The nature of busy is activity, output, foraging, hunting, tasking. Busy is not a problem in and of itself…it’s only a symptom. If we’re constantly driving ourselves to participate, and there’s no time for self reflection or to check in with the big boss, then it’s something else entirely. This is called auto-pilot or avoidance.
The nature of busy is highly regarded in this country and the message is “the harder you work, the more you get.” Working harder is supposed to (somehow) bring us more of what we want. That’s where the little lie gets told because putting out effort is only part of the equation.
There are businesses out there that would have their employees chained to their desks for 12 hours a day because they believe in that myth. Why? “That’s how it’s done here.” “It’s all in the name of progress.” “The more we work, the more money we make.” These are a few of the bits of conversation that get thrown around, and the message is clear. So when does it stop? This isn’t just what we hear in Corporate America, it’s everywhere…we are raised on it and we become examples of it. Count how many times you say, “I’m busy" to yourself or someone else in a day. Try to go for one day without saying it.
If we are busy making time for nothing and no one, here, there and everywhere, who benefits? Not us.
I don't believe in the word balance anymore. I used to say it all the time, "I've got to have more balance in my life..." Balance is a word we use to beat ourselves up. It's a state that is unattainable because balance is a moving target.
A “sustainable middle” is more my speed. A sustainable middle allows for flow, self-reflection, time for puttering, doing nothing, dalliance, downtime and working your ass off when necessary.
A sustainable middle meets "busy" and raises it.
A beautiful thing happens when we practice a mixture of both; when we realize that doing nothing is every bit as important as the time we spend doing everything. Living is when doing and being meet for a dance. (click to tweet)
So what’s possible? The real beauty lies in living for our own purpose, not someone else’s agenda. When we take the time to check in and look at the direction we are headed, we give ourselves the opportunity to decide if it feels good. When we give ourselves the luxury of time, we can change our minds, turn left instead of right, meander down a new path. This new path might lead you to another answer or, better yet, the juicy passion of yours that lies just below that layer of veneer called “busy.”
You’ve heard the phrase, “Stop. Look. Listen.” Your life might be asking you to do the same.