How I Achieved Maximum Efficiency –Scott Erickson

My main problem with working is that it requires work. Rather than think of myself as “lazy,” I prefer to think of myself as efficient. If efficiency is defined as “how to get more as a result of less work” then maximum efficiency would be “how to get everything as a result of no work.”

Thus, maximum efficiency became my life goal. But how could I achieve it?

Someone in a New Age bookstore introduced me to the book Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. According to the book, all you need to do is visualize your goals, and then your “thought energy” conspires with like-minded energy and manifests your goals in the material realm. No work required!

I visualized night and day. I visualized till the cows came home. I visualized while the cows hung around. I continued visualizing as the cows took off again.

I visualized myself standing proudly in front of my huge Hollywood mansion. I visualized a gold stretch-Cadillac limo pull up the driveway. I visualized Scarlett Johansson stepping out of the limo. I visualized Scarlett Johansson shedding her clothes. This led to further visualizations.

But no matter how much I visualized, none of my thought energy manifested in the material realm. I felt betrayed. I wanted to write an outraged letter to Shakti Gawain, but I couldn’t afford a stamp.

As I was attempting to visualize a first-class postage stamp, I received the insight that changed my life. It struck me with the force of something really forceful: all the effort I was expending to avoid work was—in itself—a form of work.

But what were the implications of this insight? I couldn’t decide if it meant I had to accept the necessity of doing work, or if it meant I had to give up the work of not-working. But could I give up work without working at it? Would it be possible to not work at not working?

At this point, my mental processes looped themselves into self-perpetuating feedback, kind of like amplifier feedback inside my head but with ideas instead of guitar noise. Imagine one thousand Jimi Hendrix guitar solos all at once, but with no sound. Weird, huh? Then everything got quiet. Then everything went dark… for a long time.

Things are better now. Every day I get three decent meals and a clean change of underwear. Someone cuts my hair and trims my nails, since they don’t trust me with sharp instruments. For some reason, they also don’t trust me to bathe myself, so I’m bathed by a nurse who slightly resembles Scarlett Johansson if I squint my eyes a certain way and ignore that it’s a male nurse.

But the important thing is that I have finally achieved my dream of not working. I have finally achieved maximum efficiency. Although—as is usually the case with achieving dreams—there were ramifications I had failed to take into account, such as I’m not allowed to play with Legos because of the choking hazard.

I feel like there’s a moral here… something about how the true purpose of dreams is to transform the person doing the dreaming, or maybe something about being careful what you ask for because you might get it, or maybe something about being careful of any dream that involves Scarlett Johansson.

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