Sometimes, we try too hard. Sometimes, we lose our soul trying too hard. We lose balance in the pursuit of a meaningless goal. It would all be worthwhile if that goal was not purely selfish, if it was purposeful. It would be worthwhile if our goals are not fleeting. Moving targets, one after another, and we chase them without respite. Sometimes, only to reach a goal and then feel a sense of emptiness. The hollow ring of achievement echoes in an overcrowded marketplace of compliments and no one really hears it. But, there are the few that stand out easily with elegance. There are some folks who are not trying too hard, and yet stand out distinguished. There are some folks who want to step away from the limelight, yet shine out bright. There are some folks who bask in effortless achievement. And you wonder what they do right?
If you have seen the movie "Eat, Love, Pray", you will be familiar with the protagonist and her Italian friends in the "Eat" section of the movie. It is here that she gets a little taste of Italian Tao. It is here that she learns to "be" without worrying too much about consequences. It is here that she learns to "be" without running around after myriad goals. It is here that she learns the sweetness of doing nothing. La Dolce Far Niente, or the sweetness of doing nothing. Isn't that a lovely phrase? It paints a picture of unhurried lazy action. Contrast that to the hustle and bustle of self-imposed deadlines and overambitious goals. Wouldn't you rather be working calmly and quietly in harmony with others? Achieving in slow motion so that it is captured in the hearts of those you touch.
Today's quick paced life is like running on a treadmill, running hard, breaking a sweat but reaching nowhere. The slow charm and lazy elegance of purposeful action is lost on a generation that needs a metric to rate itself. If there are quarterly revenue targets and cost reduction burdens at work, then you have calorie tracking and weight loss targets at home. Of course, in life you have a few other targets, say, own your car by thirty, your house by thirty-five, and the list goes on. And then depending on your personality type, you have additional targets around marriage and household. Well, you either marry and have children or remain like George Clooney and get arrested over Sudan. And finally, you target to have a mistress by eighty because if Hugh Hefner can, you can too. You feel uncomfortable if you don't have targets to run after. You feel you might not accomplish, you might not achieve but for these targets. So much to achieve in so little time, and it makes you run and trip over the next hurdle. So, wouldn't it be better if you did the little you did very well in an unhurried manner, in harmony. The Tao calls is "Wei Wu Wei" or as I understand it means "Action without Action" or effortless action. Look around and you see effortless action in nature, the earth goes around the sun in 365 days, you hardly notice its movement, but move it does. The river meanders to the sea in an unhurried manner, you hardly notice its movement, but move it does. The mountain changes shape everyday, you hardly notice the change, but change it does. What if the earth, the river and the mountain were in a big hurry? That would cause a cosmic collision or a flood or an earthquake, or something dreadful beyond imagination. So, if they can follow the cosmic laws, why can't you? Why are you in such a hurry? Why don't you experience La Dolce Far Niente?