The False Allure of Doing Nothing There is a certain false allure of doing nothing. We give "nothing" a lot of different names- relaxing, chilling, vegging, Netflix, etc. While there is validity to having downtime, we attach a false & inflated value to doing nothing; like it should be the end-all goal of everything we do. We work hard to retire, so that we can do what? Put our feet up? When I think back to times I've been sick with a cold or flu, there was nothing that I wanted to do more than get up and do something, anything; but I couldn't. I was sick. Finally getting over an illness, and getting up to do something felt good. It feels good. When we don't have the opportunity to do "something", we miss it. Why is that? I believe it's because our bodies were meant to move. We're meant to be active by design. If we were meant to sit or lie down all day, our bodies would be designed in a way to make that more effective. We're designed to move, lift, twist, walk, climb, and build. Combined with our intellect and ability to reason, we have the ability to do so many more things! We paint, draw, write and play music, play sports, take photos, hike, climb, run marathons, compete in triathlons, build buildings, and even build spacecraft so that we can visit outer space! I recently spent some "free time" building a few projects rather than just "relaxing." I can tell you this - I felt much more "relaxed" after working on these projects than I would have had I put my feet up and binged on some streaming that I'm behind on. this led to increased productivity and progress on other projects; both work and personal. I also had a sense of accomplishment as a result of working on these projects. One of the projects was something I designed and built from start to finish, so I'll have a design to share on Etsy at some point in the near future! There's a certain amount of control that we surrender when we attach an inflated value to relaxation. When we do this, we tend to consume, we consume more media, more goods, but we don't feel any better; and the cycle repeats. When we eat worse, we sit around more, when we sit around more, we consume more media, when we consume more media, we're advertised to more often. We become controlled by our appetites and desires as opposed to controlling our appetites and desires and choosing what we consume and do. This begins with shaping our "free time" but can end up affecting how we interact with our families and friends, and even affect how or where we work by contributing to learned helplessness. We have to break that cycle. To use the example of a deck of cards - do we want to be a card in the deck, or do we want to control the deck? I don't know about you, but I'd much rather control the deck of cards, and not be easily shuffled and moved around; whether it's by somebody playing the game, or a magician, moving me with slight of hand. I don't want to be controlled as easily as a card in a deck. I want to play the game, not be played.

One Comment

  1. Amen to that! But is playing Jurassic World Legos doing nothing??? Hmmmm…maybe.?

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