You artists and writers out there know the feeling, when you are trying so hard to create this thing in your mind that it actually gets harder to achieve the more you work on it. So the goal is to find a kind of flow instead, where it doesn't feel like trying at all. It is harder than we think!
An online article about a new book, Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity describes wu-wei as this:
"Wu-wei literally translates as “no trying” or “no doing,” but it’s not at all about dull inaction. In fact, it refers to the dynamic, effortless, and unselfconscious state of mind of a person who is optimally active and effective. People in wu-wei feel as if they are doing nothing, while at the same time they might be creating a brilliant work of art, smoothly negotiating a complex social situation, or even bringing the entire world into harmonious order."
Oh. A way to bringing the entire world into order! Hmmm.
I haven't read the book (yet) but the article is quite fascinating. And it made me add another sign to my studio. In addition to "Leap Before You Look", I've added "How to Be Exceptional: The First Step is to Stop Trying." Whoa.
So get out there today and stop trying, whatever it is you want to achieve. Maybe just sidle up to it like it's a shy pony and look at it out of the corner of your eye. I'll be in the studio trying not to try. :)
Jen Walls and her imaJENation