By Sanil Sachar
What time is it? What day is it? What’s your plan? What did you do? What do you want to do?
The number of questions has surpassed the answers, yet we find it compulsory to tick them all with unique replies just to seem busy. Just to seem worth our time.
When we were young, we never questioned the time it took us to get to school but now every extra foot on the brake makes the delay getting to the office seem like a “waste of time”. Even when our food gets delayed at a restaurant, we find ourselves tutting under our breath because it’s “taking too much time”. What are we saving our time for? If we were to accumulate all the ‘wasted time’ what would we do with it? There isn’t a guarantee, but I’m pretty certain we would think we aren’t using the extra time well enough.
We graduate from school but take forward the rigidness of timetabling everything we do. I am not disregarding the importance of being punctual or setting timelines, but to measure each tick of the clock is asking too much of ourselves. The true essence of time well spent is ironically looked back as a moment that stays on as being labeled ‘timeless’. Still, we stare at the clock each time we realise we are breathing without a second action taking place.
No one demands more from ourselves than we do. I say this with confidence despite knowing the external pressures we find in a life, synonymously known as a rat-race. Undoubtedly, if we were to finish the race, we’d keep going because even then, as we’d embrace the delusion of victory, we’d be wasting our time in celebration. The process of everything is often more enjoyable because we perceive the destination as far, as the peak of a mountain. Watching others smile, laugh and celebrate makes us question why we aren’t smiling, when in reality, they perhaps do the same when in your place. Nevertheless, the mirror is often looked at when we are in contemplation and not exhilarated with happiness because it’s in the latter we lose ourselves and the concept of time.
Doing nothing sounds blasphemous in a world that demands us all to be professional multitaskers. Doing nothing reeks of uncertainty, unsteadiness, unawareness, and everything we used to be when we were finding ourselves. And then we did. And suddenly we forgot that it was in the process of doing nothing that we realised what we want.
If life truly is a race, then we are runners who need to take a breather. Doing nothing is an art and like the necessity of art, it is crucial for everyone to venture into.
The art of nothingness demands nothing. Yes, it’s that complicated and that simple. It asks you to throw away the scale you use to measure your time because time well spent doesn’t equal a tangible reward. Stop measuring each minute by what else you could be doing. Instead, focus on yourself and where you are, not where you want to be.
Your definition of nothing can be anything you want it to be. It can be art, sleeping, staring into the distance (or a wall) and it can even be your daily job. But what doing nothing truly demands is that you don’t expect anything from it. To give without wanting to get is the art of nothing.
So, the next time you’re about to do something, in order to do nothing, don’t expect anything.
Sanil Sachar is Co-Founder of and Partner at Huddle.
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