We’re getting addicted to ease. Less work, more convenience, fatter paychecks, endless vacations. We’re not just celebrating the people who are successful, we’re making heroes of those who made it with ease. Answer 15 questions and you can become a millionaire. Children obsessed with gaming find studying difficult? The solution is to make learning fun. Timothy Feriss professes to follow the 4 hour workweek. Getting rich quick is the other mantra. And the opening line in the sales pitch is usually about how easy it is and how little you have to do. Whether it is an online business or losing weight – it’s as if we’re scared of work and scared to fail. And that is a formula for failure.
Paul Graham’s wonderful essay The Acceleration of Addiction is scary. Because it is so true. We’re already at the stage where we cannot conceive of a life without the internet, mobile phones, and gaming. While we classify only those who are on drugs and alcohol as addicts, how do you respond to those who spend hours gaming or texting every day? He ends on a thought-provoking line ‘We’ll increasingly be defined by what we say no to’. An escape from work is easy in today’s world. One just has to pretend that there is a lot going on. The Bermuda Triangle of productivity is captured in this insightful illustration.
Every generation has tried to make life easier and more comfortable for the next one. Leisure over work. Matter over the mind. And according to Graham, we’ll increasingly choose what we like. Not what is good for us. So, we’re hurtling along the highway enjoying the speed. What’s waiting around the corner?