Hey, peeps. Speaking of peeps, if you like those weird marshmallow sugar bird things that appear around this time year, we can never be friends. Well, Joanna just told me that she likes them so I guess I have to retract that statement. But seriously? Peeps?
Joanna and I are playing catch up on a few things this week that we’ve been meaning to do for months. Oil change, DMV registration, inbox zero, replacing a dead Vespa battery, and taking our final rock climbing class. I’m a to-do list kinda guy, so a week like this one makes me really happy.
Since we’re high on productivity but low on time, I thought I’d post a video I found super interesting. It’s 15 minutes long, but if you’ve got the time, it’s worth every minute.
If you don’t have the time, here’s the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) summary: there’s a guy nicknamed “Slomo” who rollerblades up and down Pacific Beach every day. A lot of people assume he’s homeless or a panhandler or just straight up fried. The truth is, Slomo is a retired neurologist/psychiatrist. For the better part of his life, he was caught in the rat race at a job he hated with lots of material possessions that didn’t make him happy. So one day, after a strange medical condition had finally inhibited his ability to do his medical job well, he said screw it. And so now he rollerblades. Every day. Because he wants to.
The cynical way to look at this is that it takes earning tons of money doing something you hate in order to do what you want later. The way I’m choosing to look at his story is figuring out what happiness looks like now, what it’ll require to make it happen, and then doing what it takes to make it a reality within the next 5-10 years. Wishful thinking? Maybe. Naive? No way. Success isn’t a “safe” corporate-ladder position. Success isn’t a six-figure salary. Had Slomo realized that his “success” was living off $30,000-$50,000/year to pay for rent, food, and a few pairs of rollerblades each year, I’m sure he’d have gladly hung up his lab coat a lot sooner.
This topic of financial independence and the pursuit of happiness has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been reading The $100 Startup and The 4-Hour Workweek off and on for the last two months. Check out the summaries on the links. I’m skeptical of quite a bit of the advice and promised outcomes, but I think their main premise is sound: you should spend most of your life doing the things you love to do. Everyone can be Slomo. But few will be brave enough.
What’s your “Slomo” dream? What’s holding you back (besides money) from living it? What would be your “Hey, that guy looks like a homeless dude on rollerblades!” nickname be?