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062: Finding Success Through Purposelessness (Wu-Wei)

“Success comes from being in a state of effortless action, not from achieving self-created goals.” I see a connection between the ideas of ikigai, flow state, and Wu-wei.

The Daoist/Taoist concept of Wu-wei (無為) is literally translated as “non-action,” but leans more to the point of “effortless action.” This is action without intention, or “purposeless action.” I believe Alan Watts was the first to interpret Wu-wei as “purposelessness.” Wu-wei refers to behavior that stems from understanding that we are connected to the people around us, our environment, and nature. It comes from interconnectivity, not separateness. It is movement and action that is effortless and spontaneous.

This is represented by the saying of “going with the flow.” It’s the concept of being better off swimming with the stream instead of trying to go upstream. This is consciously becoming a part of life's flow.

Purposelessness is about fully living life in the moment. It’s not about focusing on the goal or questioning or doubting yourself about where it’s leading. It’s not about worrying about the future in which we cannot control, and it’s not about dwelling on the past which is already done.

Wu-wei in Business...