Don’t just do something, sit there

Mickey Mellen
2 min readMar 28, 2023

You’ve heard the phrase “don’t just sit there, do something”, but have you heard the opposite (and the title of this post)?

Some attribute the quote to Sylvia Boorstein and her book with the same title, while others say it’s been around longer, but the quote is worth considering either way. This really hits back to two things I’ve shared before:

  • First, along these very same lines, is the idea of not “doing something about that”. There are many examples where people felt like they had to “do something” and only made things worse.
  • Related is the meeting place of innovation and efficiency: innoficiency. To be truly innovative comes at the cost of efficiency, and it means less “doing something” and more thinking and planning to find the next path to take.

As Tom Fishburne says, when an issue shows up “it’s a reminder to respond, not to react.” There are many times when an issue arises and you absolutely need to go do something right away to help fix it. Before you react, though, think about your response.

Many times you should go do something, but be willing to accept that to just “sit there” might be the best possible response.

Originally published at on March 28, 2023.



Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.