I know…that’s a kind of strange thing to say, especially as most people have a lot to do at this time of year, with more on their minds than usual.
And what a year, huh?
So, on the Frazzled Mind Detox event I hosted for my community last week, I shared the story of how, back in 2019, I had an insight that ‘there’s nothing to do.’
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to do NOTHING. I’m not lazy. Quite the opposite. The problem was I wanted to do SOMETHING. I wanted to come up with a new business idea.
So I did what anyone else would do. I went outside, lay on the ground, and started to think hard about the answer, hoping I’d get an idea, an insight, or inspiration.
But nothing came…
My mind twisted and turned.
I thought about asking someone for help. But there was no-one around.
So I gave up and went for a walk.
And that’s when I realised …there’s nothing to do.
Here’s the thing…
When do you get your best ideas?
When you’re not thinking – in the shower, on a walk, by the sea – you don’t even know you’re having ideas. They just come. It’s natural.
You see the same thing in sport: athletes perform well when they are in flow, present, and in the moment with very little on their minds other than getting the job done.
There’s an ancient Chinese concept called Wu Wei which literally translates as ‘no trying’, or ‘no doing’. It’s the dynamic, effortless state of mind of a person who is optimally effective. It’s a high performance state of flow.
People in Wu-Wei feel relaxed and happy whilst also creating a brilliant work of art, competing at sport, or coming up with a brilliantly innovative business idea.
I was taught to believe that the best way to achieve a meaningful life was through effort, working hard, striving, trying…achieve, achieve, achieve. And I got good at that. Turns out this is terrible advice. Most of the states we really want – love, happiness, wisdom, creativity, insights – just happen all by themselves, ironically, when we stop striving.
In the words of Syd Banks:
“There’s nothing you need to do, be, have, change, get, or practice in order to be happy, loving, and whole.” ~ Syd Banks
There’s nothing to do really is SOMETHING!
Love you lots, Angela xx
PS: These thoughts are inspired by the insights I’ve seen and the realisations I’ve had that have made a difference to the way I live and the lives I touch.