Getting Lost in Just Doing

By Leo Babauta

Sometimes we get discouraged about ourselves: we think, “I’m not doing a good job, I’m not disciplined, I’m not good enough, I suck.” Or something like that.

What can we do? Give ourselves a pep talk? (Sure!) Find something to appreciate about ourselves that’s awesome? (Yes!)

Another approach, highly recommended, is to just forget about it.

When we’re discouraged about ourselves, we’re doing a lot of hand-wringing about why we’re not good enough, not amazing enough, not successful enough, not special enough. But what’s so important about being special? Why are we so preoccupied with that? It’s a waste of brain cycles.

Instead, just pick something to work on. Write something, draw something, program something, animate something, sew something. It doesn’t matter. Anything that your heart is drawn to.

Set an intention for this activity: I’m doing this out of compassion for others, out of love for myself, to meet my commitment to so and so.

Now get started: begin actually doing it. Don’t worry about whether you’ll do it for 10 minutes or an hour. Don’t worry about how good you’ll be at it, or what people will think of it, or whether you’ll succeed or not. Those are not relevant to the task.

Just do. Put your mind completely in the activity, in the motion and ideas and emotions, in your body and breath and surroundings. Be completely mindful, completely immersed.

And this child inside yourself, worried about being special? He or she disappears. Gets lost, as you become immersed in the doing.

Try it now. Pick something, set an intention, and start doing. And lose yourself in the doing.

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Anticrastination: the art of constructive non-doing

yoga-dog

If procrastination is “the action of delaying or postponing something” as defined by the Oxford dictionary, then anticrastination is the art of prioritising non-doing as the most wholesome and worthwhile by-pass-time.

Procrastination feels bad, it is putting off the necessary and urgent in favour of that which provides instant, short-term gratification. Anticrastination on the other hand feels good. It is a deliberate choice to de-clutter the mind and purify its incessant urge to express and make happen.

The mind’s normal mode is like a nonstop TV ad segment that flashes random images in relentless succession and takes you for a ride. What you want is to switch to documentary mode where you can observe the natural flow of life at a pace that allows for the appreciation and true savouring of all that is worthy of being truly enjoyed.

The idea for this very post that shook me out of my pleasant, morning bout of anticrastination came from a friend who posted the following on facebook;

To all who procrastinate: “We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late. Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it?” –The Buddha

For more on this topic, check out the work of Leo Babauta, the master of procrastination remedies. zenhabits.net/procrastination/

Now, back to anticrastination….