When To Do Nothing

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In 1990, a team of scientists re-created the impacts of the September 1938 hurricane in a two-acre patch of the Harvard Forest by flattening the majority of the trees. According to an article published in the Harvard Gazette, after monitoring the forest for 20 years, they found that leaving the forest as was with the watch-and-wait policy and not engaging in salvage logging, as is a common response to storms, allows the forest to naturally recover to its lush, healthy state.

Here are some other examples of times when "doing nothing" is the best course of action:

1. When you have investments in Apple. The multi-billion dollar company has had substantial success in the stock market over the past thirty years. Imagine if you purchased stock when Apple went public in 1980. At least wait until the next iPhone comes out before you make any decisions.

2. When you have the sniffles. Everyone thinks medicine can fix everything, and doctors nowadays are prescribing medicine like it's going out of style. However, your body is equipped to fight small unwelcome viruses and infections. Sometimes, the best medicine is hot tea and a nap.

3. When the main character dies. The tragedy of Shakespeare's romances can leave readers upset and frustrated in love and life, but there's simply nothing we can do to save Anne Frank, Dumbledore, Gregor from "The Metamorphosis," and Willy Loman from "Death of a Salesman." Let yourself mourn, then move on.

4. When you are over-worked and over-stressed. Some psychologists say it is important to make time for yourself. The Art of Doing Nothing requires you to breathe, relax, and take a moment to reflect. With midterms in full swing, you might find taking a breather can help more than it hurts.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is sit back, relax, and let the world take its course.

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