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Content Marketing & SEO Blog

Blog about startup growth strategies revolving around content marketing, SEO, CRO, and social media marketing.

Being intentionally daft

Sean Smith

Too often in today's society we don't allow a breakdown in our structural code to let go, release inhibitions and become idiots. I believe this is essential to not going completely mental in such a hopped up society and chaotic world. I wrote a previous post on optimizing routines to automate success and while I believe routines should be set up to make you operate on a more functional level every day they are also put there for a purpose.

The purpose of routines is to make you more efficient so you have more free time to be bombastic. 

If you are stuck in serious mode constantly you will at some point undoubtably realize that something crucial is missing in your life. Excitement? Inspiration? Creativity? Life is missing. It's in doing things that are un-yielding and un-predictable that life happens. When you release yourself to these un-affixed states you prime yourself for serendipitous occasions. If you keep your nose to the grindstone and don't look up, at some point you lessen your scope. Your capability of lateral thinking and worldly movement shatters in to a narrow cone of perception. Where you see the world through a funnel, a funnel that you created and must fundamentally break. 

When you pronounce your ability to be systematically daft you allow yourself opportunities for life to throw you answers in a serendipitous fashion.  

Why I say "systematically daft" is because it is not a full-time occurrence. It's like a functional alcoholic. They get they're shit done, but then they go ballistic. This is how we must be as creative professionals. Allow your brain to work on levels of routinized behavior in order to get your shit taken care of on a daily basis, but then allow your brain to go berserk once the timer's up.

I think I've determined the core benefits of being systematically daft, and they are as follows. 

It's a mind release. We are consumed by routines for the better part of our lives. We live in a cocoon that is meant to propel us towards success and better our civilization, and it does. At some point though we have to break out of that damned cocoon and become a bodacious butterfly!  We can't live in the bubble and except to somehow find happiness. Happiness is what the bubble allows us to experience, at what scale we choose to experience it at is up to us.

It promotes creativity.  Having experiences, laughing, loving, doing, these are the things that spark creativity. None of these take place in the proverbial "cocoon" I mentioned above. David Ogilvy, one of the most well-known and accomplished ad-men of all time often said,

"The best ad ideas always come after a couple of bourbons and a few laughs."

This could not be closer to the truth. Every ad idea I've ever had that is worth damn-near anything can be traced back to a point where I was in a very creative state, and embracing an absolutely daft frame of mind.

It brings you back in touch with what matters. Being extraordinarily productive is wonderful, there are no doubts there. Some jobs work on hours, some jobs work on minutes, some are ass-in-seat, some are more free-reign. The truth is that no matter what job you are in, that is not what really matters in your life. Unless what matters in your life is your job, literally speaking. What matters is fun, being inspired, being fulfilled, being adventurous, stepping outside of your comfort zone. Taking a leap, a plunge, and going for gold, whatever that may mean to you. Being daft accommodates to all areas of that atmosphere.

It's what we work for.  We don't work to come home and.. do more work? Do we? We work for many reasons, to move up in a social hierarchy, to obtain material wealth, to be higher regarded as a person (if you're somewhat un-confident), to provide for our families, to get more shit. But what do we do once we have achieved any of these goals? Do we ever stop and enjoy them? It's too common to see someone stress over something that they so desperately want, then upon getting it seem as though they could give two-shits about it, and move on to the next grind. We've become a society of "get it and move on" instead of one of "get it and enjoy it." This is sad on a very real level. We work to get stuff that we think will make us happy, but if we don't use the stuff, and if we don't break the stuff, and get out of it what we wanted, then why chase it in the first place? We work so that we can break stuff and be daft with it. We are unhappy because we don't do that. Instead we hold on to it hoping it will never need be replaced. It will, so use it.

It's what we dream of as kids.  I don't remember as a kid wanting to be a fireman, I do remember wanting to battle giant fucking fires with a massive hose of water bursting out like a torrential hurricane on anything I point it at. I don't remember wanting to be an advertiser, I do remember wanting to come up with hilarious marketing messages that people would react to. I don't remember wanting to grow up and be a walking billboard for a company, but I do remember wanting to play extreme sports, mountain bike in MOAB, do double backflips on a snowboard and pull off a 1080 on a half-pipe on my skateboard. I don't remember wanting to grow up to be a balloon manufacturer, but I do want to fill my house with over 10,000 balloons! The experiences are what we dream of as kids, not the titles. Who cares about the titles? If you think long and hard about what you wanted to do as a kid, you'll realize you can do nearly all of it right now with the resources you have today. I thought I wanted to be a video game designer when I was growing up, or a beta tester. So that I could play video games all day, or at least be interacting with them. I decided instead to do something that really interested me (seeing as fixing bugs on a broken game didn't seem too interesting after really contemplating it) and then decided to just play games when I felt like it. Yeah, I'm glad I picked the latter. You probably did too, just go back and do what you wanted to do. It's still there, go be a 4 year old.

It makes you interesting.  People don't want to talk to Bob from accounting about TPS reports. Or at least I don't. I want to talk to the fireman that works 1 day on, 3 days off. Who gets 10 days of vacation every month. Who goes to Costa Rica and surfs in Playa De Hermosa for shits and giggles and enters big wave tournaments in Ireland. That's the guy I want to talk to, that's the interesting fucker that people want to hang out with. Being daft gives you stuff to talk about. If you were ever in school and wished that you had stuff to talk about when you saw cliques form all around you, it's because you were wishing you had something to talk about, instead of doing stuff for you to talk about. Pick what interests you and do it, other people are interested in it, I guarantee it. You'll find some people who will love to hear about it. People always want a topic to go off of, and if you're the guy that supplies those topics, you'll be the guy they want around. 

Experiences are intangible, but far more influential than anything tangible will ever be. You don't carry your belongings into the grave with you, but what you experience in life will never leave you. The people you experience life with will never forget you. Have experiences and learn to love the daft and outward side of yourself, because that's who you are to your truest core. 

The last benefit is that you have fun. Plain and simple. Being daft is hysterical, it's uplifting, it's dumb, but dumb in a good way. It's not being an alcoholic, but it is being tipsy, verging on somewhat sloshed. Life is the drink though, being daft is the intoxication, routines are the inhibitions, and experience is the forefront of what you will remember.  

Get drunk on life and be systematically daft. It's what you were born for, it's what the world needs, it's creativity personified and it's worthy of remembrance.