I can choose between two options, A and B, that are about equally beneficial. However, B requires me to take some action, while A will happen by itself if I don't take any action. Therefore, in my opinion, A is the easier choice, as it requires no action on my part.

Is there some sort of idiom, expression or "law" that fits this description?
Is there some common phrase describing that status quo is easier, and therefore a more natural choice, than doing something to make change? Something like that?

I can only think of variants of "Doing something is better than doing nothing at all", but this is the opposite of my take here, and not really suitable for this situation either, I feel, as that would be more suitable to a bad situation you're trying to get out of.

  • .Inertia rules! May 23, 2022 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


Take the path of least resistance. It even has its own Wikipedia page!

The physical or metaphorical pathway that provides the least resistance to forward motion by a given object or entity, among a set of choices. The concept is often used to describe why an object or entity takes a given path.

Singer Lee Ann Womack, here in I Hope You Dance, uses the expression to say Never settle for the path of least resistance = Don't take the lazy way, the easy way out.


At least five possibilities come to mind. Whether they fit your specification exactly or not depends on context or circumstance.

If you do not wish to interfere with the course of events, you may
Leave things as they are

If you see the consequences of doing nothing as inevitable, you may
Go with the flow

If you go with the flow, you let things happen or let other people tell you what to do, rather than trying to control what happens yourself.

If you just want to ignore the possibility of B and let things happen with no interference, you may
Let it ride

Merriam Webster
let (something) ride, informal
to allow (something) to go unnoticed : to ignore (something)

If you consider taking the action B to be undesirable or in some way bad for you (perhaps it requires effort, or inconveniences you), then you might:
Let sleeping dogs lie

said to warn someone that they should not talk about a bad situation that most people have forgotten about

{The fifth possibility of taking the path of least resistance is well covered by another answer.}

Although not providing a usable idiom, at the philosophical level you may be interested in the Chinese concept of Wu Wei.


Wu wei (Chinese: 無為; pinyin: wúwéi) is an ancient Chinese concept literally meaning "inexertion", "inaction", or "effortless action"[a].[1][2] Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period, and from Confucianism, to become an important concept in Chinese statecraft and Taoism, and was most commonly used to refer to an ideal form of government,[3] including the behavior of the emperor. Describing a state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir-faire, it generally also more properly denotes a state of spirit or mind, and in Confucianism accords with conventional morality. Sinologist Jean François Billeter describes it as a "state of perfect knowledge of the reality of the situation, perfect efficaciousness and the realization of a perfect economy of energy", which in practice Edward Slingerland qualifies as a "set of ('transformed') dispositions (including physical bearing)

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