Updated: Jan 3, 2020
"The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.."
This is an old Chinese proverb.
Busyness, it seems, at least in the ‘developed’ world, is becoming a bit of an epidemic.
We even seem to wear it as a badge of honour – like busy somehow makes you more successful in life.
A quintessential over achiever, everyone just try and keep up!
But what are we busy doing exactly?
Are you over committing yourself to all the wrong things?
Are you not valuing time enough?
Have you lost or not developed the ability to prioritise?
The ability to focus in on what’s really important
Or is it fear?
Fear of missing out
Fear of falling behind
Fear of becoming irrelevant
Fear of not being valuable enough
The point is to acknowledge your fears, without letting them define you, instead reconciling yourself with your vulnerabilities,
For we all have them and it’s part of what makes us human.
It’s important then to be able differentiate between being busy and actually being productive.
Busyness, an infinite state of flux in one direction (out) – productive, directed at actually getting things done for good reason.
Building something, moving forward, growing.
Like managing a budget, you need to also be able to manage what you give your time, your energy and your attention to.
For these are your most valuable resources.
Being able to differentiate between what’s seemingly ‘urgent’, with what’s actually important.
Playing the long game, instead of the short one.
Being the tortoise, not the hare.
At a time where many of us live without the community or family structures that have traditionally supported us, it becomes even more relevant to be able to cut out the fluff.
To be able to say no
To be able to let go
To be ok sacrificing something now, for something of greater value in future.
To invest in your growth and not waste away your time or money on things of no value – on simply maintaining your 'busy lifestyle'.
With everything going out and having nothing to show for it.
Busy will eventually get you, it will eventually burn you out.
Not just your mind and your body, but also, in time, extinguish your spirit – because that too needs nourishment.
That too needs the oxygen and space to breathe, because it’s in this breath where life is found.
So balance is key – yin and yang. The flow between movement and stillness
If you’re the ‘always busy’ type – I urge you to slow down.
To take a step back and realign.
To refocus your attention.
And double down on the things that matter whilst ridding your self of all those that don't.
It takes courage to make change happen
A real strength of will, an inner conviction.
But what you’ll find is, that your efforts now, are very much worth the rewards later.