Conversations For Transformation:
Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
Conversations For Transformation
Essays By Laurence Platt
Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
I'm Playing So Hard I've Got No Time To Be Busy
Valley Of The
Sonoma County, California, USA
September 10, 2010
"To do nothing means to do exactly what you're doing. That's the way
to do nothing. If you do what you're not doing, that's doing
something. If you stop doing what you're doing, that's doing
something. But doing exactly what you're doing - that's doing
I'm Playing So Hard I've Got No Time To Be Busy,
is the second in the septology
I am indebted to Sonal Rakshpaul and to Robert Paul Smith who inspired
If you ask a child who's just come home after playing with his friends
all day "Where did you go?", he's likely to say "Oh, out.". And
if you ask him what he's been doing all day, he's likely
to say "Oh, nothing.".
Nothing? Of course, you're thinking he must
have been doing something. You're wondering if he's
telling you everything. You're wondering if he's telling the truth. But
then you may have forgotten children never do anything.
Children only play. And when children play, they're doing
nothing - nothing, that is, in their experience.
So when a child tells you he's been doing nothing even
though he's been out all day and so he must have
been doing something, the child has really been
doing nothing. When a child has been playing all day and says he's been
doing nothing, it's the truth!
What do I mean when I say it's the truth he's been doing
nothing? I mean "doing nothing"
Werner Erhard distinguishes "doing nothing".
Clearly, if you're doing nothing like this, there's no effort. There's
only play. If you're doing exactly what you're doing when
you're doing what you're doing, you're doing nothing. In other
words, you're playing. And that's what the child
means when he says he's been out "doing nothing". He's telling the
truth. He's telling you he's been playing all day long. To a
child, playing is doing nothing.
This is how I live my life. I'm doing exactly what I'm doing when I'm
doing what I'm doing. There's no effort. I do nothing. I play all day
long - from early in the morning until late in the night.
Even if I'm working, I'm doing exactly what I'm doing when I'm doing
what I'm doing. In other words, even when I'm working I'm doing
nothing. And doing nothing is playing. So even when I'm working I'm
Listen: be sure you get I'm speaking
Werner Erhard distinguishes "doing nothing". You may ask: if I play
all day long, doesn't it mean I'm very busy? No.
"Busy" is a distinction in the domain of work. There's
no distinction "busy" in the domain of play. I'm never
busy because I play all the time. I'm playing as hard as I
can. I'm playing so hard I've got no time to be busy.
Subtle. Profound. Also notice it takes the stress and
significance out of it all and brings freedom, unbridled velocity, and