Slow the Fuck Down

By Simeone Fruke, author of Simple F*cking Advice for Everyday Humans

We live in a world of instant gratification. Everything is needed right at that moment. We have fast-food orders that always take too long, microwave popcorn that should be done in one minute instead of two, and we have all heard the phrase “a watched pot never boils.” That shit is real. The need for everything instantly doesn’t just affect the way we approach everyday dining. It bleeds into every aspect of our life.

As human nature goes, we expect this same instant gratification in all physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our lives. We buy our kid that two-hundred-dollar pair of shoes he had to have, and we expect him to automatically put us up for parent of the year. We take that special someone out for a fancy meal and think we automatically have a ticket to shag town. Actual human existence doesn’t work like that. If it does, it is a shallow existence, to be sure.

Take a look at the ordinary hamburger. You can fly through a drive-through, snag one off the dollar menu, and instantly enjoy it on your way home. Quick, easy, and it fills your belly with meaty goodness. You could also buy pre-formed patties, season them well, and slap them on your gas grill, which heats up almost instantly. Throw in some fresh veggies and melted cheese, and with a little extra time, you have greatly improved the lowly fast-food burger. Yet if you want to make the experience fantastic, it will take time. From a deep corner of your shed comes the charcoal grill, where you meticulously stack your coal for ignition. You patiently wait for the coals to heat so you can spread them out evenly. Time slowly ticks by as the grill reaches face-melting temperatures, and your burgers can be placed at just the right spot to receive the perfect sear. It is a much longer process, but the reward at the end is far greater than the one you received from the greasy wrapper of the drive-through.

Life is your burger. Your relationships, hopes, dreams, and very existence is your burger. For some things in life, the fast-food version will do just fine, but to get the good stuff, the most valuable parts of your life, you need to slow down. Getting that promotion you have always wanted, winning the heart and desire of that certain someone, and being the person everyone looks up to requires time, reflection, and preparation.

You have to look inside yourself and decide what parts of your life you can be satisfied with at a minimal effort; the McFatty patty at your local drive-through, for example. Then, ask yourself what things in your life are vital. What things in your life are you willing to slow the fuck down for? What things in your life are you willing to give valuable time and effort to? Take some time to make a list. Prioritize what is most important in your life. Put the things essential to you at the top and work your way down. Then decide if you put the most time and effort into those things. If you aren’t, don’t fucking worry. They won’t be on your list for much longer.

The things in our life we make time for and sow into stay in our lives. Those highly valued pieces of our existence require time, patience, and commitment. It doesn’t matter if it’s your career, relationship, or future dreams and aspirations. We must continuously sow into them to become what we always dreamed they could be. But first, you have to know what the fuck they are.

Slow down, look around you, and, more importantly, look into yourself to identify what has real value in your life. Know without hesitation what aspects of your life: job, people, hobbies, experiences, and even shows to binge you want to carry with you into the future. Once you have done that, your actual journey can begin.