~~ Lao Tzu
There’s a concept in Taoism, “wei wu wei”, which is often translated as “action without action” or “effortless doing”. I prefer to think of it more in the sense of “action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort”.
This is an important concept, because effortless action is a way to not only achieve focus in a world of chaos, but to be effective without stress, to respond to any situation with economy of effort and action, and to pursue our passions while beating procrastination.
Think for a moment of times when you've struggled to work, and instead procrastinated by heading for your distractions — email, social networks, blog reading, games, whatever your flavour might be. I am very guilty of these distractions!
This struggle is often a losing battle for most of us. We fight against it, but only win occasionally.
According to Lao Tzu effortless action is an easier way to find focus and beat procrastination.
BE LIKE WATER
An appropriate mental image is that of water, which seems naturally effortless in its action. It isn't necessarily still, nor is it passive, but it flows naturally around obstacles and always gets to where it’s going.
This is effortless action. It uses gravity and the natural contours of its landscape, instead of forcing things. Water can never be anything but effortless, and yet it is quietly powerful.
"We must learn to position ourselves effortlessly within each moment, rather than stumbling through time. We can either escape from the moment or stay with it as it unfolds and do something good with it."
And this is exactly right. Are you trying to escape the moment, fleeing from it and struggling against it? Or are you inhabiting the moment effortlessly?
"Simply stay at the center of the circle."
~~ Tao Te Ching
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
~~ Lao Tzu
|I took this photo in Norway in July 2010, it shows how effortless and powerful water can be.|