Everywhere you look, you’re told to achieve…hustle…keep pushing…work late…wake up early…not slow down to avoid falling behind.
And sure, you can drink another coffee and get things done, but at what cost?
If you’re anything like me, you want to do work you love, but you also want to remain somewhat sane, and have a life outside the office.
Life isn’t all about work. It’s not all about achieving. There are times when you feel like taking action.
And there are times when you feel like doing nothing. That’s life.
It’s all about finding a balance.
Stress + Rest = Growth
The Purpose of Doing Nothing
There’s an ebb and flow to life.
There’s a time for action, and a time for rest.
You can force progress but look around you. The people pushing are the most exhausted.
Sure, they’ll tell you they are feeling great, but are they really? Their actions reveal their true state. Their scrambling to get somewhere is a sign of unhappiness, and their seemingly constant state of fatigue isn’t helping either.
Doing nothing is natural. But doing nothing doesn’t mean doing nothing.
Let me explain…
The Power of Giving Up
This isn’t about lying in bed all day and completely giving up on all ambitions and actions.
When I talk about doing nothing, I’m referring to your inner state. A state of not pushing, not trying, and not forcing. It’s a state of allowing things to be as they are.
And what is that state if not the state of being in the present moment, living life right here, right now.
This is about giving up what is not in your control.
Surrender what you think you want or how things are supposed to be and open up to what you are meant to experience.
I never believed surrender was the way. I didn’t accept it out right. Instead, I experimented.
Achieving had been a conscious goal for over 20 years. I was called an over-achiever in almost every aspect of my life!
It may sound like a compliment, but the problem was, it wasn’t working.
So, I tried something else.
Here Come the Doubts…
“What if nothing happens?”
“Is my life passing me by?”
“What if my dreams are just dreams?”
“Am I missing out on something big?”
Eventually it became obvious to me that if I am meant to do something, it will happen.
I still must listen to my inner voice to spot the right opportunities for me. But, I don’t have to worry about missing out.
I didn’t just get up and move from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat. Instead, I tried new things every day and took little steps.
Sometimes I felt like a child learning to walk for the first time.
It was like searching for a light switch in the dark, bumping into furniture, and tripping over cats, and dogs along the way.
Here’s a Better Example
A few times each year, I still go into a space where I basically feel like doing nothing.
In the past, I resisted this. I pushed myself to keep working – to get stuff done!
The result was exhaustion, misery, and depression.
Today, I’m much more in tune with where my body and life want to take me.
Don’t get me wrong, I do work during these low periods, but I work less.
I also give myself more time to play, read books, watch movies, take walks, and rest.
What I mean when I say ‘do nothing’ is to do less work and have more fun doing it. If you love what you do, then sometimes work is play, and vice versa.
On those down days, I used to worry that my motivation would never return, but it always does.
It’s amazing how productive I can be after I’ve taken some time to slow down and relax.
The Ignorance in Ambition
As I look back, it’s obvious to me that pushing never got me anywhere.
I worked 12-hour days without achieving more.
I agonized, and worried. Yet none of that mattered. It was all going on in my head. I was running in an endless circle of fear and insecurity.
When I push, I face resistance. When I relax – I notice where the flow of life is taking me.
Hustle culture tells us that we should never feel like doing nothing. And if we do – that it’s bad and can be overcome.
Remember to Rest
Everywhere I look I’m told to achieve, to do, to leave a legacy.
Many drown under this pressure, and they forget to listen to their inner GPS.
Nothing matters in my life if I don’t make the right decisions.
Everything I do begins and ends with listening to my heart, my intuition, my inner guidance system.
When I’m aligned with who I am, life flows.
Doesn’t mean life is easy, because it seldom is, but life does flow.
Learn to stop trying to control every aspect of your life and your life will start to flow.
Learn to take it slow on those days when you absolutely feel like doing nothing and your productive days will become that much more productive.
Listen to your body and it will show you what it is truly capable of.
~Wishing you Success!