‘Art of Doing Nothing’

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10th December, 2022

Blaise Pascal said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

In 2014, psychologists from the University of Virginia asked a number of subjects to sit in a room by themselves for a period of 6 to 15 minutes at a time. They were asked to simply be alone in the room with their own thoughts. It turns out people have a very hard time doing this.

What they found was that study participants from a range of ages generally did not enjoy spending even brief periods of time alone in a room with nothing to do but think, ponder or daydream.

The participants, by and large, enjoyed much more, doing external activities such as listening to music or using a smartphone. Some even preferred to give themselves mild electric shocks than to think.

For most people it’s nearly impossible to do nothing these days, because there are so many options available to keep us busy. We have forgotten the Art of doing nothing.

Sure, we all know how to do nothing. We all know how to lay around and waste time. But many of us are too busy to do it much, and when we do it, our minds are often on other things. We cannot relax and enjoy the nothingness.

Doing nothing can be a waste of time, or it can be an art form.

The Dutch have coined a term for it called ‘Niksen’

Which “literally means to do nothing, to be idle or doing something without any use.” 

Practicing niksen could be as simple as just hanging around, looking at your surroundings or listening to music — “as long as it’s without purpose and not done in order to achieve something or be productive.”

Doing nothing is increasingly being framed as a positive, stress-fighting tactic.

Hence, besides the noble art of getting things done, master the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non essentials.

When we just sit, our imagination ignites and we fire up our creativity.

We learn things about ourselves and engage with our feelings.

This gives us the opportunity to learn, grow and change.

Doing nothing is not boring, it’s essential and the weekend is the best time to Do Nothing.

Practise ‘Niksen’, Get inspired this weekend & stay blessed forever.