I’ve come to a life-changing realisation lately … that life is not about doing more or less, it’s about doing NOTHING.
Huh? Do nothing? How does that work?
I can understand your confusion. These days society dictates that doing nothing equals being lazy, unmotivated and downright slothful. On the contrary, we are taught to constantly strive, take action and ‘go for it’. Well-known athletes and business people attribute their success to high levels of motivation and their ‘just do it’ attitude.
So how does doing nothing fit in?
Well, let me illustrate with a couple of recent examples:
Client One came to see me to get herself 'unstuck' around money. She wanted a money attracting mindset but felt she was forever thinking of the lack of money in her life. When she caught herself thinking negative thoughts around not having enough, she would use NLP (neuro linguistic programming), positive thinking affirmations or meditation mantra’s to change the way she was thinking.
My suggestion: do nothing.
Observe the fact that you are thinking negatively about money at that moment, and then watch that thought as it plays in your mind for a while and then disappears. That’s it. After all, it was just a thought in a moment of time, and not giving it any energy, positive or negative, helps that thought dissipate a lot faster. The relief on my clients’ face was obvious and she smiled at the simplicity of it all.
'When nothing is done, nothing is left undone' - Lao Tzu, 5th century Chinese philosopher
Client Two wanted advice on how to grow her business. She was getting frustrated with not making progress at the rate she would like. Sales were slowing down and it was making her anxious about the future direction for her venture. From this anxiety, she had started making business decisions that didn’t seem right but she just felt she had to do something.
My advice: do nothing.
When we are caught up in anxious thinking, any decision that come from that space is often reactive and not the best way forward. Good decision making comes with clarity of mind, and to get to that state, it is best to quieten the mind, let go of the anxious thoughts and do nothing for a bit. Trust me, the short downtime and the stillness it creates will reap dividends in the form of clear, insightful thinking and more effective decision making. And it did.
I totally get it that in this frenzied world of busy, busy, busy – doing nothing is a novelty and may even feel uncomfortable at first. It goes against everything we've been taught! And don't get me wrong, action is essential to make anything happen.
But ironically, by doing nothing, you get the chance to tap into your own inner wisdom and the action that follows from this ‘nothing’ space is both profoundly powerful and productive.
Interested in coaching? Contact me for a chat and find out how you can get started.