In many ways, our identity comes from doing so many things. It’s hard not to get caught up in striving for bigger, better, faster, brighter, without pausing and enjoying the journey along the way.
As someone who thrives on activity, it feels somewhat alien to lessen the grip on ‘doing’. It’s all too easy to keep checking emails and social media, driving a child somewhere, or putting a load of washing on. Being busy can often be seen as a badge of ‘success’ and it’s not surprising when you look up ‘do nothing’. Who would want to be described as “a shiftless or lazy person” or a “couch potato, idler, layabout.”
The language associated with doing nothing, particularly in Western cultures is often negative. However, in Eastern philosophy, Wu Wei (non-doing or ‘doing nothing’) means ‘effortless action’. It means being at peace while engaged in the most frenetic tasks so that one can carry these out with maximum skill and efficiency. One might describe it as being ‘in flow’ and a reminder to live in the present.
This August, here at The Conversation Space, we are intentionally getting curious about how we can do more by doing less. We’re going to be working in a different way. For some of us, in a different space. For others, at different times. And for all of us, with a different mindset. A mindset of slowing down, taking time to notice, and ensuring we stop to smell the flowers along the way.
Enjoy the summer and look forward to seeing you in September.