"By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning. " Lao Tzu
Recently I have taken part in a number of discussions in which the other party raised the idea that some of the content on Happy Cow might be 'dangerous'. They particularly objected to our suggestions that a non-striving approach to life might actually result in more creation than the traditional Western 'set goals - work hard - achieve stuff' model.
They suggested that such an idea would lead to people giving up work and just sitting about on the sofa all day eating ice cream and nachos and watching day time TV in their underpants.
Perhaps you feel the same way. So I have decided to highlight an example of something that has been created with absolutely no planning whatsoever. Something that has grown organically out of one little idea that appeared out of nowhere one day when I was cleaning my kitchen.
That little idea was the Happy Cow song. Under two years later, with no planning or goal setting at all, that tiny idea has grown organically into this website. I would also add that at no point during those two years did it ever feel like an effort, or whenever it has begun to, I have simply stopped and taken a couple of weeks break from it. It has been as if Life has been moving me without me needing to 'try' at all. The work and the writing gets done and never feels like an effort. In fact, I would even describe is as if I am not there. Have you ever been so engrossed in something that time vanishes? You look at your watch and suddenly it is 4 hours later. You have missed lunch but felt no hunger at all. It is as if during those four hours you were not there.
Also, I just happen across other people who are happy to make contributions that fit perfectly with the rest of our content. Like a tree it has gradually grown. A little bit added here. A little bit added there. Branches growing in whatever direction they happen to take. Never once a bit of planning. I literally have no idea on Monday what is going to appear by Thursday. Yet on and on it grows.
Has this made me a millionaire? Not at all! We make something of a loss. This is a hobby for me. Did we create something of value? If not, then I guess nobody will be reading this!
Maybe if what you want is to make products and make money and get rich etc. then stick with the goal striving model. But non-striving certainly does not mean stagnation. It certainly does not mean nothing is done or created.
On the contrary. Creation seems to have flourished dramatically in my life. Nobody has been more surprised than me. Believe it or not I used to be the king of goal striving and determined single-minded focus. I have witnesses! Then one day that just stopped and with the effortless creation that followed has come effortless happiness. Which came first? It is hard to say. But they definitely go hand in hand. Maybe it has not made me rich in a a monetary sense. But maybe it has made my life rich in another sense.
Please feel free to decide for yourselves.
"There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers." H. M. Tomlinson
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If you have an inspiring tale or some interesting philosophy to share with us, please feel free to e-mail your ideas to