THE BLOG
07/23/2013 10:15 am ET Updated Sep 22, 2013

The Power of Doing Nothing

Whenever my life becomes a clogged up pipe, my dad often tells me to do absolutely nothing. Yes, nothing. Though I become befuddled by his suggestion, I always give it a try anyway. So I stare at the ceiling while lying on the bed in order to maintain a calm yet empty set of mind. It's so difficult these days to concentrate on literally nothing. When I stare at the slate blankness of the ceiling, I start visualizing food and pastries I've seen in a department store the other day or a funny video clip I've seen on YouTube. Then my eyes slowly avert the ceiling to another part of the room. Instantly, I realize that I've failed to do absolutely nothing.  

It's fascinating how our brains are in a constant state of thought; they refuse to pause and take a break for a moment. And this makes me wonder how our modern society has shaped us today. We need to be doing something 24/7; we even deprive our sleeping time to do so or, shall I say, even our bathroom time when we have phones in our hands. Instead of relaxing or clearing our minds after we come from, let's say, work or school, we surf the Internet or turn on the TV. We rarely spare ourselves some time to do nothing because we are afraid of feeling "empty." That's what I felt when I lied on the bed and blankly stared at the ceiling.

My dad tells me all the time that doing nothing is powerful and full of potential than what we assume. However, it is one of the most difficult tasks to do. Because we are distracted by our surroundings and tempted to do something all the time, we hardly appreciate what we can earn from doing simply nothing. Just like our bodies need rest, our brains need a moment of thoughtlessness to rejuvenate themselves. Our brains are almost like laptops. When our laptops are used up, we charge them overnight so we can use them tomorrow. But our brains do better; after all, they are extremely complex forms of machines. They give us bursting ideas and opportunities to live our lives differently or even creatively. But most importantly, it gives us space and time to look at things from a larger perspective. That's how we come to appreciate the true power of doing nothing.

I used to struggle to clear my mind and stay motionless at first. When I finally thought I found respite in the thought of nothingness, my brain would all of a sudden bring out a box of unnecessary thoughts from the corner and show them to me. It was almost like a thought battle between my brain and me. Although I haven't fully overcome this struggle, I'm taking one step at a time. By doing so, my life has already changed dramatically. It feels like the smile on my face is gradually growing. Try this at your home and explore the power doing nothing.