Oftentimes what I, you, we don’t do has more of an impact than what we do

I was on the phone with my younger son today and he asked me what I had been doing.  I told him that I had been working.  So he said “No, I mean what have you been doing in the evenings?”  I replied “Working, I worked until midnight last night and I am working this evening.”  He asked “Are you getting paid extra for the work that you are doing in the evenings?”  I replied “No” and he asked “Why are you doing it then?”

Why have I been working during the evenings?  Simply put, a bunch of people who have placed their trust in me and who I care about are counting on me to help them accomplish something that matters to them.  And people’s jobs and lives are at stake – there is something huge at stake given the economic situation in this country.

I am also working in the evenings because I am mindful of a fantastic piece of wisdom from a master of life and living.  Like a zen master (and I say he is a zen master, I suspect he lives joyfully without labels) he sees reality and the human condition just as it is and just as it is not.  Here is what he says:

“It is important that you get clear for yourself that your only access to impacting life is action. The world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel, or what you think, and certainly it has no interest in what you want and don’t want. Take a look at life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act.” Werner Erhard

You, I , we act on the world by what we do and by what we do not do. Oftentimes what we do not do (that which we hide from ourselves) has more of an impact on the world than what we do do (that which is visible to ourselves and others). Unfortunately most of the time we are not present to this.

I was fortunate that I got present to the fact that what I did not do on Monday evening (structure and write up the information coming out of the workshops) was likely to make more of an impact on the project that I am working on/in than what I had been doing during the days (facilitating workshops).

Wow: I just got an insight into why my wife is unhappy with me right now!

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

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