The Intelligence Behind Doing Nothing

The Wisdom of Non-Effort

For those of us who are always on the go and engaged in some activity, it might be difficult to conceptualize what it would be like to live a life that required less effort.

The purpose of life is to strive, to use force in order to bring about certain outcomes, to play catch-up, to triumph against lethargy, and to do one’s best to remain on top of things.

It’s possible that a strategy that’s referred to as “non-effort” may seem absurd to you.

Yet if this describes you, you should be aware of how tense you are most of the day. When you are clenching your jaw, your torso may feel tight, you may be exhausted from the many activities you have been participating in, and everything may seem like a battle or a race to you.

What would it be like if life were less difficult, more calm, more trusting, and more surrendered? What would that be like?

Let’s investigate this further and see what kind of options we have.

To begin, allow me to tell you who this post is not for and why you should not read it. It is not intended for people who may benefit from exerting a little bit more effort.

If you are content in your life and have the sense that there is plenty of room for growth, but you just can’t bring yourself to tackle the challenges that lie ahead… This is not what you need in any way.

You probably could put a little bit more effort into things, which would call for a different strategy.

Putting in the “proper effort” means giving just the correct amount of energy to a task; this means neither putting in too much nor too little.

What It Looks Like to Make No Effort

Since it involves a lack of activity, non-effort is difficult to define in words. That’s like attempting to explain nothingness, which is all about the things that aren’t there in the first place.

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Now, let’s take a look at a few instances of what it may mean to not put in any effort…


When you meditate with a lot of effort, you put a lot of effort into maintaining your attention on one point, you feel irritated with yourself when you stray from that point, and you sweat bullets as you attempt to do it well.

The practice of non-effort meditation consists of sitting comfortably, paying attention to what is taking place in the present moment, observing when your attention wanders to thoughts, noticing the thoughts for a minute with the fascination of watching a cloud drift past, and then returning effortlessly to the present moment.

It does not need any work at all, but rather far less effort than other options.


The practice of non-effort is letting oneself go for a stroll, paying attention to what comes to mind for you as an idea for a piece of writing, and having faith in those ideas.

The next step is to find a place to sit where there won’t be any interruptions and let your thoughts on the subject come to you naturally.

Sometimes nothing happens, so you have to be motionless for a little while and focus on your breathing until something does happen.

The next step is to allow it to run off your hands. It does not need any work at all, but neither is it a very strenuous endeavor.


You first establish the framework, then ask additional people to participate in the project, and then all of you turn up together.

It may feel very much like playing. The next step is to schedule something to do in the time in between meetings as well as another appointment for the not-too-distant future.


You have the opportunity for fun and creativity at every stage of the process. By following your instincts and putting your faith in your own judgment, you are able to make judgments with ease.

The project is progressing like a garden that has been lovingly cared for.

These are not the characteristics of effortlessness. These are just a few samples of how it may seem.

In fact, it seems whatever it appears when you practice it, which may even involve some effort.

Understanding the Value of Doing Nothing

There is more to non-effort than just making things simpler for oneself, even if this is a significant advantage.

Things start to seem easier, become less of a struggle, and become more comfortable and easy. But the issue goes much deeper than that.

When you allow yourself to relax into non-effort, a new thing will emerge. not just a different sort of outcome but also a different kind of understanding as well.

In the example of meditation that was given before… Under the first model, which is the effortful model, you may actually grow much better at single-pointed attention by exerting a lot of effort into the process.

The second model, which does not require any effort on your part, allows you to obtain access to a trustworthy part of yourself that has a different relationship to the outside world.

It recognizes the splendor that already exists in the world and knows that it is an integral component of the living, breathing marvel that surrounds it.

What if we started to nurture that sort of connection with life by learning to push ourselves less, letting off a little bit, and regaining our place in the flow of life?

How to Be Non-Effortful in Your Profession

If you’re interested in learning more about this strategy, or if you see possibilities for yourself… You may be wondering how to put this into practice. Great! I got you. 馃檪

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The first thing you need to do is become aware that you’re making an attempt. This isn’t always a negative or incorrect thing, but you could become more aware of the amount of work, tension, and pushing that you’re putting out.

What kind of anxiety is behind this? Would it be possible for you to simply be with the sensation of being afraid?

After that, take a minute to stop, focus on your breathing, and try to relax your whole body. Let yourself be open to whatever is occurring in the present, whether it be your feelings, your anxieties that are in the past, your thoughts, your desire to get this over with as quickly as possible, or the sound of birds chirping in the distance.

The next step is to consider what may develop from a position of non-effort. While you are calm, taking deeper breaths, and remaining quiet, have faith that something will present itself. a concept, some clarity, a decision that comes from the heart, and something that you are being drawn toward.

Therefore, you should put your faith in it. Let it develop naturally. It’s possible that you’ll decide to take some kind of action from there, but if you do, make sure that action is taken from a calm yet committed place.

That will take a lot of practice. And let this exercise be effortless; just unwind, and allow yourself to flow back into it again and again.

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