By Kerul Kassel
It’s hard to imagine that this could be so, but I’m finding that I have to be ambitious about being “lazy”. How amusing! If you’re like most of my clients (and myself), you’re very used to packing every day full of activities, responsibilities, “stuff”. You may take pride and pleasure in the amount of work you’re able to accomplish, the number of tasks and projects you can juggle, the sheer number of initiatives you’re involved in.
There may come a time, though, when you realize that some of the most important things you’d like to accomplish require the kind of time and focus that dictates some very substantial whittling away at some of what you’re involved in. And that can be tough (I know it is for me)! It may well entail letting go of what may feel about as important as what you’d like to incorporate.
For very busy people who like to achieve a lot, there’s often a tendency to push ourselves hard toward our goals, to go and go and go until we’re at least a bit (if not a lot) frazzled, exhausted, or frustrated. On some goals that we’re working toward, we can really load ourselves up with to-do’s, spending a lot of time, effort, and sometimes frustration trying to make our goal materialize. We’ve learned in the past that hard work can pay off, and we wonder why it isn’t working with this important one.
With most goals, it’s crucial to be very clear about the goal and the strategy you’ll use to pursue it. I’m finding, though, that in order to develop that crystal clarity in new and bigger goals, it’s paradoxically more important to relax and “do nothing” for a few minutes a day, here and there. I’m finding that I have to schedule in what I would have called “laziness” a couple of years ago. Ironic…
Whether it’s taking a walk alone, sitting and doing nothing for ten minutes, lying in bed for an extra 15 minutes, reading a book for pleasure, or petting the dog, it takes a bit of faith and courage that stepping back and doing “nothing” will help you manifest your objectives. For most of us, it’s a new paradigm. And I’m finding it works…and quickly!
So how to generate that courage and faith that most of us need to push away from constant activity? Here are some brief ideas:
1.Consider it an experiment and play with the idea.
2. Five or ten minutes is all you need to start with…and maybe all you need on a regular basis. Start small.
3. Don’t make it a obligatory drag; you don’t need to start by doing it every single day, and you want to make sure it’s fun.
4. Have a choice of a few things you can do during those minutes, and pick whatever feels most appealing.
5. Allow yourself to try out the belief that doing “nothing” can be even more productive than constant effort.