Look at this. A cute little cuddly furry animal in a tree. Aww.
But he’s not just any ordinary adorable mammal. No.
This is the sloth and he is the ultimate procrastin8r. He’s our spirit animal, our guide, the role model we set out to be. The sloth is Laziness at its core. He is the very definition of living an easy breezy life, free of worries or stress. To embrace true Laziness is to embrace your inner-sloth.
But what makes him such an idol? Why is the sloth able to put the PRO in procrastin8r?
Well, there are three main attributes that embody his very essence. He is Slow, Smooth, and Deliberate (SSD).
The first thing you think of when you think of the sloth is that he is a slow animal. He takes his time and gets things done...eventually. Eventually climbing to the top of the tree. Eventually reaching his goal. No rush. No hurry. Just a Slow climb to where he wants to go, and he always gets there...eventually.
He remains steady and level headed. He is Smooth and everything he does appears rather...effortless. He doesn’t try hard to eat leaves. He just...does it. Naturally. If predators come by, he stays calm. If it rains, he is completely unperturbed. Nothing really fazes him at all and he just does his own thing. Calmly, Smoothly. He takes the attitude of “Well that ain’t gonna bother me”.
And finally, the sloth does things deliberately. He acts. He doesn’t react. Every single move he makes is done with a purpose, a plan. He doesn’t rely on uncontrolled reflexes to deal with a situation. Instead he relies on careful thought out actions.
Last week, we of course talked all about the importance of being Slow and now we’re gonna dive into the second part of embracing your inner sloth in SSD theory: Being Smooth.
Don’t get overly excited or upset about anything. Keep your emotions in check. The sloth is not overly eager to eat leaves. He enjoys them, sure. But he’s not super passionate about doing it. He just likes it
Likewise, embrace the simple pleasure of things, but don’t go overboard emotionally. That’s not to say you’re a miserable fuck who doesn’t at all appreciate anything. You do. You’re just not easily impressed , that’s all.
Set the tone that people cans somewhat impress you, but not utterly stun you. It’s cool, but it’s whatever. It’s not that huge. They may pique your interest a bit but not completely floor you in awe.
Settle down your enthusiasm about things. You can show a slight smile and maybe chuckle a bit, but don’t be belting out a hardy laugh with a big bright smile. Be less reactive to stories and events. The sloth is not running around all hyped up and crazily excited, like a squirrel on caffeine; he’s just laid back and pretty apathetic.
Take the attitude as if you’ve seen it all, heard it all before. Take the attitude of “meh.” Nothing can fire you up too easily. It’s all whatever. Expect the unexpected and nothing can hit you unexpectedly.
The same goes for negative emotions too. You remain motionless, like the sloth, in times of strife. Motionless as in undisturbed, not fearful to move. You deliberately decide not to react in a harsh way. Your reaction time is Slow, as you choose the best way to respond.
If you get rejected, you don’t get all angsty and try to beg or plead or worse, try to insult the other person. Rejection doesn’t boil you up.
You may be a bit disappointed at worst, but you're never completely full of shock and chagrin.
Any sort of confrontational scenario doesn’t induce in you any sort of panic. You approach it with a sort of “Let’s see where this goes” attitude.
Insults, criticism, hate comments -- those are all things that simply don’t get under your skin.
Just like predators, our enemies are looking for reactive movements. Sloths survive because they don’t move and if they do, they do so very, very slowly. Predators which rely on movement to seek their prey literally just ignore them. So too will your enemies and haters.
Some people just want a reaction out of you, and if you don’t give them one, then they have nothing to “feed” off of.
You’re in a sense, just unaffected by emotions. That doesn’t mean you are emotionLESS. You feel emotions, but don’t let them decide how you make your move. You keep it smooth.
Does it look like the sloth is hustling and bustling or trying hard to do things? No, of course not. He’s out there climbing great heights and all along the way, he barely even tries. I mean think about it, it’s actually a lot of effort to climb up a freaking tree, but the sloth makes it look like what he’s doing is no big deal. He ain’t up their panting from lifting himself up nor shivering form a fear of heights. He’s all relaxed and at ease, despite how difficult the task at hand (climbing a tree in this case) might be.
Part of being Smooth is displaying a lack of effort. Things go your way and you barely lift a finger. You let your brain do the work for you and other people too for that matter.
It’s all about minimizing effort and maximizing results. You want to put in as little investment as possible (or at least the appearance of doing so) in order to yield the largest amount of investment from others in return. The person who seems to get a lot without giving much in return is the “cool” guy or gal. Ya know, the person who always just seems to get their way and doesn’t really “go out of his/her way” to do things..
The secret is, they are putting in effort. They are going out of their way (to climb a tree). They just don’t make it seem like it’s actually “out of the way”. They set the tone as if this is just the way they happen to be going. The slow n’ steady path they decided to take.
They’re not making it a public display of struggle or burden. See, the key is to not try to impress others. The more you try to make a good impression, the less impressive you’ll look.
The jester puts on a whole performance of juggling and slapstick humor to gain some sort of light clapping, but the king gains a massive applause just by standing up. That’s the perfect example of what it means to minimize effort and maximize results, what it means to be effortless.
Even if it is something actually difficult or something that does require a load of effort on your part (like if you are a king, you have to run a whole empire), you don’t let it shine through that you’re actually “trying”. Rather, you make it seem like it’s just happening.
No “try hard”
No desperate measures.
No large displays of affection (unless you receive that sort of thing in return).
You just...do it.
It’s quite cliche to say “be yourself”, like what does that even mean? I hate cliches. It’s like we have a set of phrases everyone regurgitates but no one really defines or clarifies.
Anyway, I think the idea behind that one is to be comfortable in your own bed, so to speak. Comfort is key. You’re comfortable doing your own thing, regardless of what other people say or think about you, regardless of expectations.
You don’t feel any pressure to live up to any sort of social norm. You abide by your own way.You’re comfortable holding an opinion that’s different. You’re comfortable making the first move.
You just feel like what you’re doing is so natural as a part of who you are, and it’ll come across that way. It’s not something you’re faking or putting on an act about. You’re just going with the flow.
The way you get to that level of naturalness is to eliminate any and all bullshit in your life. Quit bullshitting yourself. That’s how you “be yourself”.
Come to terms with your strengths, your flaws, your wants, your needs, your desires, no matter how bad, no matter how ugly, and express it with full and complete honesty.
The Sloth doesn’t try to act like he’s a swift little fox. Nah bro. He just accepts he’s slow as fuck and uses that to his advantage.
Ya gotta know how to flip your weaknesses into strengths and transform your strengths into something even more powerful. Use Laziness as your superpower.
You want to take the attitude of “I don’t need to impress you or anybody.” Don’t be approval-seeking or people pleasing.
Gaining approval is one of the most effortful tasks you can do and don’t even get me started on people pleasing. Look, if you treat someone else like a celebrity, they will treat you like a fan. Be a celebrity, or at least act like it. Act like you are important.
And that’s just the thing you have to believe --- that you ARE important. Not that you’re trying to be, not that you will be. You are. Right here, right now. In the present.
If you believe you are important and the things you do are important and the words you say are important, then you’re no longer out there “trying” to make a name for yourself. You just, well, for lack of a better phrase…be yourself.
Having a lack of reaction is actually stronger than one that is boisterous and demanding. A person who yells and screams, using intimidation to get his way, is actually not that in control. The boyfriend that screams at his submissive girlfriend whenever she does anything even slightly wrong, the boss that blows off his top when his employee makes even the simplest of mistakes -- these are examples of people trying to be in control but not actually having it.
If you have to force other people to submit to your will in some fashion, you may have power, but you do not have control. Control is the ability to actually manage the things you have direct influence over.
You can guide other people. You can even manipulate them. But you can’t ever control them.
The only thing you can actually control is your own thoughts, words, and actions. The outside world is chaotic (though as we discussed expecting the unexpected keeps it from becoming too overwhelming).
Be in control of your emotions. Don’t make others responsible for your own emotions. Take charge of YOU. You may not be able to control how you feel, but you can control how you react to it. You can’t change your mood if you're angry, but you can rationally decide if you want to bark and scream like a wild beast, or ease on back like a sloth.
The Sloth doesn’t bark, bite, or spit poison. He reacts smoothly and calmly, without a loud instinctive roar or anything. He just focuses on what he can control, and that has nothing to do with the outside environment.
Even when things don’t go your way, take it with a grain of salt.
Don’t use fear or intimidation but use charisma. Be a lazy leader, not a belligerent boss. People will respect you if you are in control of your own inner world.
Mistakes are Meh. Drill that in your head if it isn’t drilled in your head at this point, because I repeat this phrase constantly. Any time you fuck up yourself or something or someone fucks your day up, you can’t let it get to you.
If a sloth drops a leaf, he ain’t gonna sit there and whine about it all day or jump down after it. He’ll just slowly and steadily climb to another one.
You too must let go of your mistakes and reach to climb a new chapter in your life, learning from your mistakes but not letting them define you or make you fall down. Failing does not make you a failure.
Being smooth is not about a flawless performance. It’s continuing to improve after flaws are met.
Give yourself a chance to be an Idiot. It’s okay. If you’re an idiot, it means there’s still room to grow, still things to learn. Don’t bargain, beg, or plead.
Don’t over apologize either. Admit it was wrong, but don’t harp on how sorry you are about it. You see mistakes as an opportunity to learn a lesson, not as some sort of pivotal moment that completely ruined you.
Being smooth is NOT about being witty and cracking jokes or about running your mouth off with some catchy lines.
It’s about feeling Comfortable in your own skin, Cozy in your own bed, so to speak. Embracing your inner-sloth means embracing your inner-confidence.
If you’re worried about what to say next or what to do next, those are doubtful thoughts. Doubt is counter-productive to being smooth, to say the least. Doubt is a poison to your brain.
The sloth doesn’t doubt his ability to climb a tree. He knows he can. Apply the same principle to your own goals. Know you’ll get there...eventually.
Don’t be like the “Little Engine Who Could” and “think you can”. KNOW you can. The moment you think to yourself “but what if..” is the moment you pave a rough road ahead.
Pave a smooth road, free of doubt or worry. Have some good goddamn old fashioned confidence.
This goes for both positive and negative events. If a girl says yes to a date, guys often make the mistake of getting all excited and making it seem like it’s a really big deal that he gets to go out with a beautiful woman. This makes him an absolute nervous wreck during the date, and she can smell his desperation over the fragrance of too much cheap cologne.
Instead, he just needs to go out, have a good time, and not make a huge fuss about it. She’ll smell that confidence on his chest.
Likewise, if you’re about to post a vlog online and you’re thinking how this is “your big chance” to get a big following, you’re gonna be so awkward on camera. You just gotta hit the record button and upload the video. Not a big deal.
When we make something a GIGANTIC deal, it becomes nerve wracking. We lose focus and end up shooting ourselves in our own foot. We basically tie our two shoes together and trip when all we have to do is walk.
You’ve gotta simmer it down a tad, boss. No matter how big the tree is, the Sloth doesn’t think of the tree in terms of size. It’s a tree. It’ll be climbed. Whatever.
Again, take the attitude that you’ve seen and heard it all before. Remain unfazed. If nothing is a big deal to you, you’ll naturally remain unfazed.
Got a big promotion? Won the lottery? Gone through a break up? Broke your arm?
It’s just something that happens. So what? Not that big of a deal.
Relax. Seriously. Just...relax.
The key to smoothness is to loosen up and lean back. Take a deep breath and yawn.
If you feel comfortable, then you will act comfortable.
If your body language is tight, it doesn’t matter how confident you act, you’ll be speaking clearly with your body language that you are, in fact, not comfortable at all.
Tightness communicates insecurity, a a lack fo confidencem and you can’t be smooth if you’re all uptight. Relax a little.
The sloth is always relaxed. Always.
There’s nothing worth worrying about. It's all just about going with the flow, nice and smoothly.