12 things people say that lead to a busy and unfulfilling life
Busy is bad. If you do not believe that you are solidly on the way to oblivion. Busy may make us feel like we are moving ahead and we are making a difference. Problem is when we do not have enough quiet time to really ponder what we should be doing and who we should become, we can veer off course and therefore be heading toward a life and identity crisis. Up until recently I caught myself saying that I was too busy doing this and the other thing. I still hear it from other folks: “I am sorry, I would love to pursue something else, but I am too busy right now. I do not have enough time.” Well, it is not like they do not have time – they just do not make time for what they would and should be doing. Compare and contrast the following 12 things other people have said that did eventually lead to such life crisis moments.
- “I am too busy right now making a living; I cannot think about live right now.” Sadly I meet people every day who actually think that they can push off not stopping regularly to think, reflect, read, or otherwise reset your mind. Do you enjoy being constantly on the run, always plugged in, or always need feel you are “on”? To get ahead in life sometimes the best thing you can do is to stop running. Make time for your brain and body to reset and refocus.
- “If I do a little bit of both I can compromise splitting time between work and family.” Just because stuff fits into your tight schedule does not mean that you should do it. Work and family are in constant conflict and very often that mean that you try to go to work events and you may make it to a movie you want to watch with family. Problem is just that trying to make both events happening you are not really present in either interaction. Do not compromise. Choose one or the other and be fully in the moment and present. It is ok to choose family over work.
- “If it is the popular thing to do, I should do it too.” Let it be the next best thing on social media, new smart phones, checking e-mail and social media every other minute, the newest show on Netflix, etc you want to be just a popular and “in” as the next person. Meanwhile there is a quiet little voice in your head that is telling you that life could and should be different. You fight it though and you go with the flow and you are busy and on – 24/7. Well, listen to that voice and stop. You need to follow your road to full potential. Quit doing stuff just because it is popular. There is also a joy in missing out sometimes.
- “Everything is important.” Just flat out do it all. It is too difficult making a decision what takes priority. Come on, you can fit everything in – it is important. This does not work in math and it does not work out in life – ever. Why even try then? Pick your battles and prioritize the things that you want to get done and then delegate or outright say no to things that do not add value.
- “I am part of the team and I must say Yes and I do it with a smile.” Sure, you do not want to let down people and perhaps you like your boss and you do not want to let her down either. Result is that you work yourself into oblivion. Saying yes to everything though is a form of madness. You get what you tolerate. You will go postal eventually and there are always more tasks coming your way. Stop that avalanche though by starting to say “no”.
- “It is not enough to help people, I need to save them.” This is a really tough one. You listen to someone’s life story and you feel a lot of compassion. Something should be done. Something must be done. Why stop there? Heck, I can do this and step in and make this person’s problem go away completely. Challenge is that your time and resources are impacted and the person may be helped now, but it may not last. The person did not learn from your helping intervention and heads for the same mess again. Lesson learned here is to help, provide a blessing, but do not rob people of their problems. They can fix it just like you can.
- “If I said I would do it, then I have to do it.” Let me make this really short and simple for you: If you should not do it what you are doing, then you should not do it – no matter when, what, and how you said it. It is a waste of your potential.
- “I must finish this project. I will stay up late to get it done.” Ah, the martyr approach to life. You will hear about it the next day at work about how folks worked all hours of the night to get a project out the door. They look exhausted and tired. Hello? It is no weakness or laziness if you do not get the work done. There are some instances that warrant working extra, but you are literally killing yourself if you routinely work like this. Sleep is for high performers that are super productive when they are working on manageable tasks.
- “When things do not fit right I just make them fit.” When others say that it cannot be done, you feel like this is something you need to do just to prove them wrong. It may be fun to add such a personal challenge. It is stupid to constantly force this kind of a load on you and others. Cramming and manipulation leads to unwanted other results. Do not do it.
- “I HAVE to do this.” Ownership of a problem is one thing. Stubbornness and believing that you do not have choices is just stupid. You have to take a breath, eat, and sleep. Everything else is your choice.
- “More is better than less.” I can only say that I have never seen I headstone that read: “If I only could have had more time to stay at the office.” Would you like to be the first one to change that? Less is more in the vast majority of the cases you come across.
- “I have plenty of time to do the other things.” Oh yeah, really? Life holds no guarantees for anything or anyone. Life is tricky and there are so many instances where you just do not know if another day is coming around for you to enjoy. Make sure to pursue the significant things and give those a priority. Spend the time with people that mean the most to you. Make your life count.
As my friend and mentor Brett Blair always says: Busy is bad. I could not agree more with that. Busy is a mental sugar rush that usually will leave you feel empty after it is gone. Pursue significant instead of success. Pursue fulfillment over happiness. The word “no” is your friend so wield is wisely and more often. You can do it!