Dis Your Distraction: Do Less, Be More

This past weekend I went for a beach run with Dolly, my hound, and Pruitt, a delightful Corgi.

As Dolly’s modus operandi is to vanish within seconds of arriving and turn up when I’m ready to leave, I was surprised—and initially disconcerted—by Pruitt’s tendency to weave between, around, and under my feet as I ran.

Frankly, it was distracting.

After a bit, I noticed that my brain was so taken up with trying to manage/organize Pruitt that I was missing a spectacular day.

So, I put my attention on the horizon, and the sun, and the gulls, and the breeze, and guess what?

Pruitt got out from under my feet—and we both started to enjoy ourselves.

What struck me about this is how often I – we? – get so focused on small impediments underfoot that we lose sight of the big picture.

We allow small things to disconnect us from our goals, our dreams, our peace of mind.

I recognize this is not a huge revelation:

The revelation, for me, was that I didn’t have to do more than take my attention off Pruitt for the situation to change.

There was no need for doing on my part.

Which reminded me of a quote from ‘self-styled philosophical entertainer’ Alan Watts:

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”

And while this can be hard for me to accept—hardcore control freak that I am— I am starting to believe it can be true.

How about you?

Is there a situation in which doing less might allow you to be more?


For more on the power of not doing, look at “Try…Try Less…Abandon all Effort”