The Art of Being Ridiculous; or Why Being Serious is a Waste of Time

Being a serious person has its benefits.

  • You fit in.
  • The rest of your life is fairly predictable; not many surprises.
  • No one asks questions.
  • You’re considered “normal.”
  • You wake up with a pretty good idea of what your day will consist of.
  • Your life is steady; it feels safe.

I used to accept this way of living because whenever I told someone my dreams, the common response was “that’s not a serious way to live.” But that’s not completely true.

I accepted “being a serious person” because when I told myself my dreams, I would respond “that’s not serious.” I never had complete ownership of my mind. I was too busy trying to be a serious person.

But then there’s this other thing. This hint. This whisper. This quiet voice of desperation that lulls from some sedated yet unrelenting innermost part of your mind. The part that never gives up until the eulogy.

And it made me wonder: What if there was some other way to live? Some other back door or hidden path that led to complete creative control over your life. One that wasn’t serious at all, but was highly ridiculous

The more I followed that unabating quiet pull, I eventually found…

The Art of Being Highly Ridiculous

Ridiculous people have something figured out that other people haven’t quite grasped. They wear a subtle, almost undetectable smirk that makes you think they’re about to make some kind of mischief. They probably are. Mischief is what they like best.

The truth is, ridiculous people aren’t ridiculous at all, they just seem that way to the people that are always trying to be serious. They seem unruly and careless because they’re not following the common template. They are obviously out of line, and that is most alarming to the serious tribe.

Ridiculous people seem highly irregular to the serious folk because they tend to…

  • Not follow pre-made templates. They prefer to freestyle life instead.
  • Work irregular hours, and often accomplish this by working for themselves.
  • Follow their natural rhythms and focus on creating value over obsessing over quotas and time-logging.
  • Be ordinary radicals: people that have deliberately chosen to dedicate their lives to a specific purpose that they’re most called to.
  • Not care much about weekends, and don’t dread Mondays. Since they do what they love for a living, the boundaries between work and life become blurred; to them it’s a good thing.
  • Change quite often. They don’t like stagnation and become especially bored with meaningless routines and predetermined patterns.
  • Follow their passions and find an intersection between they hold most dear and what the world deeply needs.
  • Live zero hour workweeks.

The reason most ridiculous people end up embracing this path is because they realize the bullshit false dichotomy of legitimacy and seriousness. In other words, they know that just because something is considered a “serious” or “approved” pursuit, it doesn’t mean it’s worth doing. They follow their hearts and leave it to other people decide whether they’re serious or not.

Ridiculous people that I admire

There are quite a few people out there that have consciously chosen to be ridiculous. These are just a few of those people I respect and admire.

  • Carl Nelson — Because he walks the talk, and he has mad moon walking skills.
  • Adam King — He’s bold enough to follow his passion and ship his art. He gets down to the simple nature of everything he creates; something that requires a lifetime of practice
  • Danielle LaPorte — She helps other people find and live their truth; she’s a wordsmith and a poet. Plus she channels Mother Theresa and Anthony Kiedis.
  • Ido Portal — The level of dedication he has to his practice and art is one of my biggest inspirations.
  • John Unger — It’s hard to find someone as committed to helping other artists find success as him. And how can you not like someone who create things to help you set stuff on fire?
  • My wife — Her level of courage and genuineness inspires me daily. She pushes me as a writer and an artist.
  • Kate England — She holds true to herself as an artist, and refuses to compromise her work. Also: her desktop icons will make you aroused.
  • Jonathan Fields — Because he pushes you to question your assumptions, and will lend a hand whether you’re big or small.
  • Charlie Gilkey — He helps creative people get their stuff out into the world. He is a metaphor ninja.
  • Nhan Khuong — He inspires others to embrace their true potential. He also runs barefoot. In the snow.
  • Gwen Bell — She helps you get your message out to the world, and always shows up from a place of “how can I help?”

These people aren’t the only ones I know on the same path. I’m lucky enough to be a part of an incredible community of people here that have chosen to live deliberately. Even though I have weirdo syndrome, it’s good to know that I’m not alone.

photo courtesy of derrickt

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