It all began with a riddle: "What is greater than God, more evil than Satan, rich people want it, poor people have it, and if you eat it you will ... riddle stumped us for days. Like with all ri
It all began with a riddle: "What is greater than God, more evil than Satan, rich people want it, poor people have it, and if you eat it you will die."
This riddle stumped us for days. Like with all riddles, its answer revealed a basic component of life we often take for granted. The answer was "Nothing".
In this harried life, we are all in a frenzy to have more, do more, say more, be more. We don't take time to stop and appreciate the value of nothing. We would all benefit from learning the value of doing nothing, saying nothing, and feeling nothing.
The Value of Doing Nothing. To say that we are all very busy is a gross understatement. People work hard to squeeze as much as possible into every minute of every day. Even our children are overwhelmed with school and sports and music lessons and play dates and so on and so on. It is not often that we stop and bask in a few moments of nothing. Try it: take 5 - 15 minutes one day to unload and unwind. Allow yourself to be free to think of nothing and do nothing. Recognize there is a big difference between the doing nothing of watching TV some part of you is still engaged) and the doing nothing of sitting in a dark quiet room alone with your thoughts. It is like working on an older computer when you have 5 - 10 applications open. You are jumping between applications, sharing data, saving information, using more and more of the computers resources. On many older machines, all of this activity would eventually overwhelm the computerís memory, applications would start to lock up and you would be forced to reboot. That's what spending time doing nothing is about, forcing yourself to periodically reboot.
The Value of Saying Nothing. Words are mighty things. Unfortunately many of us are totally unaware of the impact our words can have on other individuals. We are too wrapped up in being right, being heard, or getting in the last word. When was the last time you let your spouse, friend or co-worker talk? I mean really talk where you were not right there with an immediate reply or a comeback. When was the last time you felt a heated discussion brewing and you decided to hold your tongue versus fan the flames? Often the best thing we can say to another person is nothing.
The Value of Feeling Nothing. We live in an age where our senses are constantly bombarded by images we see on TV, in movies, and on the Internet. Our friends and families use us as dumping grounds for their emotional luggage or sounding boards for their ideas and dreams. But many people have very short "emotional" fuses and are emotionally attached to everything. How else can you explain the simple act of someone being cut off in traffic eliciting some of the extreme road rage that occurs? We are too tightly wound. Begin learning how to remove emotions from things that may have set you off in the past. Ask yourself is this really important? Will it matter 6 months from now? What impact does this have on the grand scheme of my life?
New Riddle: "What will help you reboot your day, defuse arguments, and control road rage?" ---> Nothing.
======================================= NOTE: The following information must be included if you reprint this article:
Myrtis Smith is a personal coach and founder of Premeditated Life, a Cincinnati-based coaching company specializing in helping individuals manage life's many transitions, especially career changes. Myrtis is known for her personable style. She has an action-oriented approach to coaching that uses light-hearted humor and practical information. She has an ability to help her clients see beyond their current situations and recognize the many possibilities available to them.