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High Performance, Laziness And Idleness

“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention.

Invention, in my opinion, arises from idleness,

possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.”

– Agatha Christie

During the pandemic I witnessed first-hand leaders innovating at a dramatically increased scale. Why? Because there was a very real and present danger, which threatened the survival of many businesses.

I innovated within my own business and tried many new things – because I had to.

So on one level I disagree with Agatha.

But on another I completely agree with her, because I have also innovated to save myself a lot of trouble and time and I have experienced first-hand the incredible ideas that can and do emerge from idleness.

Busy, ambitious people often have a real challenge being idle.

They don’t realise that they have conditioned their minds to move continuously to keep busy and without knowing it, this very conditioning is blocking their own evolution and perhaps that of their work.


If they can push through the initial ‘idleness resistance’ they will move into something incredible – free-flow, easy thinking that connects with something deeper. And this connection enables eureka moments.

The kind of moments that deliver breakthrough ideas, solutions and game changer inventions – personal as well as professional.

So here’s one idea for you this week:

Deliberately build ‘Idleness Time’ into your week.

I assure you that the organisations and high performers in any field that will be at the cutting edge in the future will be doing this exact thing. Why? Because it enables ‘higher level thinking’.

So I still believe necessity is the mother of invention. And maybe the father is laziness and idleness. (Fitting that it’s the male part of the equation I hear TLJ* say…:) )



PS – Three ways you can tap into the leverage of idleness with me this year:

My Clarity Retreat in May (details in email last week and only 3 places left), my 3 day virtual program Sustainable High Performance, in June and The Thrive Experience in September.

*TLJ = My wife, The Lovely Judy.

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Latest Episode on The Inner Edge Podcast: The Most Valuable Human Ability

All episodes are between 10-15 minutes in length and the podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can listen on my website also.

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