Sloth is inspiration upon which you do not execute. It is the book idea that you do not make into a book. It is the project idea that you do not make into reality, or which you leave a poorly executed reality. It is the word of kindness that you mean to say to another that you never get around to saying.
Sloth is having a hard time honestly answering the question “Do you really not have enough time in the day for that which matters most, or is the truth that you previously, until now, just had a hard time being obedient to that which matters most?”
There’s always enough time in the day for that which matters most.
Many people walk through life slouched over and breathing shallowly. If I hold your head underwater for ten seconds, you will prioritize deep breathing and upright posture, no matter how busy you previously thought you were.
Sloth is the website you wanted to launch. It is the phone call you wanted to make. Shoulda woulda coulda. Sloth is the doing of what is easy, instead of the doing of what is better. It is the doing of what is habitual, instead of the doing of what is excellent. Sloth is going to your job and working hard every day when something better is intended for you. Yes, even hard work may be sloth. Sloth is avoiding the uncomfortable, greater benefit in exchange for the more comfortable, lower benefit.
Act now upon your inspiration. Follow it to completion.
Take too long to act upon inspiration and the demonic will always give you reasons not to do that which is inspired, brilliant, and right. Time is not your friend. Obedience to that urging in you — an urging which is so full of discernment and wisdom — obedience to that urging is your friend. Instantaneous, unflinching obedience to that urging is all the better.
With a little discernment, you know what action is right for you and which action is not. It doesn’t take ten days to answer that question, nor ten hours. It takes less than ten minutes to know such a thing. And if you are practiced, it takes less than ten seconds. You know what is good for you and what isn’t. You know what is right to add to your plate and what isn’t.
Those decisions do not need to be perfect, either. We are entitled to mistakes.
Take a hard look at your priorities, and time for what matters appears. It may happen painstakingly, at first. Just like any other activity, there may be a learning curve. There’s always time for what matters. The more you practice that discernment, the more easy the execution of it becomes.
There was a time in recent human history in which no such thing as a couch was known. Nothing like a “lazy” boy overstuffed recliner with a drink holder and remote control pouch existed. All face-to-face human communication was able to interact with you.
Now we stare someone in the face on a TV and we receive, rather than interact. We are made into an audience member rather than the main participant in the story. Life is our story. Entertainment is a poor substitute.
Hours of entertainment a day are consumed by many. Modernity likes that. It’s all so normal in the modern world to escape from life through entertainment. That’s proof of living a dismal life. Applying a band-aid to that life through daily entertainment is no help to you. No one who lives a life filled with purpose needs even a moment of entertainment. Don’t spend your time on the latest entertainment, invest your time into making the hard decisions that make life less slothful, and instead more filled with the best life can offer ourselves and those around us. Live that life and all forms of diversion suddenly become boring, even for those once addicted to diversion rather than invested in the value of every moment of life.
We call the people we watch on TV “actors,” when it is we who are the actors in our lives. They aren’t actors. They are play actors. They play act. We’ve lost the word “play” in what they do and now we use this supremely important word to describe the silliness they do.
Actor: he who initiates purposeful behavior upon the world around him. There was a time before a comfortable chair, tantalizing food, a light buzz, and some quality entertainment was the whole goal of the day. It’s a distraction from life. It’s a distraction from action. It’s not life. It’s procrastination. Your every action matters. This moment needs you. A moment that is not filled with the most meaningful action you can take is a wasted moment. That moment is sloth.
No one is perfect. No one does that all the time, but that goal should be a goal that can be agreed to and which is strived after.
Everyone around us is so supremely busy, busier than any time in the history of humanity. But it is all almost entirely sloth. It takes a hard, sober look in order for a day to be filled with that which is not sloth.
Since I speak to lions when I write in these pages, I need not mince my words, I need not speak about rudimentary matters. You know what things in your life you are avoiding and which need doing. Fill your day with the most important. Excise all which is not the most important.
I love writing. I love communicating to my audience. I love my videos at RealStevo.com. I believe I change people’s lives with them. I love the interviews I do in the media. I love the classes I teach. I love the workshops I run. I work hard at bringing passion and quality to what I do.
BUT…Too much of even the most educational online writing and videos is bad for you. I’d rather you walk away right now and go tend to that more important thing in your life than to finish reading this piece of writing, unless, of course, this is the most edifying thing you can be doing at this moment.
I know the benefit of my writing in the lives of some. I know also the ease with which one may convince oneself that reading is action. Reading is not action. Studying is not action. It may be preparation for action, but without ultimate action — like in the ten minutes after the study session is complete — the study is relatively meaningless and can easily rise to the level of mental masturbation.
Mental masturbation too is a useful phrase, an accurate one. Like the lazy boy — mental stimulation, epicurean stimulation, sexual stimulation, chemical stimulation, emotional stimulation, and lots of other types of stimulation are all truly blessings and can be used for joy, and can also so easily be used in a way that is slothful, in a way that crosses a line and becomes a distraction from that which is far more beneficial to you.
If you’re spending more than 8 minutes a day in front of a screen taking in content for every hour a day you are acting, you are probably taking in too much content. You are probably being slothful.
Reading is not action. It is procrastination. Watching YouTube videos is not action. It is procrastination. Doing mediocre tasks with mediocre outcomes and excelling at them, that too can be procrastination when soaring excellence is what is meant for you.
You probably know exactly what I mean. You probably know exactly those things that you are being neglectful about. You probably know exactly those things that you are not getting around to. You probably know exactly those things that are blessings in your life that you are not harvesting. You probably know the opportunities you aren’t seizing, the inspiration you aren’t acting upon, the open doors you aren’t walking through, the most important projects you aren’t following through on and driving them all the way to the completion they deserve.
You probably know where you are choosing the mediocre over the excellent. I don’t have to tell you that. You know it all to well. Thankfully, it probably nags at you.
But I might have to tell you that as hard as you may be working, if you are ignoring the more excellent work, you are being slothful.
Staying busy is not enough. Working hard is not enough. Doing the best that is intended for you on your walk through this earth is the goal.
Sloth is the leaving of wheat in the field unharvested.
Harvest your wheat. Do it today. Do it now. The world needs that of you. You deserve that of yourself. Dream bodacious goals and be the highest caliber you that you can be.
I wrote “Face Masks in One Lesson,” alongside several hundred readers of LewRockwell.com throughout the spring and summer of 2020. We sent emails back and forth about how to never wear a mask again. We all realized masking was a slothful behavior in our own lives. Acquiescing to the mask was disinterest in doing the hard thing in the near term. The book came from us saying that we would never wear a mask again. Much of my LewRockwell.com writing comes out of the same passion. My videos at RealStevo.com do as well. These are useful tools for you, but what they all ultimately come down to is you demanding to live life to a higher standard and to say “No!” to that unsafe, ineffective, experimental mask, while saying “Yes!” to a more amazing life.