“If you’re going to do nothing, do it on purpose.”
My friend, Allen Meacham, shared this idea with me. It was so meaningful I included this idea in my book, SPARK.
In our busy lives, it’s hard to imagine that doing nothing can have its benefits. For my ultra-busy coaching clients, I know the idea of doing nothing makes their skin crawl. If I gave them a “do nothing” challenge, they’d sit alone for three minutes, then say, “This is pointless,” and then get back to responding to emails. (Hence, coaching…development takes time!)
As I write this, I’ve spent the day trying to do nothing – I’m empathetic, it’s hard. What’s harder is finding the right kind of nothing to do. Binging on Netflix is doing nothing, but it doesn’t add up to much*. Walking in the woods is doing nothing, but I’m alone with my thoughts and able to achieve something useful, i.e., metacognition.
Metacognition is the discipline of thinking about your thoughts…literally. Just this practice has the power to transform your life.
I recently read that we have up to 60K thoughts per day – 85% of them are negative, and 90% are repetitive. What if, for the past three years, your negative, repetitive thoughts follow a pattern like this: I’m not good enough, I’m not healthy enough, I’m not smart enough, my life is going nowhere. This can lead to significant mental and emotional pollution. It’s called rumination. It’s not good.
If we think about our thoughts, we have the power to rewrite them. Remember: thoughts become beliefs that become behaviors. If we believe we’re worthy, healthy, intelligent, and hopeful, that translates to a range of behaviors that allow us to find ourselves in opportunities that enhance and advance our life. Think about the compounding effect that positive, repetitive thoughts on your life can have! It’s incredible!
I also came across this practice from Dr. Wayne Dyer – writing “I am” statements. I think this is a good starting place when it comes to rewriting your thoughts.
As you know, 2024 is The Year of Transformation. Let your transformational journey begin by being good at doing nothing…and when you do nothing, do it on purpose. Use the quiet moments to do the critical work on valuing and affirming how unique and talented you really are!!
PS: I binge-read the Twilight books recently…and I did it on purpose. I’m not embarrassed, either. Remember: sometimes pointless fun has its place, too.