“Stillness is what aims the archer’s arrow. It inspires new ideas. It sharpens perspective and illuminates connections. It slows the ball down so that we might hit it. It generates a vision, helps us resist the passions of the mob, make space for gratitude and wonder. Stillness allows us to persevere. To succeed.”
Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key, (2019)
Stillness is vastly underrated. Although with mindfulness this is now slowly changing.
There is an amount of speed that is optimal when doing and working that allows us to get a lot done without too much stress. At some point additional speed doesn’t help to get more done. That’s where more mistakes creep in, thinking jumbles, creates drama and the effort creates more costly maintenance and wastes time.
Conversely, there is an optimal stillness level. Where things slow down, get into focus, thinking clears, more intelligence and creativity are freed up and new ideas and solutions are hatched. At some point any additional stillness creates complacency, laziness, disengagement, over drifting and stuckness as momentum grounds to a halt and direction is lost.
How do you make sure you stay in that optimum range? Also how do you make sure you don’t stay stuck in speed or stillness too long? You need the alternating flow of both, in that optimum range for the best productivity and best use of your time and energy.
We have been culturally stuck in that high gear speed for too long and not nearly spending enough time cultivating the power of stillness.
Stillness allows you access to your depth and to more time in the present moment, within which everything gets done.
It is very important to make some stillness a priority in your day. It will sharpen your mind and help focus more of your doing and its speed.