Sometimes doing less is doing more

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By Chris Suddeth

“If you ain’t making mistakes, you ain’t doing anything.” 

We’ve all heard this saying, or some version of it, and probably taken solace in it as we ponder where things took a dive. But is this axiom true and does it really serve our highest and best?

I mean, after first grade, we quit getting Es for effort, so why are we awarded a participation trophy in life? Would we be better served stepping back and giving careful consideration and internal work to a given situation (granted, it sometimes takes as long as it takes) before pulling the trigger? 

How often do we say, “It’s all about the timing”? This is your opportunity to work on that divine timing, that timing that doesn’t feel forced in the least and often produces the best outcome.

We do all sorts of things just to show others, and ultimately our own egos, that we’re doing something even if our heart, mind, soul and/or body is elsewhere. 

Within my intensive session room I learned the “art of non-doing” early on. The basic premise is when we try to fix people within that environment our ego takes over and very little gets done other than building frustration. Frankly, the more patience I have and the less I try to do, the more that gets done. Seems counter-intuitive, I know, but it works.

Setting aside procrastination, why would this not translate into the everyday world? 

So why not make an attempt at nothing doing? 

Take my life in recent months as an example. I’ve been really busy doing nothing in regards to major decisions while I fastidiously work on my insides. So, when a major decision does come along, I’m on the high ground to make things happen to my greatest advantage.

On another spin, it’s healthy to not always be do, do, do. Do we not get addicted to being on the run and feel worthless when the run is over? Do we busy ourselves just to be busy? 

The other day I read on the Yogspiration Instagram account, “Just a reminder that it’s OK if the only form of exercise you’ve done today is turning the pages of your book, making tea and laughing with friends. Well-being is your whole body, so make sure your soul is getting as much exercise as possible.”

I intend to make the “art of non-doing” the new Charlie Hustle in my life to see what happens. Is this a one-size-fits-all philosophy? Of course not, sometimes decisiveness is the only course of action. But consider this: Is doing nothing new or did we as a society buy into a raw deal?

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