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Federer's Win Proves Why We Must Do Pointless Activities

Jan 28, 2018

Roger Federer defeated Marin Čilić today in the Australian Open, winning his 20th grand slam cup. A legendary achievement for any athlete, especially at his age.  And a reminder why we should devote ourselves to stuff that doesn’t matter. 

Society teaches us that we must work hard for ourselves, our family, and the greater good of society.  Our work must have value.  Our work must be noble.

Society argues that taking profession as a doctor, teacher, firefighter, or social worker might be seen as having positive value: for every dollar earned a great amount is given back to society.  Whereas people in marketing, law, or finance might be seen as having negative value: for every dollar earned, an amount is taken away from society.

Society is wrong.

The act of mastering something pointless, in and of itself, regardless of if it has perceived social value or not, is itself perfect.  

Mastering the Pointless is necessary to lighten ourselves from the weight of judgments regarding how we spend our time.

So is it more noble to climb a rock or save a life?  Is it more noble to throw darts or to cure cancer?

Did you choose the latter?  If so, you just moralized acts of creation and judged one to be better than another.  We at the The Tilted Glass argue that all acts of creation are equal.  

All creative acts are mirrors and expressions of the act of all creation.

You cannot judge the act by its perceived immediate value.  What if climbing a rock inspires a revolution in North Korea and a prison camp escapes their death?  Thus, does climbing a rock have more value than saving a life, because climbing a rock saves many lives?  That too is a trap.  Is saving "more" better than saving "one"?   What if that one life ends up inventing a means to end world hunger?  We do not know the future.

So we avoid traps of judgement.  We enter a judgement-free mode.  We enter the Mastery of the Pointless, the space of miracles.

David Foster Wallace, in his 2006 essay "Federer as Religious Experience,” argues that Federer regularly hit shots that violated the laws of physics and were "impossible".  

Mastery inspires mastery.  Greatness inspires greatness.  By seeing impossible miracles, we become inspired to make our own impossible miracles.

By doing something Pointless, we inspire Lightness.  A shaking away of the heavy.  A casting aside of this heavy spell we are under.  We enter now the mode of fun.

Do something pointless today. Forget your heavy todo list.  And do it 100%.

The point is not what we do.  Or how we do.  The act is key, not the product of the act.  The point is doing without a point.

You cannot point to a piece of the whole and say this piece is bad or good.  We do not point to pieces and weight them.  The only "bad" pieces are those which forget they are part of the whole.  The only "good" pieces are reminders that there is no such thing as a piece.

Enjoy now a few pointless entries.

A 9-dart finish, a perfect score in darts:


Top 5 Stupid Human Tricks:


A few legendary Federer points:



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