I’ve been thinking a lot about movement of late, because in some areas of my life it feels like I’m not seeing the progress I want to be making.

I look at my annual goals list, for example, and I see a whole lot of nothing happening in a few areas of my life six weeks into the year. Now, obviously, there are mitigating factors (#babytwins) that I can point to when wondering why I haven’t seen as much movement as I’d like. But there is also something else going on. And it has nothing to do with reasonable excuses and everything to do with questioning the idea of what progress really is.

If you haven’t heard the phrase “movement isn’t progress”, or an equivalent one before, it’s a good one to tattoo on your forehead. Because we all have a tendency to believe that doing something is better than doing nothing. This is extremely evident in the way we approach productivity – Be busy! Respond to useless emails quickly! Book tons of conference calls that accomplish nothing! – but it’s also evident in more macro areas of our work lives.

We fear inaction to a fault, and do all kinds of things to prevent any moments of stillness. Because we think that in those times nothing is happening. But that couldn’t be further than the truth.

Sometimes, it’s the fallow times that lead to the growth of great big trees. Tall enough to move mountains and shake lives and rain down flowers with abandon.

So today, here’s a question for you: Is there an area in your life where you need to stop moving?

An area where you need to sit still long enough to see that movement isn’t the same thing as progress?

I’d love to hear.

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