Friday, April 26, 2013


Today I try to address the historical problem of doing nothing. Let me tell you that it’s not as easy as you think. Jerry Seinfeld famously addressed the predicament as :
I am so busy doing nothing… that the idea of doing anything - which as you know, always leads to something - cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything.
When trying to do nothing, one is often faced with the paradoxical fallacy of trying to avoid doing anything which against amounts to doing something because “sitting around and trying to avoid” is still doing something. O ... K ... Thank God, I don't have this kind of a self-defeating rational purist mindsets but a practical problem in doing nothing is one of controlling the mind to not fixate on anything of significance as Twilight mused. When you sit around trying to do nothing, it’s easy to start thinking about one particular topic like “What should I do with my life? or “Should I sun-dry the left over tomatoes and make a pickle out of them ?” and imagine how embarrassingly worse it will be if you find an answer to such important questions - potentially ruins the whole goddamn plan for the day. Doesn't it?

But, I have a counter-intuitive solution to this problem. The real trick of doing nothing is to TRY TO DO EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. This is an effective way to keep your mind constantly occupied yet never be able to focus on anything (as focusing is the arch-enemy of doing nothing). When you try to do everything, I mean, literally a really, large number of things at the same time, there is no chance that you will get anything done because you (in a strict technical sense) can’t have enough time to do anything - no matter how small the task (Like trying lifting the magazine to read but instead, stop and reach for the TV remote but instead, stop and open a online shopping website to read it’s privacy policy but instead, stop and look for your keys but instead, stop and locate the mop to clean the kitchen floor but instead …. ). This is exactly how noise-cancelling headphones work - by generating the"anti-noise" signal to cancel the ambient noise. Similarly, the general rule is to have a mental traffic jam of ideas over-load with each idea canceling each other one out. Soon, the video in CCTV camera will show you aimlessly groping a large number of objects in a record time, frantically walking from room to room with no discernible purpose. I know this behavior might vaguely remind you of someone with an anxiety attack. True, but who finished their graduate thesis in the middle of an anxiety attack

Most real problems in life come when we attempt a finite list of things and accidentally, partially finish some of them and get blamed for doing something and that too, for not doing it well enough to satisfy the never-contended world. In a way, “doing everything” is actually a nice euphemistic substitute for “doing nothing”. Next time, she asks you "What are you thinking about ?" and you don’t want to share and get some instant 'constructive criticism' about your personality, just simply say “Uh! Everything”

Now, if you excuse me, I gotta upstairs and dry some tomatoes in the sun …




10 comments :

Rohan said...

The real talent is not to do nothing. . It is to do nothing while appearing to do everything! Should do some research into that. . ;)

Sash! said...

excellent .... i think we are now getting somewhere with this :)

smanu said...

"Next time, she asks you what you are thinking..." - Not she, its he!!! I say it coz, guys 'allegedly' have an amazing knack to 'think' just nothing and girls have an equally powerful knack of thinking 'just about anything', goddamn anything all the time! So lets preserve that inheritance and legacy and reserve this "Ah! Everything" advice to girls only....

smanu said...

I intended to write, ...girls 'reportedly' have an equally powerful knack...

Sash! said...

hehe ... fair enough .. let's have it your way ...

But hey, let me ask you this ... How many times would he by himself would ask (with interest to really know) what she is thinking about? Guys don't pose that question very often, I think ... We are happy to believe that most times all brains are usually empty :)

So, guys get more chances to use my theory, is what i am saying ... :)

smanu said...

Ok then I must bring the growing pattern of 'metrosexual' guys. Isn't this concept used for guys and not girls? which means the thinking patterns of guys have changed drastically off late. While progress and change happens all the time and humans keep changing...but suddenly there is this change in guys' thinking pattern itseems! Like they becoming more fashion-conscious blah blah blah and getting more curious of what girls think is definitely one of them, girls have become less curious of what guys think because over the generations they came to understand that they don't much think anyway ;-) (hehehe)......And thus the change in the direction of advice!

smanu said...

"...get some instant 'constructive criticism' " - I get to see the 'ever-sustaining sarcasm' happening here :) Anywayz, wanting to end this on a cordial note...on behalf of all the girls, you are welcome!

Sash! said...

hehe ... point taken. Some mild version of jamba lakadi pamba ?

Eww ... are these creepy "metrosexuals" still around ? Aren't they weeded out by evolution just as yet ?

Twilight Musings said...

While this is an excellent beginner strategy, there is something to be said about random chance.

It is not often, but there is about 1 in 1000 to 10000 chance that you may do all you tried to do just because everything aligns perfectly in the universe around you.

When your audience happen to see the results (not process) they form a misconception that you CAN do everything. Oh boy, dismantling expectations needs a lot of doing something.

smanu said...

Don't know! Infact you guys should tell me that? The problem with evolution is that it brings a new element easily, say through one sample, but to weed it out, it requires the efforts from majority of the samples, in which the new element has been injected and propogated.

The problem with the universe is that there is everything in it, all sort of frequencies and everything seems to align perfectly coz of one's own fundamental frequency! And we keep changing that self-frequency by checking if that alignment really suits us...I think that explains the famous tagline of the book 'Secret' - If you "really" want something, the whole universe conspires to fall in place to give that to you. And having got it from the universe herself(itself), its very difficult to give that back again to universe, in case we get to know that was a wrong wish yet a right acknowledgement...

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