If I’m totally reflective, I’d snooze my life away in a hammock while waves lap gently against the beach just within earshot over the control of a successful business empire every single day of the week.
This understanding of myself is something that I tend not to shout about because few people in the western world admire you for having lesser ambitions than a hobo. But you’ve got to tell yourself the truth, right? I’m a spiritual Jeff Lebowski despite that I recognise his many failings.
This point was proved to me again recently when I listened to a friend’s plans to build a global business over the next 30 years and all I could think of was the word ‘exhausting’, reminding me as if I needed it, that I’m a wannabe slacker.
I wasn’t always this way. One of the advantages of growing older is that I’ve gained the ability to not take myself very seriously any more. I like me quite a lot and don’t feel the need to constantly bait myself like a chained bear to be better at everything I set my hand to. In many instances, I’m perfectly happy not to be very good at all. Not all challenges are created equal.
I’m aware however that in an odd sort of way, my ambition to be a slacker is even harder to achieve than my friend’s ambition to own a very substantial chunk of Wall Street. The simple reason is that his ambition leads him towards constant action whereas mine, by its very nature, does not. And ironically, he’s got a better chance of a life in a hammock bought by his successes in business than I have simply because thinking up ways to fund my hammock seems to defeat the object.
But that right there is one of the greatest paradoxes of the world humans have built. Those who can afford to lie around and snooze rarely want to. Those who want to, can rarely afford to. And all of it is self-inflicted.