Today, I discuss how to avoid incompetence by overcoming your laziness, entitlement, and self-delusion.

Table of Contents

What Is Incompetence?

be proactive | man walking up stairs

The more proactive you are at solving problems, the easier life becomes.

“Never attribute to malevolence what is merely due to incompetence” – Arthur C. Clarke

Incompetence is the “inability to do something successfully; ineptitude.”

Incompetence involves ignoring the severity of an issue while refusing to address it. If you are too lazy and self-deluded to act, then a problem festers until you can no longer ignore it.

For example, you’re driving. Then, a deer startles you. You swerve, but your vehicle hits a curb. You get out, investigate, and see nothing wrong. Calmed, you go about your day. However, a few weeks later, your wheel locks, and you have to go to a mechanic. The mechanic informs you the curb damage your car. He states you could have avoided a costly repair if you had come in earlier.

Mistakes and Ignorance Are Not Incompetence

no pity no shame | man covering face

You cannot know everything, and you will make mistakes. Do not pity or despise yourself.

You made a mistake by driving over the curb. You were not lazy or self-deluded when you tried to avoid the deer. Furthermore, you’re not well versed in cars. Your ignorance ensured you could not identify the problem. But, after the accident, the vehicle continued to rattle and run poorly. You, not wanting to pay money for mechanical work, tried to ignore the issue until the wheel locked. This incompetence created more stress and cost more money in the long-run.

In this scenario and others, you are not incompetent for mistakes or ignorance. You are incompetent for refusing to acknowledge and address present concerns.

You Don’t Have The Luxury of Incompetence

be responsible | man shaking head violently

People are miserable because they refuse to take responsibility for present problems and future concerns.

People are incompetent because they want to avoid current responsibilities. In the “now” they want pleasure, comfort, and enjoyment. However, life marches on. The savored treats turn into diabetes. The ignored car troubles turn into a costly bill. Promised social safety nets turn into predatory, unsustainable Ponzi schemes. Tomorrow always comes and reveals the foolishness of avoiding responsibility in the present.

You don’t have the luxury of incompetence if you are an individualist. An individualist is a virtuous individual. And a virtuous individual has too much courage to fear an issue and too much persistence to avoid providing solutions. If you wish to improve as an individual, virtue will undermine your laziness and self-delusion.

You Cannot Depend On The World Because There Are No Social Safety Nets

government will not save you | government building

Those in power are only interested in their power. Do not be incompetent. They will not save you when you need them.

“Waiting for an incompetent government to fix things is much like Waiting for Godot.” – C.A.A. Savastano

Additionally, you cannot depend on the world. An incompetent person sees the corruption of the state and still believes his social safety nets, fiat currency, and failing institutions will save him. We know better. Thus, you should address current issues right now without entanglements to corrupt individuals, failing states, or dishonest mobs. Once current issues are settled, you can focus on preparing your mind to face more problems in the future.

As I said, mistakes and ignorance are not examples of incompetence. You are not incompetent for being laid off. However, you are incompetent for refusing to set up a savings account. You are self-deluded if you believe, despite history and basic economics, you will always have a steady flow of income. Further, you are lazy for not creating a budget and absolving from certain expenses.

A lack of preparedness, a refusal to acknowledge life’s many dangers, and laziness create incompetent individuals who fail at the struggles of life.

How To Decrease Your Incompetence

incompetent people | protests

Weak individuals will never improve the world. They are too lazy, deluded, and self-centered. They remain pawns for the elites and ruling classes.

“I hate incompetence. I think it’s probably the only thing I do hate. But it didn’t make me want to rule people. Nor to teach them anything. It made me want to do my own work in my own way and let myself be torn to pieces if necessary.” – Ayn Rand

Weak individuals have the luxury of incompetence. They are irresponsible, parasitical, and entitled. Walking this path will make you dependent on apathetic elites and systems destined to fail.

If you are an individualist, here are a few ways to decrease your incompetence:

  • Understand there are no true “social” safety nets – You want to secure your future? Raise healthy children, build virtuous communities, and save your resources for rainy days. Welfare, social security, and other Ponzi schemes will trap you in perpetual dependency. Or, these schemes will fail to exist when you need them.
  • Take care of yourself through routine checksExercise, go to the doctor, go to the mechanic, talk to your old friends. If you are constantly checking on the health and wellbeing of your community, resources, and physical body, then disaster won’t surprise you.
  • Stop being lazy – We ignore the development of small dangers because of laziness. Remember, laziness is a subpar frame of mind. Thus, fight your laziness by setting clear goals and providing rewards when you accomplish them.
  • Avoid manipulative, evil people – One way to avoid incompetence with evil people is to reduce your vices. Manipulators can’t scam you if you are not greedy. Further, always have clear lines when associating with people. You should never let a cheat call you “friend” or know your personal life. Remember, not all manipulators are easy to spot, and they will fool you more than once. But you are incompetent if you don’t draw clear lines and distance yourself from obvious scams.

Remember, you are the master of your destiny. Embrace responsibility for yourself, and you’ll avoid being foolish with your life.

Reading List

  • Art of Manliness – AOM contains wisdom covering virtue, practical skills, and social skills. The lessons provided will help you develop into a smarter, more virtuous individual who can identify issues before they implode.
  • Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday explores the best ways to strengthen and callous your mind to the horrors and difficulties of the world. Stoicism offers the best towards accepting death and life struggles.
  • Atomic Habits – James Clear details the best ways to overcome bad habits and create good ones. Such knowledge can help you defeat your laziness and tear you away from your self-delusions.


  1. How do you define incompetence? Why? How does the definition apply to your behavior? What insight does the definition give to your behavior?
  2. When have you felt incompetent? What do you wish you could have or would have done differently?
  3. What is one goal you could accomplish today if you weren’t so lazy?
  4. What is one responsibility you keep pushing back?
  5. Are you prepared if you or someone you love suddenly died today? What is your strategy? Do you have life insurance? Money in the bank? What can you do to prepare?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.