When you’re genetically wired for hard work, the hardest thing to do is nothing.
The opposite of ambition. The antithesis of labor. Idleness. Blech.
But just like in yoga, where the posture you hate the most is the posture you need the most, I figured doing nothing was the right move.
But not before doing a little research. Sabbatical comes from the word sabbath, meaning day of rest. But the word also dates back to ancient agriculture. Mosaic law decreed that on the seventh year, a farmer’s land was to remain untilled while debtors and slaves were to be released.
Maybe that’s what I needed. To leave the land alone. To emancipate myself as a slave to achievement.
So one year, I decided to do nothing. For three straight months. No working. No writing. No marketing. No strategizing. No nothing.
Just a lot of sleeping, a lot of walking, a lot of reading, a lot of singing and a lot of traveling. And cookies. Oh man were there cookies.
And it turns out, for someone who’s happiest when he’s productive and prolific, for someone who’s wired to find satisfaction by adding value through toil, taking a sabbatical was the best thing I could have done.
By the time summer was over, I was rejuvenated and equipped for the next chapter of life.
Who knew doing nothing could be so productive?
Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and work study volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.