I was busy. Always busy. I was running around, working all hours of the day, and unable to say no to things that I really didn’t want to do. Usually because I felt guilty. I was the hamster in the wheel and we all know that wheel goes nowhere. I was subconsciously convinced that if I kept working my ass off that I would get there. Where that was I don’t even really know anymore. But I assumed, like too many of us do, that ‘there’ would equal success and happiness. But here is the truth I had to learn the hard way about being busy “…it lays bare the truth that there is nothing you can purchase, possess, or achieve that will make you feel fulfilled over the long term.” (Kristen Powers) The purchases, possessions, or achievements are not the things that will give you joy. And joy is completely different than happiness, it is not a fleeting feeling based on circumstances, it is a state of being, it is a foundation that circumstances cannot shake.
You see I wasn’t living my life. I wasn’t really taking a part in it. I was there but I wasn’t enjoying it. There is nothing that is less fulfilling then being busy and not actually living your life. Maybe you are busy so you can avoid things in your life that you are afraid to deal with. Maybe you are busy because you think that success only comes to those who never stop working. You may even be busy simply because you haven’t learned to take a deep breath and re-evaluate what is going on in your life and why you can’t say “yes” to ‘wants’ and “no” to ‘shoulds’. Any of these reasons for busyness will work against you in the long run. Why? Because you will start to lose sight of your own priorities, wants, and desires. You will start to live your life looking for the approval of other people. You will live by their standards and their expectations of what a fulfilled life looks like. You won’t be living the life that you want.
That was me. I went so long being busy for the sake of busy that when it finally stopped I realized how unhappy all the busyness was actually making me. Sometimes when you strip away all the excess busyness what you find is all the things you were allowing to take up your time aren’t even the things you really like to do. They aren’t the things that set your soul on fire. The ego is a dangerous thing, it will make you believe a lot of things when it comes to busyness, but in all those falsehoods one truth remains: busyness for the sake of ego will give you little in the way of true joy.
If you take nothing else away this week I hope it is this; that it is time to evaluate your busyness. It is time to take a step back and ask yourself who and what you are living your life for. It is time to strip away shame and step in to vulnerability. It is time to see if all this busyness is leading you in the right direction for your life. And if it isn’t? Then it is time to decide NOW what changes you are going to make to get back on YOUR path to living the life YOU want.