I do not want to sound like I am preaching to you, but to start this important letter, I must ask you to please take note of the following verses from the Book of books:
“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.” – Solomon from Proverbs 21:25
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” – Solomon from Proverbs 13:4
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” – Solomon from Proverbs 10:4
Those old proverbs above are true, and you can see the truth of these verses all around you. Those who choose to be lazy and slothful with their lives usually end up poor and dependent upon others; while those who make up their minds to work diligently end up having the things that they need, and also many of the good things that they desire.
Based upon these truths, I want to strongly encourage you to be determined to not be a lazy person, but rather a person who will learn to love work, and one who will work consistently and diligently.
Now, how does a person become slothful and lazy in the first place?
First, a person can become lazy because it is a natural tendency of mankind to avoid work and that which is difficult or that which appears difficult. Unfortunately, it is a part of our sinful nature as human beings to be lazy.
Second, many young men today are raised to be lazy — not intentionally, I am sure, but the result is the same. Well-meaning parents who attempt to give their dear children “a better life than they had” have a tendency to not teach their children the value and importance of hard work and labor and the proverbial “value of a dollar.” These dear, well-meaning parents, have a tendency to just give the child everything he wants without that child working for anything and earning it the “old fashioned way.” Therefore, the poor child grows up to be a man with the pitiful notion in his mind that the world owes him something for free. And in real life, it doesn’t work that way.
I believe a third reason why so many young men become lazy is because of their addiction to television and this new thing called the video game. Too many of our young black men spend too much time before the television set watching others do their thing and make their money, while they do nothing. On top of that, much television watching gives young men a warped sense of what real life is about. Most of television is fiction and we cannot continue to live fiction lives in a non-fiction world. Get this: TV is not reality! TV is not reality! TV is not reality! Even “reality TV” is not reality! Please stop watching others accomplish things and accomplish something yourself.
Here are some good ways that you can break the slothfulness habit if you struggle with this universal problem.
1. Sit down and define what you are about and what it is you would like to accomplish in life. Set specific goals and pursue them.
2. Make up a time schedule and plan how you will achieve your goals. And then pursue them like a mad man.
3. Be determined with the tenacity of a Bulldog, that you will not let anyone or anything get in your way of doing what you know you ought to do.
4. Get into the habit of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Most people can accomplish more in a given day simply by getting up by 5:00 a.m. as opposed to 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. Try it before you think I am nuts.
5. Work your plan! Work your plan! Work your plan! And work it daily. Never, never quit no matter what happens.
Dear brother, if you desire a college education, then you will have to work for it. If you desire to start a business, then you will have to work for it. If you desire to write a book, you will have to work. If you desire the “finer things in life,” you will have to work for them. Hard work pays great dividends. As Saint Paul said:
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” – II Thessalonians 3:10
Now, that’s serious.
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
“When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.” – Unknown
“The secret to success is to learn to accept the impossible, to do without the indispensable, and to bear the intolerable.” – Nelson Mandela
“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets as Raphael painted pictures, sweep streets as Michelangelo carved marble, sweep streets as Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” – Thomas A. Edison
This chapter is an excerpt from my book, Letters to Young Black Men. Click here to find out more or to purchase the book online.