The Case for Goofing Off

baby.jpgLately I keep running into particularly ambitious, hardworking and driven folks.  (And yes, I know what that means about me.)  Two of them recently asked how they could better create success in their lives.  Because one was perplexed with my answer and the other thought I was joking, I thought it worthwhile to post on the topic.

These two aren’t alone in thinking my “success” suggestion was off the mark.  In fact, many would say this piece of advice is a sure fire way to the poorhouse, or whatever other place we call “failure.”

But that doesn’t mean I’m not right.  Just because most don’t do this and many never learned it doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.
I’m talking about goofing off.
Most people don’t normally suggest you get what you want by goofing off.  But I do.  And I think students of deliberate creation understand the sense of it.
We get what we vibrate – we all know that.  So when we work hard and push ourselves to the max doing everything we can think of to reach our goal, what are we vibrating?  I know this isn’t true for everyone, but many who live life this way are vibrating exhaustion, overwhelm, striving .. and often frustration and dissatisfaction alongside.  Because when we work that hard, we typically expect results.  To not get those results just adds more bad vibes to the mix.
When we’re overdoing “action,” it’s easy to get tired and worn out and frazzled. 
And let’s face it, that’s probably not a vibrational match to what we want.
What we want is probably more likely associated with feelings like relaxed, achievement, satisfaction, peace, maybe even excitement.  So our goal shouldn’t be figuring out how to make our dream happen, but rather how to vibrate relaxation, achievement, peace – or whatever it is we would feel then.
Are you with me?
This is where the highly underrated art of goofing off comes in handy.  Lightening up, being more playful, remember to smile and laugh more – that’s much more likely aligned with what we want than exhaustion and overwhelm is.
That’s my argument for the value of goofing off.  If I haven’t convinced you, please post a question so we can discuss it.
For those who are on board that getting to a lighter vibe is worthwhile in creating success, but have forgotten how to do it, sign up for my (Feb 26) ezine at for tips on how to goof off properly.  It’s time we reclaim this lost art.  🙂

  • February 25, 2008
  • One of my dearest cyber-friends gave me permission to share this string of emails she sent after being inspired by this goofing off post:
    “I feel a little stuck in increasing my finances and can’t seem to get it to improve so on my walk back with my dog this morning, I thought what can I do to improve it and I decided to forget about it and just goof off. When I don’t know what to do, that is the only thing I can do. I will exercise, play with my dog, and dance.”
    then seven hours later she sent this one:
    “i just gave up and accepted that maybe there is something I am supposed to learn from my money stuff and I just decided to love myself and play and goof off, and what do you know, I got to people registering for the event next week. A lesson I need to learn. Goofing off rules.”
    and this one the next day:
    “More goofing off money. I didn’t think I was goofing off too much today. But I guess I focused on just letting go and other things than worrying about money and I sold my first item on the site today!”
    This is Jeannette again: It really truly is that simple. Lightness and ease really open up the vibe to the good stuff!
    Whether we get there by goofing off, relaxing, giving up – whatever it is – dropping the tension and anxiety and pushing really will serve us well.
    Namaste! (And thanks, dear friend, for letting me share your experience here.)

  • Joann, I love your commitment to practice! With that commitment, as you know, the new WILL kick in and eventually become a habit. I also like how you’re leveraging your astrology. Kim Falconer is a great help along this lines … in fact, I need to add her site to my link list on this blog.
    And Wendy, thanks for reinforcing the magic of focusing on the vibration first. I agree completely – and have experienced MANY times – that getting aligned vibrational is often all that’s required. No action even needs to happen for things to come together.
    And you’re right – laughter is a quick ticket to a good vibe – thanks for that reminder! If you’ve got any favorite sites or sources, please share them! 🙂

  • Wendy says:

    Jeannette, LOVE this post and I couldn’t agree more! I spent a lot of years as a chronic “pusher.” The only way I knew to make things happen was to push, force, strain, and exhaust myself in the process. Yeah, I’d usually see results but they also didn’t last long. Took me a long time to figure out that things flow much easier in my life if I focus on the vibrational state FIRST, then take appropriate action.
    What’s really funny about that is that many times just getting into the right mental and emotional states is enough and no further action is necessary! Things just come together easily. Even when some action is needed, it’s easy and fun action, not pop-a-blood-vessel difficult.
    Also, something else that works for me besides just goofing off is when I include humor in my goofing off. I’ll visit some jokes websites or watch a silly sitcom on TV and have a few good laughs. Gets the energy going like crazy and reminds me to lighten up! 🙂

  • Joann says:

    Hey Jeanette,
    Love, love, love the goofing off idea. It’s what I’ve always “felt” I wanted to do. Wanted to do creative, fun things, but ended up with many “boring” jobs to pay the bills. With one job, (secretary in a legal office) I one day even had an image of me sitting in a corner and the feeling that my spirit was shrinking and being squashed.
    There was the “guilt” that I “should” be doing something and the belief that so many of us had been taught that we had to “work hard” to make ends meet. It’s a belief I’ve been focusing on for a while. It’s changing the mindset and practice, practice, practice until the new kicks in automatically and becomes a habit. Sometimes I notice what I don’t want, and what I do want, but get caught in an automatic repeating loop of the “don’t want” that almost has a mind of its own. Those dang belief tapes! Out with you!
    I’ve been interested in using astrological cycles with LOA. For the last month, I’ve been in political news junkie overload – including fatigue and brain fog. To paraphrase what I read somewhere: this primary election is like being stuck in 7th grade for the rest of your life.
    Noticed a slight shift in my energy the last couple of days. I decided to check my astrological chart and saw – WOW! I have a Mars return in a couple of days!!! (2 Cancer 9th house). Any suggestions (anyone) for affirmations to catch and optimize this new 2 year cycle. Keeping in mind of course that Mars is Action and I love goofing off.
    Still getting used to the idea of “fun”. With many things. I can’t yet feel them as “fun” but am able to feel them as “enjoyable” and “pleasant”. It really is about being in the moment.

  • Michael says:

    hahah…if it makes you feel any better, I made somebody wrong for sleeping the day away…
    Yeah, I actually was looking for things to be grateful for, and realized so many people would love to have things I have (a free schedule, a son to stay home with, a part-time job playing music, the beautiful area we live in).
    I did that thing from The Secret where I put a rock in my pocket so I could remember all these cool things with gratititude.
    Also, I was reading your blog on how dogs say ‘it’s all good’. I used to be better at that and wondered what happened. So I used some of the Sedona method and found a ton of frustration and anger that I let go.
    Almost immediately I was present to love and compassion and my whole life looked different! Suddenly, it was ‘all good’ and I just relaxed into the morning!

  • Michael, I’m wondering if you have any idea how many people would LOVE to be you? I mean, you’ve got a LOT of things going very right in your life. Which I know you know, but sometimes seeing your life from someone else’s eyes makes it much easier to enjoy it.
    Hey, guess what I just did – you won’t believe this – I mildly chastised my boyfriend for goofing off today. lol
    ?!?!? I guess I don’t think the guy who should be helping putting my new house together should be golfing all day. Okay, exaggeration – all afternoon. But still!!
    How interesting is that?! Especially after I just typed a post to the good news group ( about how we could use this Leap Day as a total goof off day.
    I was going to say “I’ve apparently got work to do on this” but that’s the anti-goof off sentiment, so I’ll refrain.
    At least we’ve got good company in this endeavor, huh?! 🙂

  • Michael says:

    hahaha…I do this too (in different ways)…
    I can tend to work very hard at ‘playing’ music. Isn’t that funny? I have an income from it, so I want it to be ‘right’. Same thing with recording. I’ll record a part over and over again to get it ‘right’…losing track of just ‘playing’ with ideas.
    So these other posts are encouraging to me! I know I’m not alone in cultivating these skills.
    Also, it’s my intention not to ‘domesticate’ all the play out of my baby son. I know that I grew up with the idea that–at some point–we’re supposed to ‘grow out’ of playing. But that’s where some of our greatest breakthroughs can really come.
    Today I decided to ‘play’ at calling one of these tv music supervisors I wanted to connect with. No one picked up the phone, but I maintained a playful kind of experimental attitude with it. ‘Hey, they’re probably out playing too!’
    Some great ‘players’ who made their play an institution: Jonathan Winters, Hugh Hefner, Liz Lieu, George Carlin, Jennifer Barretta…and check out this guy:
    So, I’m off to watch ‘Jericho’…my current fave show!! 🙂

  • I can relate, Marquina. As I took the dogs on a “goof off” walk up the canyon yesterday, I found myself setting a fast pace in order to get a workout, and I didn’t linger to visit with other people or dogs. I was “all business” about this walk, and realized I wasn’t goofing off very well.
    Once I was aware of that, I realized I had some things weighing on me that were keeping me from properly relaxing. I also knew that if I already HAD those things taken care of, I’d be VERY relaxed. So that was my cue to relax now. (Creating a vibrational match to what I wanted.)
    So we did the second half of the walk in a more relaxed, goof off way than the first half – but it was also downhill, so that made it easier. lol
    Anyway, here’s to practicing at getting the vibe aligned. Nice to hear from you again, Marquina!

  • Marquina says:

    Goofing off, huh? That’s what you do to create an “allowing” frame of mind, right? I made a list of goof-off things to do, and I really felt great making the list. I even feel good saying the words “goofing off”. It’s the actual performing of “goofing off” that I am working on. I think we can agree that I have a fun side; easily tapping into it is another story. I always feel great when I do, but I go through this whole analytical thing first to give myself permission to have fun. Practice makes perfect, though, doesn’t it?

  • Glad you’re giving up the habit of making yourself wrong for goofing off, Michael. That’s a perfect example of when goofing off doesn’t serve.
    I mean, ANYTHING we don’t enjoy won’t serve us. Because that “unenjoyment” keeps us out of alignment with the good results we want.
    So there’s really two skills here: 1) being able to goof off and 2) being able to enjoy it. lol
    I don’t think I’ve goofed off enough this week, so I’m signing off now to go do something totally non-productive and ridiculous.
    You might do the same, my friend, and let those 100 apps do the work for you. : )
    Love you!

  • You know, Leslie, I’m thinking you’re going to build some nice goof off muscles in the near future. : )
    Congrats to you for giving yourself the gift of a three day quilt retreat! How fun for you!! Be sure to take your goof off socks with you! And maybe hubby will surprise you and so some goofing off of his own while you’re away.
    Thanks for posting, sweetie!

  • Michael says:

    Wow, what a great blog and what perfect timing. I told you this in response to the great content of your most recent e-zine, but I was truly stuck in that mode as well.
    I was sending out job apps (over 100 in 3 weeks) and going from a feel-good ‘cool, I took action that feels great’ to not noticing how frantic I was subtly becoming as I was starting to mentally say ‘something needs to happen, gotta make something happen’.
    But I’m also one of those who, unless I’ve done a ‘good’ amount of work for the day, I’m making myself wrong for goofing off.
    So I’m giving that up. Mostly from watching my son. He’s 10 months old today. He goofs off all day. He learned to walk from goofing off! He’s learning to talk from goofing off! He plays my guitars with a hairbrush and he kind of gets some cool sounds sometimes!
    Goofing off is highly underrated. Just need to shift my thinking about it a bit when those old voices creep in.

  • Leslie says:

    The thing I especially like about goofing off is you get to not take yourself seriously. I mean when life is a hard struggle – you take it all very seriously and especially yourself.
    When I am goofing off I am having fun with myself. I went to work yesterday and was greeted with a tirade of complaints from another co-worker, and because it wasn’t busy in the store I went into the back and just shook it off and took a moment to step away from that energy.
    When I am goofing off I am not buying into anything. I goofed off for ten minutes in the back – getting away from the complainer – not a huge thing but still for this dedicated hard-worker a fantastic act!
    I am also going to a quilting retreat coming up, and I start to think about losing two days of work, of my husband being lonely, and I pull up my goofing off socks and say suck it up Princess. You are going away for three days, focusing on nothing but your quilt project, food and female companionship and your world will be a better place for it. You can have this time for yourself.
    Love Leslie

  • Love your caption, Rick! Thanks for the laugh. And the opportunity to add something to this post.
    If we hold a deep seated belief that goofing off is bad, and we goof off, then we can probably create bad results as a result of that belief.
    So goofing off works best when we remember how LOA works. We get what we feel. So doing what feels good is what serves us best. And for some folks, I know that they’ve been so well trained to PUSH HARDER that they actually get a “feel good” buzz when they do that. (I’ve been one before, and occasionally revert to that.)
    But when Pushing Harder DOESN’T feel good, that’s a great time to check in with what WOULD feel better – and if that’s a nap, or a lunch, or a gossip session, or a bath, or a song, or a movie, or WHATEVER – that’s what puts us in alignment with what we want.
    And no one can tell us what will make us feel better. We have to find our feel good from within.
    I’m glad you’re finding your way to easing up, Rick. There’s good stuff waiting for us when we get to our feel good!
    Thanks for posting, friend. Always a pleasure to converse with you!

  • Rick says:

    BTW …. if you were asking for captions to your photo, mine would be:
    “Wow … I can see my house from here!”

  • Rick says:

    Now here was one idea that I REALLY resisted.
    I knew “Smarter not harder”, Wu Wei, etc … and still didn’t get it.
    Until you (yes, you Jeanette) introduced me to the “feeling” of the experience. Or helped me create the distinction.
    I had one feeling I walked around with and it was “Push”, “Harder”.
    (LOL … I just deleted a bunch of senteces further descibing it because i was starting to feel bad)
    Now, I’m convinced somewhere way back that whole thing served me in some way, but I didn’t know that I had an option to change it.
    So I LOVE goofing off. It FEELS great and I even seem to get more done anyway.
    But the best part is I am allowing TONS of great stuff to approach me that I couldn’t find before!
    Goofing Off works!
    Great topic Jeanette!

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