I was encouraged by a friend to do nothing for 15 minutes.
Not nothing (while I watched TV).
Not nothing (while I listened to music).
Not nothing (while I played on my phone).
Nothing. Absolutely. Nothing.
So I sat at my kitchen table. First minute was easy. Second minute was a little uncomfortable. Third minute, I was thinking of all the jobs that I absolutely had to do now (all of which could have waited). Forth minute, I was done with doing nothing and left my table stating to myself that I “had stuff to do”.
‘Nothing’ is quite hard to do. ‘Nothing’ is hugely more difficult than ‘everything’. People have a great ability to get faster, busier, more productive and more streamlined. There are books and seminars flooding in about ‘do these 5 things that make you better’. But on reflection, maybe ‘nothing’ is the new streamlined. In a world that is speeding up, maybe we need to slow down. ‘Nothing’ allows you to just be yourself. No pressures. No pulls on your time. No thinking. It allows you to re-fresh and re-group and just to re-be who you are; to re-connect with you.
“In an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still”. (Iyer, 2014)
I tried, over the coming weeks to sit still and do ‘nothing’ and it became the easiest, most liberating activity of my week. And has been ever since. Just 10 minutes of ‘nothing’ a day allows me to give my best to my wife, my children and all who are involved in my everyday. I have now become one of those men that I once looked at with confusion; sitting in a coffee bar, without a phone or book in hand, just sitting with a coffee. Seemingly doing nothing. But actually doing everything.
Much love. Rob.
Iyer, Pico. (2014). ‘The Art of Stillness’.