Slow and Steady: How to Be Idle

There’s a lot to be said for expediency and immediacy. After all, we live in a fast-paced world, where everything is viewed and consumed in a flash. And the result is often information overload. The inability to keep up can affect us in ways that are more wide-reaching than simply FOMO when it comes to the latest tweet or buzz-worthy bit of news. It can affect our feelings of self-worth, too. After all, the break-neck speed at which we lead our lives can become impossible to maintain. 

This fear of not being in-the-know, which is also a fear of being excluded, takes its toll. That’s why the solution may just be learning how to be more…idle! In How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto, Tom Hodgkinson explores more ways to be more mindfully still. Letting go of things that weigh down on us on a daily basis — stress, insecurities, jealousies, feelings of inadequacy, and more — can be the way to one’s enlightenment. This idea is, in many ways, in line with current popular mindfulness trends, and it even nods to Buddhism. The concepts of being at peace with the wholeness of one’s self, working to silence the surrounding chatter, and growing as a result are all crucial skills that many of us overlook in this hectic day and age. 

In addition to being a fun and leisure-loving manifesto, it’s also a call to action for all of us: How do we make our days fulfilling and more enjoyable on our own terms? Instead of spending our days enslaved to the expectations of others, perhaps there’s something refreshing in figuring out a way to live for ourselves, without the pressures of external expectations weighing us down or putting unreasonable demands on us. We may just find that by marching to the beat of our own drum, we can actually improve our own well-being.