We are all so busy, busy, busy. Our plates are so full that we leave our leftovers trailing behind us everywhere we go. And so many of us wear this busyness as a badge of honor, cheerfully commiserating with one another, as if we were all competing for the “Most Overwhelmed of the Year” award. I suppose it comes down to the mistaken idea that “the busiest one” is automatically equivalent to “the most productive one” or “the most important one.” Sorry. No cigar.
What we don’t want to realize is that an overly busy lifestyle is really a sign of laziness. And before you get all huffy, I don’t mean lazy as in sitting around doing nothing. Actually, sometimes a little bit of “doing nothing” would indeed be more productive. What I mean about laziness is that it takes thoughtfulness, careful consideration and good decision-making skills to cull through all the possible activities and decide which ones would be of higher value. It takes an investment of time and wisdom to learn how to say no to trivial tasks and to develop expertise in a given area rather than trying to look competent in every area (i.e., Jack of all trades, Master of none). And it takes self-discipline to be still and finally face whatever turmoil is going on inside of us rather than using excessive activities to avoid our inner demons. A disciplined life is a carefully executed life, not one of mindlessly attempting to dribble every ball thrown our way and then falling prey to self-hatred because we get penalized for walking. There’s a time to run the court…and a time to pass the ball to the better positioned player. It takes skill to recognize the difference, a skill that is never learned while in perpetual motion.