The Value In Doing Nothing

In these strange days, many of us have been forced to slow down. The challenge, therefore, is being ok with doing less.

Two guys sitting on a bench looking out to sea for article by Larry G. Maguire

In these strange days, many of us have been forced to slow down. The challenge, therefore, is being ok with doing less.

These days I’m less motivated than I used to be.

Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m motivated albeit in other directions.

Motivation, I have found, tends to be a blend of both extrinsic and intrinsic aspects, and in the last 10 or 12 years, my ratio has done a complete 180. The outcome being, I don’t try so hard anymore.

Instead, I just go with however I feel, and most of the time that means there is something to light my fire and keep me interested.

And that’s the thing here — all this trying seems to cause us unending problems. Everyone seems to be trying to fix themselves, to be someone, to achieve or get something or be somewhere. The idea we live with is that the thing we’re after is off somewhere in the future. We just need to work hard and strive to get it.

Then when we get it, it’s not it.

Damn it! This was supposed to be the thing. Ok, what’s next?

Different job, bigger tits, fuller lips, different gender or no gender at all, bigger bank account or a faster car…or maybe I can find this thing in someone else?

All to limited avail.

This is our reality, and our daily work is the primary means by which we pursue this elusive thing. We spend our best years in jobs we dislike or even hate (42% of people according to my research) in order to get enough money to buy a better life — but it’s never enough and either are we.

So where do we go with this?

There is an idea prominent in some eastern cultures which suggests that the route to happiness is through doing nothing. All effort to make oneself better, to improve, to obtain, to reach higher states of being and so on, are a fool’s errand.

In other words, all our efforts are merely ego-plays aiding in our avoidance of ourselves and the work we were meant to do.

This concept of reality suggests that all experience be it good or bad is transitional, momentary, and the only reality there is, is now. It is only here we can be effective — not in the past or future.

No matter what you do, you’re stuck with you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. “It” will happen by itself, so best stop trying.