Stop. Hey, what’s that sound everybody look what’s going down. (Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth)

The act of stopping can have a profound effect on your life. Stop working for two weeks and take a vacation. Stop worrying about what your boss thinks and just do what’s best for the company. Stop driving your car and take public transit for a month.

A few things might happen when you stop doing something:

  1. You will remember why you started doing that thing in the first place. Once you stop all of the benefits will become incredibly obvious to you.
  2. You will realize that you don’t really need to do what you thought was essential. You might learn that public transit is a more enjoyable commute. Or that your boss wanted you to take more initiative but didn’t know how to direct you.
  3. You will see the world through fresh eyes. You might not care if you stop doing this thing, or if you continue. The act of stopping for a while will help watch the way that other people are doing the same thing. Being the outsider will give you lots of insight.

Your Experiment

Choose something that you will stop doing. Choose a length of time. Then run an experiment. Ask yourself, “Can I stop doing this[the activity you choose] until then [the time that you choose]?”

If it is an experiment then you can try to answer the question. The answer is either yes or no. And if you make it a simple question, then you don’t have any pressure to try to muscle through a major change with discipline. That will just cause you to focus on what you are giving up, not how the world is different when you aren’t acting in a certain way.

Run an experiment today. Find out if you can. Find out how the world looks different when you do.