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June 9, 2010 / Mike Biggs

Taking the dishes for a drive in the car – They don’t get out much you see.

What the hell are you talking about?

You’re probably thinking I’m just being rediculous for effect, not so.

Many years ago when I read the book Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda I learned some new ways of looking at the world. In the book Carlos tells the story of his long time relationship with a Mexican Sorcerer through which he also became a ‘man of knowledge’ (sorcerer). One of the first things I learned on my journey through the book, was an act called a ‘not doing’.

A ‘Not-doing’ is an act which on the surface appears to be completely value-less. The true value comes from this very point, doing the act which is pointless. Through the book the term ‘personal power’ is used, and ‘not-doings’ increase your personal power.

Personal power is more metaphoric than a practical fuel tank, and there are other ways you can refer to ‘personal power’. A modern equivalent might be confidence combined with humbleness, or the ultimate knowledge that you are completely responsible for your actions in life. There is alot to this,  which I wont bore you with here.

So getting back to the dishes. This example is clearly pointless, except for the fact that I builds your theoretical porsonal power. But there is a practical aspect, don’t worry it’s not all hippie stuff here!

The practical gains are very specific. When doing an act, or a task which seems completely un-intuitive, or impractical, our brains view the situation with fresh eyes, and take in many new things. We are breaking exising patterns that exist in our brains, and are forming new ones, that lead to many new opporunities not previously identified.

Still too fuzzy for you?

There is an even more practical advantage to this kind of activity. When you go out of you normal way, you will encounter people, places, things, experiences, (and the list goes on) that you would not have normally encountered. This is a creative process in action, you are intentionally creating new things, your job is to allow them to happen and only judge the usefulness after the fact.

To say that taking the dishes for a drive is useless, is essentially correct, however, what comes of the act is unknown to you. You are not in a position to judge those opportunities that come from the simple act.

You next opportunity might be at the end of the car ride with the dishes.

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