Looking to try something different in 2021? STOP desperately trying to ‘achieve’. The space that is left by freeing-up the energy wasted on proving yourself is fertile ground for growth. This is the void of achievement.
Be wary of positive advice
The world is full of positive advice on what new things you can do to improve your life and achieve more. Try this, try that, be an early riser, drink more herbal tea, blah blah blah. I much prefer the opposite approach of removing the unhealthy things that we do. Removing those habits and beliefs that stop us from being the naturally-free selves that we already are.
Of all the things we can remove, the one that is probably the most insidious in modernity is the desire to achieve. To prove yourself against arbitrary benchmarks that you (and others) believe are so very important. Benchmarks that you have pinned your self-worth to and chase in the hope of some day being able to feel good about yourself.
But, this is like the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We risk achieving and achieving, but never feeling fulfilled. We risk seeking and seeking, but never finding.
Allowing the void of achievement
The void of achievement is very much about not doing. About letting go of the need to prove yourself through status achievements. And, I would be a fool for trying to tell you how to do it. For it cannot be done, it can only be undone. However, we can still paint a picture of how things may look without desperately trying to achieve. At its most basic, stepping into the void is about putting food on the table, staying healthy, and seeing what happens.
How so? Well, I suppose you’ve got to do what you need to do to eat, and you’ve got to do what you need to do to stay healthy. Beyond that, there is now a fertile space for all manner of interesting paths to emerge.
Hard for us moderns
The modern human lives trying to control everything. Trying to measure the outcome and ‘purpose’ of every action. For such an individual, stepping into the void can feel scary. Because it has no purpose per se. Paradoxically, it is from such purposelessness that deeper purpose arises. It is the very place we need to go to if we are to live with a sense of inner freedom.
Stepping into the void of achievement is a fertile realm — let us find the courage to allow it.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.