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Don’t just do something, sit there!

In principle, not every situation requires a decision and not every action requires a reaction. We are easily seduced into a sense of urgency, that we must “Don’t just sit there, do something!” Yet in reality the world works pretty well without us. Things usually play out just fine without any intervention on our part.

We often make decisions or leap into action not because the situation requires it, but because our ego requires it. Or perhaps we are conditioned into quick response by false fear or false responsibility. Whatever the reason, we can easily cause damage by deciding or doing too much or too quick. Not every annoyance needs to be fixed, by me, right now.

Practical Tip: Resist the impulse to decide or act quickly. Before deciding or acting, check in with yourself about why you want to “do something.” Unless the reasons are really good, allow yourself to lay low and let things happen rather than make things happen, and perhaps make a mess.

If you or your group don’t have clarity about what to decide, just sit there. Do nothing until clarity emerges. Be on watch for good things unfolding in spite of your inaction.

We are human beings, not human doings.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

6 thoughts on “Don’t just do something, sit there!

  1. “Human beings, not human doings”!! Is that your quote? Brilliant! I’ll be able to remember this tip thanks to it!

  2. Right on! We are human Beings not human doings! We are also Human Kind,a natural flow of kindness that is within us all. Asking;who is in need of responding right now? This question alone can give space to a quietness that allows things to be watched and unfold rather than jumping in impulsively.

  3. This is really a good tip and not only for group decisions. To learn this early in ones career, would be advantageous.

  4. This topic is very appropriate for many who jump to action before developing an understanding of the issue and the dysfunctional consequences are worst than the consequences of initial issue.

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