Whoa, boy, whoa. You ever meet people who can’t seem to relax? You engage them in a simple conversation, and it seems as if they take a harmless discussion as a challenge to their intellect. They are rarin’ to go. Whoa, dude, I am not trying to pierce your leather here, you think to yourself. Take it easy, have another drink ― no, I don’t think you are an alcoholic! Everything cool? Just relax. Everything’s cool, believe me. Breathe, just breathe . . . slow down, or you’ll die in a fit of apoplexy.
I once read about a famous guitar player who said that his style was mainly shaped by the little tricks he used to conceal his deficiencies as a player. I thought: wow, cool, at last, someone who admits it! We are all shaped by the effort to conceal our deficiencies. We are all lazy fuck-ups, and we are all trying as hard as we can to conceal it, and this dude, hey, he said it straight out. Kudos to you, man.
I wonder what would happen if we would all do that. Just admit that we are fuck-ups, and be done with it. The world would certainly be a more relaxed place. But, on the other hand, the effort of concealing our laziness and incompetence certainly drives us forward. In trying to appear as if we knew what the hell we are doing, we do in fact do more than we otherwise would.
Little tricks that keep the world going. Like appearing busy at work when the boss comes by, when you, in fact, have been ignoring the assignment lying on the table the last three hours. What have you been doing those last three hours? God only knows, you certainly don’t, but the fact is you’ve oiled the wheels just by pretending to do something. You may have actually done something more important in that time, without even noticing it. You’ve coasted along, you’re on the road to nowhere, and along the way you may have discovered wonderful and important things.
I am not kidding here. In compensating for your incompetence, you will discover the things you are really competent at. Perhaps you will only discover that you are really good at concealing your incompetence. You incompetent fuck. But most likely you will be doing something that really interests you, and that is the path to… something. It certainly isn’t the path to efficiency, or any of that shit. Efficiency is another word for unhappiness, take it from a very efficient person. My boss likes me for my efficiency, and when I take two seconds to think about it, that makes me wonder what I am doing wrong.
If it sounds like I am making a plea for laziness here, you have understood me perfectly. People say necessity is the mother of invention… bullshit. Laziness. That is what makes people inventive. Inventing little tricks to make it easier to live: that is the main characteristic of the human animal. Apart from mulishness, that is.