Do something syndrome is one of Charlie Munger’s (Warren Buffett’s business partner) psychological tendencies and biases that lead to misjudgments and mistakes.
A lot of people, including myself, feel the need to constantly be doing something.
Some of my stories for this are:
- I’m missing out
- I’m not being productive
- I don’t want to be lazy
- I’m falling behind my peers
- I’m not doing enough
The truth is it is hard to do actively do nothing.
There’s a difference between doing nothing in a passive way and an active way.
When you actively do nothing you are intentional and purposeful.
Most people’s troubles (including global troubles on a macro scale) come from our inability to be still and resist the urge for constant external stimulation.
“I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to sit quietly in his room.” — Blaise Pascal
In fact if we did less activity there would be less unnecessary problems to fix.
As Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
P.S. – Two of my favorite books on how less can be more are Essentialism, by Greg McKeown and Bumpers, by Nic Peterson.