Minute Meditations

The Art of Doing Nothing

Some people take exception to my talk about the power of pause, living in the present moment, and the art of doing nothing. They don’t like the idea of “wasting time.” But there’s a difference between wasting time and just being bored: Wasting time really is intentional. You are, literally, spending time. On clouds, or lilies, or naps, or silence, or prayer, or providing a generous spirit, or coffee with friends (even if on Zoom), or listening to someone’s story, or caring for a flock of birds, or watching your cats fight it out for the best spot on the couch. Which means that you are not mortgaging your time or your life on any old distraction merely out of boredom. When you do pause and pay attention, there is an internal recalibration. While nothing is “added” to your life, there is a new awareness of the light that is within. Let’s call it our new internal wealth account. As long as success is measured by keeping score, we lose track of most everything that makes us human and, therefore, glad to be alive.

—from the book Stand Still: Finding Balance When the World Turns Upside Down,
by Terry Hershey, page 9

Stand Still by Terry Hershey


1 thought on “The Art of Doing Nothing”

  1. The key to success is authenticity. So, if one is not themselves, then you’re not going to be successful. But is success important? Well, being oneself is. So, we all have to ask ourselves sooner or later, who am I? And how are you going to do that if you don’t take the time to do that? Some things take time. “Who we are is more important than anything we may happen to accomplish. In other words, holiness matters,” to paraphrase Matthew Kelly from his book “Rediscover the Saints, twenty-five questions that will change your life.”

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