Life sure seems hard. A full-on race to craft the perfect Insta existence, every hour spent chasing engagement (whatever that really equates to).
And how about 996? The crazy idea that you need to work 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week just to become a productive and successful member of our brave new world.
Except that is mostly bullshit. The modern version of aspirational-living is mostly a dishonest creation by brands – and their marketing agencies – for many it’s a downwards elevator into mental-health issues and debt. The emerging tech world might have promoted the geek for now, but that doesn’t mean everyone should have the graft like crazy at everything they do. Spending every waking hour aspiring to be a minted influencer has as much chance of life-long success and happiness as making it big in the music business. And, much like the music business, stuff like this goes in cycles.
In the 80s and 90s we idolised the slackers, Ferris taking a day off, and flat monotone actors. They *were* ultimately cool not by what they did but who they were. Trying hard was not cool, nor did they didn’t look to monetise their existence. They sure didn’t do half bad in life (as well as in the movies).
Being a slacker ain’t lazy nor does it lack ambition. In fact, it’s about being selective over what you do and avoiding life’s shotgun existence. A good slacker is ultimately the personification of less is more. A really great slacker needs to know exactly what the right level of effort is and knows when to stop. The chilled Swedes call it Lagom.
Sure, grinding your way up the self-obsessed social/work staircase might look a simple option (sic) and usefully requires little talent or imagination. However, the cleverest amongst us aspire to play the game with the least amount of effort. History and a maturing and suspicious Gen-Z will eventually revolt and the natural order will go full cycle – and the slacker will once again be on top.
We’ll all take a deserved breath and look back in wonder – what exactly were we trying to achieve?