A friend once told me: ‘The 21st century is full of choices’. He was right; but is having too many choices a good thing? Personally, it makes decision taking all that more difficult for me, I wonder if it is the same for you?
Peter Bregman has very recently written an interesting piece on the beauty of doing nothing, when all else fails. Even though I am in complete agreement with what he says, this article should offer a good prelude to his solution of doing nothing.
It will be beneficial if you play along with me for a few minutes.
Grab a pen and paper and write down an issue that has been troubling you recently. This problem might relate to your health, wealth or family. Now note down this problem and note down all possible resolutions to it. If you are struggling to formulate something, just draw a mind-map of all the things related to your problem.
Now which solution should you go for? What is your Plan A? What if that fails? Is there a Plan B? Plan C? Plan D? You see where I am going with this…
Some of the issues we face in our life cannot be resolved by any tangible solution, and that is what Peter argues, correctly so.
But when do we stop trying to find a solution?
Short answer – When the next solution seems like overkill.
Long answer – Once you have established your next goal – you will dedicate all energy to reach that goal. Trying each option, possibly not in a hit-and-miss scenario is a great way to go forward; but it is recommended to plan your strategies and make sure you put your best foot forward. Still, not every solution will work. So what do you do?
You move on to the next, and the next and next, till you resolve it, or you give up due to exhaustion. This is the point of overkill, where you have tried everything to make it work and you have given it your best, but there is no possible resolution.
Beyond this point, no human effort from your end will resolve the issue; and here, as Peter puts it, ‘is best to do nothing’. Unfortunately, the age-old adage about ‘Try and try till you succeed’ fails here, as the cost of continually trying far exceed the possible benefits that you could otherwise achieve. This is why we get exhausted – because we don’t have the emotional or mental will power to carry on with the tasks at hand.
So have you tried resolving a problem recently, one that was resolved only when you stopped trying? I am very keen to hear your perspective on this.