Being lazy or bored are ways we can tell that we are doing nothing. Our calendar is empty, our phones do not ring, and we have little energy for doing anything. This is certainly one type of doing nothing.
The other type of doing nothing is when a decision is not made when it should be. I was in a group meeting for a couple of days and saw the group, a few times, take the easy way out. Instead of confronting and resolving diverse point of views immediately, the group wanted to defer to more analysis while they still voiced their opposition to continuing “to do” around the topic we were discussing.
On a personal level, the other type of doing nothing appears often as well. We gain weight but put off changing our diet or to begin to exercise regularly. Our car makes noise but we ignore it by not taking it to be fixed. When we are continually having issues with a friend or a co-worker but continue to associate them (keeping our displeasure silent).
The benefit of this other type of doing nothing is that conflict disappears and effort dissolves into inaction. In both group and personal settings, many times we don’t recognize that we are defaulting to this other type of doing nothing. It definitely is easier than confronting what needs to be confronted.
What we need to pay attention to is that when we default to this other type of doing nothing. the opportunity is right in front of us to move forward in our lives. Through either change or disassociation. But to do this, we must have the energy and determination to confront directly what we so readily try to avoid.
Not in a mean way. But in a thoughtful way, where honesty and openess can spark a conversation that leads us into a confrontation that demands that a decision be made. Sometimes we need to help others understand but most times we need to enlarge our awareness of ourselves to understand when we are defaulting to this other type of doing nothing.
Changing anything in our lives is more difficult than the words that describe it. As I have shared with you many times, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Understanding the trap laid by this other type of doing nothing is a great first step!