballard’s view is, work hard now for a good job later that will earn you twice as much money, working half the time. If you take the lazy route in high school, you’ll work all your life for half the money in a job you don’t even like. “Work hard now, goof off later,” says Ballard, who has a doctorate and knows whereof he speaks. Stan and his wife, Trish, worked their assignments off for a major oil company so they could later exit the corporate world and focus on school activities with their two sons.


[via Michell Medley in Worth Magazine]

The focus in Medley’s piece is on diligence in high school, but the argument is applicable more broadly.

One thought on “Being smart about when to be diligent”

  1. dear sir , i agree with your statement, “work hard now , goof off later”, but how do i get my 14 year old son to understand this. he’s failing school miserably and it’s down to his lazy attitude. I need help

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