The Illness of ‘busyness’
The modern day affliction of busyness is taking us off the right track. Our existence no longer seems to be about reflection, mindfulness and living with intent and purpose. Instead it has become a race, but a race where there are no real winners. The ‘finish line’ is really the same for all of us. When I have spoken to elderly people, not one of them ever told me that they wished they had worked harder. All of them have told me they wished they had slowed down, appreciated the people in their life and lived more in the moment.
Unfortunately, I know I am one of those fighting the illness of busyness. A few months can go by before I see a friend again and I often wonder where time has gone and what I have actually done that was worthwhile during this lost time. Of course, there is the promise that busyness can lead to increased wealth. We also feel busier because of information overload. We are bombarbed by information constantly.
The problems come when we fool ourselves into thinking we have a good successful life because we are busy. Many people feel guilt when they have free time and use it in a self serving way rather than fill it with something. The wise ones are those that appreciate that spare time and use it to savour the moment. To stop and appreciate life around them.
Busyness saps our energy, it leaves us with a robotic way of life where we do things because it is what we have always done. Being busy helps us ignore underlying issues such as true contentment and whether we really are happy with our lives. Many of my clients feel the need to constantly be busy. They use work as an excuse to hide from the more important things in life – like connecting with others, being in tune with ourselves and engaging in activities that reach us on a deeper level of satisfaction. As a result, I see clients who are running through their lives blindfolded, only to wake up when their health starts to fail or there is a bereavement that forces them to look at the bigger picture.
The bigger picture has to do with going deeper than the surface stuff of the daily commute, the housework and the drinks down at the pub/restaurant. It’s about the wonder of nature, the stars, spirituality, global warming, poverty, extinction and corruption in the world, to name a few. It is easier to keep busy, stick our heads in the sand and carry on being busy than it is to really look at what is going on and use our energy to make a difference in whatever small way we can.
We all have different priorities, but if history can teach us anything, it is that we all want the same things – love, stability, peace and a sense of belonging.Being busy is unlikely to bring you this important stuff. It’s all about balance.