We were golfing and my friend said I needed to learn to do nothing. I laughed and agreed with him. I find it hard to do nothing, but there are times when it is best to do nothing.
Here’s a checklist I use for when to do nothing:
Do nothing when you’re angry. Some people think anger can focus emotions, but it doesn’t. You must wait until it settles down and you get perspective. Time is the morphine drip that soothes the anger. Then you can act. Anger is just an outer reflection of inner fear. The fear might be correct, but the anger blurs it.
Do nothing when you’re paranoid. There are times when I’m not afraid, I’m paranoid. I imagine a chaotic future filled with misery and hate and homelessness and loneliness. Some see that as fear. My best bet is to sit down and picture a more realistic future, one because almost 99 percent of what I’ve been paranoid about in the past never comes true.
Do nothing when you’re anxious. There are times when we can become anxious, a strange phone call from a loved one, an email message that is not clear, etc. But there is nothing that is ever so important it can’t wait. And if it was that important, then it’s a roadmap to you and not the situation. It’s an opportunity to say, “What about my life can be rearranged so that this one thing doesn’t throw me off so much? What things can I change?” And then have fun changing them.
Do nothing when you’re tired. I was trying to figure out something on the computer the other day. It was both very technical and related to money. First, it was 1 p.m. Then it was 6 p.m. Then, against all my rules for a “daily practice,” it was midnight. And I was no closer to figuring it out. I was tired. My eyes were blurry. So, I went to sleep. Sleep hygiene is the best way to improve productivity in your life. I did finally figure it out because I got the rest I needed.
Do nothing when you want to be liked. Over our lives, we have wanted to be liked and we have done things to try to make someone like us. And it works. I put in the input (flattery, attention, false love) and get out the output (false love back). And continue to live the illusion in search of the dream, in avoidance of the nightmare, ignorant of the reality. It is better to do nothing, to make someone like you. If it was meant to be it will happen, if not move on.
Think about when you’ve been happiest with your life (and if that’s not a reasonable goal then what is?). Is it during those moments when your thoughts have been frenetic and all over the place? Or has it been those moments when your thoughts have been calm – the depths of a peaceful ocean instead of a stormy surface?
It’s when we are in touch with the magic of our silence that we find our inner creators and can change the universe.
My thanks to George and the original author for th ...
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