In his video How to REALLY be Healthy in Mind & Body, movement expert Josh Hash shares an insightful story. After having his appendix removed, he was unable to train and do much else besides rest and recover.
As a person in love with doing, addicted to setting goals and pursuing them, he found the experience tough. But it was also eye-opening. He noticed another part of life. It’s the one we overlook in our highly-stimulating world. It’s the opposite of constant action, goals, plans, tasks, variety, efficiency, high energy, and so on.
It’s the quiet world of meditation. The tranquil world of a casual walk. The thought-provoking world of journaling.
That part of life opens up to us when we practice doing nothing.
Despite my interest in the 80/20 principle and smart laziness, I’m a lot like Josh. So, like him, I decided to practice non-doing.
I lay on the grass today, watching the clouds go by, listening to the birds, and observing the wind. My hyperactive mind wasn’t satisfied with that, so I also analyzed potential investment opportunities in my head. While imperfect—non-doing shouldn’t have any goals attached to it—the experience was still refreshing and rewarding.
How often do you practice non-doing? Do you practice it at all or does every activity you do have a specific intention and goal behind it?
My goal-addicted brain still can’t grasp the concept of non-doing entirely, but as with everything, we get good at what we practice.
And what I need now—and perhaps you as well—is to learn how to access that other, quiet and unstimulating part of life we’ve ignored for so long.