Productivity can be such a deadly thing, you know?
We put such a high premium on productivity that a lot of us base our sense of self-worth on how productive we are.
What have you done?
How much have you done?
And what are the results of these accomplishments? Were you able to change people’s lives? How many lives have changed because of what you’ve done? And how big was the impact of it on their lives?
These are the questions the world throws at us. And these are the questions we eat up because we think they’re legitimate questions to be asked of us. We take these questions seriously, too seriously, in fact. And these are the very questions that keep throwing so many people into anxiety and depression because they can’t keep up. Nobody can.
Every time someone shows up in the way she’s supposed to show up, the world keeps asking her, “Is that enough? What else have you done? Shouldn’t you be doing more? We’re going for maximum productivity here. We want you to do more, more, more. Give more, more, more. Do more than what you’re offering to us right now. More is always better. If you can’t keep doing more, then you obviously can’t be good enough.”
Good God! No wonder the world’s at war these days. People just can’t get over trying to do more, more, and even more in an effort to one-up the other.
We don’t just like to do more. We want to have bigger problems so that when someone comes along and shares their problems, we can say, “Oh, honey. That’s nothing. You see, I have a bigger problem than yours. And look at me. I’m still standing strong. I’m still tackling all the things this unfair life likes to throw at me. And my eyebrows are still on fleek. So get yourself up. Get going. Do something because if you don’t, how can you say your problems are actually valid problems at all?”
There it is again. They tell you to do something. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you start doing something. Apparently, just doing something, anything is gonna solve all your life’s problems. Apparently, the world needs doers, people who keep churning out something every day, with not much thought for whether what they’re putting out there is actually helpful to the rest of the world or if they’re just going through the motions because they thought doing is the key to success.
Well, no. Of course not. Happiness, success, fulfillment—all those things every single soul on this Earth wants don’t become available to us by simply just doing something.
Look at the millions of doers out there. They do, do, do all the time and they ain’t any closer to where they want to go. Many of them are doing simply because they were told it’s what they were supposed to do. They haven’t even consulted themselves about what it is they really want to do.
One day, they just woke up and began following all the neat little rules laid out in neat little diagrams for them. And they do and they do and they do. And they laugh at people who think differently from them because they’re actually convinced—no, programmed—that doing is the right thing to do.
And then there are those who were actually brave enough to take a peek into their soul. They actually know what they want to do. They have felt it in their hearts a long time ago. And they come back to it over and over again during those fleeting moments when they suddenly feel the urge to just quit their goddamned job and build a cabin in the mountains, or something like that.
But they’re hounded by fear and doubt peddled to them by the people who are programmed into the “doing” way of life. What if it doesn’t turn out? What if I was wrong all along? And so they go back to doing, doing, doing, despite the fact that their soul is screaming for them to turn the other way and run away from all of that.
And then, there’s us. We’re the people who have long ago opted out of the cult of doers and just followed whichever path our souls wanted us to take. There’s not a whole lot of doing here. There’s mostly just being. Oh, of course, there’s always some kind of action that’s being done. There’s always some kind of work we still need to accomplish. Just because we’re being and not doing doesn’t mean we just get to sit there eyes closed as we observe the world around us with our sixth sense. If that wasn’t what your soul called you to be, then that’s not what you’re gonna be.
But there’s so much less effort in just being. There’s not a lot of striving or struggling. There’s not even a lot of trying. We don’t try to do. We don’t try to be. We just are. I’m not trying to be a good writer. I just naturally am one. I know it in my bones. And I have always known deep inside, even during those times when my human mind takes over for a minute and lists down all the reasons I learned from college why I’m not a good writer. I am. And that’s why you can’t get over what I write. That’s why you keep coming back to my blog.
And here’s another reason why you keep coming back. You have no idea why but you, too, feel it in your bones. You, too, know deep inside that doing, doing, doing is not the secret of life. And you’ve also always known, amidst the noise and distractions of living life from the outside in, that there’s a wonderful, magical door to infinity that’s hidden inside all of us.
Where will that lead us? I have no idea. What’s it going to be like? Well, I’ve only just begun taking the first few steps beyond that door, and it’s been blowing my mind off so far. And how do you get to find that door and get inside? You don’t do, my friend. You just be.