The Joy of Having Nothing To Do

What is it about this society we’ve built, this collective mindset we live within, that says having nothing to do is a bad thing?

What is it about this society we’ve built, this collective mindset we live within, that says having nothing to do is a bad thing?

Staying busy seems to be the honorable thing. We celebrate it openly with sayings such as; “If you want something done, ask a busy man”.

As if to imply that not being busy is a sign of incapability and ineptitude.

Always be moving, always be doing, don’t stand still whatever you do because you know someone will point the finger at you.

“Look at her, lazy bastard. She should get off her arse and do something”.

As we all stand around in our little critical clique casting judgement on those who appear to have an easier life than the rest of us.

You’re not supposed to have an easy life, didn’t you know that?

It appears that we’ve got to work ourselves to the bone, show everyone else around us that we are workhorses before we can qualify as worthy.

Woe betide you if you sit down before you’ve earned it.

“Idle hands do the devil’s work”, they say.

The Flawed But Predominant Psychology of Work

We really are very mixed up about this work thing.

There is a particular momentum behind our idea of work and our beliefs about worthiness that are more than a little flawed.

It’s built into our psyche socially and culturally over hundreds of years, handed down from parent to child and reinforced in schools and the workplace.

Its origins of course are through religious teachings.

Being busy is seen as a precept to being saved. It’s something we need to be in order to achieve acceptance by some deity up in the clouds somewhere.

As such we appear to be constantly afraid of not being busy. We stuff our days with things to do without any real thought about what we’re doing.

We feel uneasy about not being busy, we feel like we’re being watched, we’ve got to keep moving. To be otherwise is dishonorable.

It’s built right in to our automatic thought processes. We don’t even need to think about it anymore.

The Artist’s Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It’s available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.

How To Make Peace With Having Nothing To Do

It’s not easy to break this pattern of thought and behaviour, but sooner or later we’ll learn that it’s completely counter productive.

Anyone who’s been knocking around this place for a while will tell you that.

Sure, you already know the joy of having nothing to do, just chilling out taking things at your leisure. But making it a habit is another thing altogether.

Guilt soon sets in and then we’re right back at it again, back in the wheel.

All this living outside our own minds, over concern with what others think about us is debilitating and really doesn’t serve us.

So how do we deal with it? How do we make having nothing to do ok?

Well, I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. We’ve just got to go through the process until we’ve had enough.

That’s been my experience of it anyway.

Until you’ve had enough running around fulfilling other people’s ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, you’ll keep doing it.

The day will come when when you realise you can’t win at that game and you’ll stop.

Until Then…

There’s no process that I can offer to help you get that peace of mind you’re after, everyone is unique and will find their own way.

I’m afraid I’ve no 13 steps to peace of mind to offer you. That’s all bullshit anyway.

Keep doing what you need to do, let me know if you make it.

Let me know if all this running around doing stuff you’d rather not do ever gets you there, wherever there happens to be.

The Artist’s Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It’s available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.

Originally published at larrygmaguire.com on May 31, 2017.

Like Some More Of This Stuff?

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write about art & creativity. When I’m not doing that I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.