Josh Izenberg has made a great documentary about a fascinating man. Watch it … then come back here and share your thoughts if you want.
My own thoughts on Slomo …
Do What You Want To
It’s hard to watch Slomo and not immediately consider what you want to do yourself. Not in a grand, life goal sense, but rather in a day-to-day mundane sense. How do you want to spend days? Slomo wants to skate, so he skates.
I want to read and write, listen to and make music, and play complex immersive games (like Dungeons & Dragons). I want to spend time with my friends and family, and enjoy the good things in life.
What do you want to do?
The Middle Third Of Life
Sometimes I feel that middle third grind. Money comes in, money goes out. People want you to do things (things you’ve agreed to do), but you’re not always in the mood.
There’s a middle way though, between dropping out and grinding away. To walk that path you have to be willing to sometimes put your own priorities ahead of what other people want from you, even if you love those people and want to make them happy. You can’t be a pleaser all the time and still do what you want.
“Not Becoming An Asshole”
It’s a good goal. It’s a good way to evaluate yourself, spiritually. Are you an asshole? Are you kind to other other human beings and animals, most of the time? Or are you so far up your own ass in the pursuit of money, power, and status, that you are in fact an asshole? Or maybe you’re an asshole because you’re tired of shoveling shit, and you need a break.
The easiest way to not be an asshole is do to what you want, more of the time. This will give you a sense of control, and you’ll be happier, and it will be easier to be kind to other human beings because you’ll be in a better mood.
Do You Have to “Escape”?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. I don’t know how restrictive your life is. But what would happen if you just started doing what you wanted to, one hour a day? What if you did exactly what you wanted to for two hours a day? Would your friends and family or boss freak out? Would they find that threatening? Maybe they’d be cool with it. Maybe they want you to be happier. Maybe being happier would actually make you more productive and effective and better able to fulfill your responsibilities to your employer/clients/family/friends/country/planet.
Is It Selfish?
Society wouldn’t work if everyone skated the boardwalk all day (you at least need some workers designing and manufacturing rollerblades, right?). But Slomo worked hard for a few decades before dropping out. He chose not to maximize (his earnings, his status, his security). Choosing not to maximize is not selfish. It leaves some work undone for other people to do, and some rewards unclaimed for other people to claim.
Other people might be threatened if you do what you want most of the time. But if they’re smart, they’ll only feel threatened for about ten minutes (when they realize they can do the same).
If everyone in the world spent more time doing what they want and less time grinding, global GDP might drop. On the other hand, with more people dedicating time to rest, relaxation, entertainment, love, creative pursuits, research, exercise, sports, games, tinkering, hobbies, and doing nothing in particular, we’d all be happier, healthier, and the geniuses out there would get more opportunities to create great works of art, invent clever objects and systems, and make brilliant discoveries.
Less maximizing = more optimizing (of human consciousness and potential).
The Inner Ear
Interesting theory about lateral motion. When I produce dance music I move. I know quite a few people whose lives have been transformed by movement (dance, surfing, skating, whatever). Depression gone. Hundreds of pounds lost. That kind of thing. Maybe there’s something to Slomo’s lateral motion theory.
Your thoughts? Please comment below!