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Doing the right thing effortlessly, without trying

Doing the right thing effortlessly, without trying
January 24
06:38 2018

Wu Wei (Chinese, literally “non-doing”) is an important concept of Taoism and means natural action, or in other words, action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort. Wu wei is the cultivation of a mental state in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life. This going with the flow, although it may be greatly productive, is characterized by great ease where we spontaneously act perfectly.
This means that we do the right thing effortlessly and spontaneously, without trying.

What does Wu Wei really mean?
It sounds a bit like magic!? But if you think about it, haven’t you experienced such a state yourself already? A state where things just flow and you almost lose track of time? When you become one with your world and what you do seems to come out of very naturally? You are in the zone.
But the moment we actively think about what we are doing, this state seems to get compromised. This state is clearly above thinking. Or – if you don’t like this idea – it is on another level than action by thinking. Wu Wei is something different than the directive action coming out of desires and goals. I think this motivation is equally perfect and it doesn’t compete with being and acting from the flow. But on the other hand I think to be aware of that state brings the best of two worlds together.

Wu Wei vs. Laziness
Sometimes the idea of going with the flow is understood as laziness, of not doing what is necessary. This is not what Wu Wei means. Laziness is usually not the right action, but more often than not an expression of procrastination. Wu Wei means the right action in any given situation, action that flows naturally because we are connected to the flow of life.
How can we reach such a mental state?
Getting in the Flow. First I think we can get into flow by intensely focusing on what we do. By that we merge with what we are doing. Time seems to vanish and we become one with what we do. Our actions are of highest quality and feel effortless. That’s flow.

If we focus with great intensity and for a certain period of time we come into a state of flow. In sports many call it The Zone, when you are so focused that you become one with what you do in the moment. Time vanishes. It is like we totally forget anything around us. In that state we are most effective and that surprisingly without too much effort. For me it is without doubt the greatest and final kind of mental focus we can achieve:
Focus with intensity on your task, dive totally into it and become one with it. Do it for a reasonable period of time, at least 15, better 30 minutes. Avoid any distractions by creating the necessary environment

Myrko Thum



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