Wu Wei: Effortless Action
Accomplish more with less.
“The Way never acts, yet nothing is left undone.” — Dao De Jing
What does it mean to achieve a flow state?
It means to act without effort. This paradox is represented elegantly by a Daoist concept known as wu wei, which translates to “non-doing,” “doing nothing” or “actionless action.” It lies at the heart of Dao or The Way.
Wu wei means letting go of ego and becoming one with the task at hand.
There is no self. There is only a heightened state of awareness aligned with the natural world. Even as chaos reigns, you respond effortlessly with only that which is required.
Wu wei means being supple, not rigid.
Those who are hard and unforgiving become brittle under pressure. Be like the tree in a strong gust of wind. Bend in the direction of the wind. Give in to its fury, but do not break.
Wu wei means swimming with the current, not against it.
As the Dao De Jing instructs, be “submissive and weak... yet which can’t be surpassed for attacking what is hard and strong.” Flow like water through and around impediments. Shape and adapt yourself to any object.
Wu wei means being in a slightly drunken state.
Let go of worries and inhibitions. Fly without shame as the bird does on a current of wind. Relax what was once unyielding such that a fall results in no injury.
To achieve wu wei...
Align with purpose, not expectation.
Find what is effortless, not perfect.
Leave the arrogant Self behind.
And go with the flow.
🤔 Food for Thought:
Have you experienced flow in your life?
Do you remember what you were doing?
How can you make this state of being more common in your life?
⚙️ One Small Step:
If you feel great resistance while facing a task, redirect your efforts elsewhere with less resistance. Return later to this task, for resistance ebbs and flows as do you.