(an excerpt from Murray Oxman’s handbook, How to Tune Up Your Life)

Tool 7 — Not-Doing:  This is a really interesting and rewarding tool.  It’s all about the power of not-doing.  Compared to not-doing, doing is easy.  Whether we’re aware of it or not, we all are creatures of habit.  We basically have a big bag of things we do, words we say, emotions we feel, body movements, etc.  Day in and day out we go to our bag of collected responses never even noticing it happens.  Example:  Someone criticizes your way of doing something and quick as a flash you respond with a defensive remark.  Another example might be your daily routine.  We mechanically go about our day never questioning the way it’s arranged, the foods we eat, what we wear.  Why question all this? The answer lies in the doing:

For a month change everything about your daily routine as much as possible.  Perhaps, get up earlier in the morning and go to bed earlier.  Make a conscious effort to eat foods you don’t usually eat.  Even eat at slightly different times.  Find other big and small ways to break your usual routine.  Stay with it.  You’ll discover much valuable information about you and your life.  Hint:  you might discover how to really enjoy yourself everyday.



  1. Steve on December 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Reading this, I am reminded about the passenger on a cruise ship who ran around and around the deck thinking it was helping the boat go faster. Then one day he had an insight that his frantic actions were doing nothing and all he had to do was sit back and relax and enjoy because the ship was moving with no effort of his own. We have this dreadful ability to drive ourselves crazy when events in life don’t agree with our projections.

  2. Melodie Machovina on December 28, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    So neat that you can do the exercise and see what Murray is talking about in action. It really is tough to keep on top of yourself and remember what your aim is, but so rewarding in the end!

  3. George H on December 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    If your tired of getting into fights with others and with yourself and getting beat up and hurting, then this technique is the perfect solution.

  4. Lisa Hunter on December 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    It is harder than one might think. Try doing something different like -be pleasant to someone that you don’t like. What could be disliking that? Something that is not nice.

  5. Steve on December 31, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Or Like Murray Oxman used to say: “Go hang out with people who make your feel psychologically uncomfortable – and watch yourself…you will learn something new about yourself.” But, don’t hang out with people whom could ‘physically’ cause you harm, that’s a different thing…in this case get away quickly.

  6. Max on January 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    You all were fortunate to have a man like Murray as a teacher. I met him once in LA and was knocked over by his talk. One can see the same light radiate in him as Mr. Howard–just a different crystal. A friend sent me this; I found it powerful and much like the “Not-Doing topic:

    Simply by resting in not knowing, you know. It’s a paradox. The more you rest in not knowing, which means never grasping with the mind, the more your direct experience is that you know. It comes in a flash.

    Many lifetimes we dance right at the door of freedom. We spin pirouettes on the doormat and never quite know who we are. Just one click, one turn of that knob, and you know—that’s all. It’s so easy. It’s not a matter of it being difficult. It’s a matter of people not knowing where to go. As soon as you know where to go and you have the courage to go there, it’s easy. Go to the unknown, experience the unknown, be the unknown. All true knowledge awakens within the unknown.

    • Lisa Hunter on January 7, 2017 at 6:33 am

      Rest in , ‘Not Knowing’ I like that. Speaking of rest, It is so important to relax from ourselves. Deliberately relax many times a day . You have to be aware of yourself to relax. It’s not like sitting passively watching tv or getting lost in a book.

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