The impact of doing nothing is incalculable

In war, silence is employed to throw the enemy off balance. 

It makes people suspicious, nervous and paranoid. Sentencing them to slave labor in the sweatshops of their neuroses. 

Sounds like smart psychological warfare to me. 

Strangely enough, we drop this bomb on ourselves all the time. When life gets too quiet, we grow suspicious. We badger ourselves about why the hell nothing is going on right now. And we work ourselves up into a state of panic by imagining the worst. 

Because there is a small part of us that actually loves that panic. It convinces us that we’re on the precipice of something. That we’re making things happen in the world. 

But like most things, it’s just a story. A narrative about not being enough. 

The real question is, can we finally learn to endure fallow times without panic? Are we complete enough in ourselves to accept life’s necessary silences? And can we trust that there might be a time of stillness before anything creative is born? 

If so, we become free. 

For many years, my goal was to fill any available space in my schedule with work. Because I felt too insecure doing nothing. Didn’t trust the silence. It was like the scene in the horror movie when the eerie fog creeps over the dark alley and everything goes quiet, three seconds before the hungry vampire swoops into the frame and devours the girl’s neck. 

Just keep moving and nobody can hurt me. 

Which worked for a while, until burnout reared its ugly face. And something had to change. 

I decided to take a sabbatical. For the whole summer. During which zero work could be done. 

What a terrifying prospect. Spend three months without writing, working and promoting my business? Are you sniffing glue? What if the world forgets about me and my precious brand? What if nothing else comes along and we go broke and die alone? In my head, the impact of doing nothing was incalculable. 

All the more reason to try it. Taking a sabbatical would be a real edge for me. 

Sure enough, the silence was exactly what my business, and my soul, needed. It was hard. Took a lot of restraint to not do the one thing that made me feel like myself. 

But sometimes having discipline means having enough discipline not to have discipline. If that makes sense. 

Lesson learned, trust the silence. We don’t need to feed the world our panic anymore. It has no use for it. 

Instead, let us provide the land with fallow time to enrich it with real rest. 

Having faith that we will come back stronger. 


What is your addiction to busyness costing you?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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