You’re at the grocery store, picking up a few things for dinner. You run into a good friend you haven’t seen in a month and start up a conversation. As you exchange friendly greetings and a hug, she asks, “How are you doing?”
For most of us, we’ll reply with “I’m good” or “I’m doing great!” But the next sentence out of our mouth usually sounds something like this:
“I’ve just been so busy lately...”
We are a culture infatuated with busy. Addicted to go, go, go and more, more, more. Achievement, productivity, and accomplishments have become the idols we worship. Slowing down and stepping back is relegated to a few short hours in the evenings and on the weekend, and even those are hijacked by family and friends and to-do lists and Facebook and church.
By admitting to being “too busy,” we give up our freedom of choice. We can’t have both. But that's it.
Busy is a choice!
We don't have to let our lives be run by to-do lists, expectations, others, fear. Once we take that responsibility on, we can start to create the life of our dreams, the life that we want. What if? When we are “too busy,” we close the door on being present, having peace, deep thinking, relationships, being bored, and having fun. What if we could escape busy? I believe it's possible with some hard work and a deep desire to make your life yours, and not someone else's.
Here are 6 convicting reasons to quit busy and begin a life of Peace and Presence
1. Busy takes away your ability to be present.
When we are always running around from one thing to the next, checking off that to-do list that never ends, we eliminate our ability to be present. Our mind is always thinking "what's next?" and has no time to actually stop, and remain in the now, the present moment.
But the present is where life is at. What we're looking for is right in front of us. Slowing down and making the time to just be is one of the hardest things we'll do, but the reward is so worth it.
At the end of your life, you will never say, "I really wish I was more busy when I was younger."
2. Peace is hard to find in the hustle.
As productive, motivated hustlers, we are always thinking go, go, go and "How can I fit more into my schedule?" I've been caught in this many times, and it's still a fight to not go down that self-destructing road.
But with this type of thinking, peace and silence is so hard to find. We must be intentional about making the time to stop, take a deep breath, and simply rest. Just be. This peace gives us the mental space that's needed when we're hustling and working long days. Silence is needed to balance out the craziness of our lives.
But we must remember to never get too busy making a living, that we forget to make a life.
3. Busy masks what is hurting.
For a lot of us, busy is a drug. A drug that numbs those painful feelings we don't want to feel, the excruciating silence we don't want to hear. In that silence, we are forced to confront our demons, the problems in our lives. And this is never, ever fun.
But, as entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and friends, we must be strong enough to face what we're running from. To go head to head with what scares the hell out of us, and give it our best shot. In this, we are able to be more truly ourselves, and sleep better at night. The most beautiful thing in life is someone who isn't afraid to look themselves in the mirror and say, "I really like you."
4. Creative thinking is shut down.
Busy means we're never bored. And this is extremely dangerous.
When we're bored, our best thinking happens. Our most creative thinking. But when we're always going from one task to the next, with full schedules and no time to breath, it's like climbing a ladder to a destination you don't know. Only when you take time to stop, step back, and see your life with fresh eyes can you really see where you're headed. And you may find that you've been climbing the wrong ladder all along.
But busy doesn't allow us the time or space to see the full picture of our lives. Take the time to find a new perspective.
5. Relationships take a back seat.
I've found that my relationships suffer relative to how busy I am. The busier I am, the less time and space I have to spend with the ones I love, and it has hurt some of my relationships in the past. I'm sure you've found this to be true in your life at some point as well.
To flip this mindset around, we must realize this truth: People matter. They are the only thing that will matter in the end.
Only when we realize that people matter, can we start living.
Relationships are what make life rich and beautiful and crazy and oh so fun. Without them, it's not worth it. It's easy to have this in our head, but much harder to know it in our hearts. But once we do know it, will life open up to its fullest potential and become exponentially sweeter.
6. You don't have as much fun.
Life gets busy, I get it. But let's be honest; we have much more fun when our life isn't always busy and stressed out. The more we can laugh, the easier it gets when we are in situations where are busy or stressed.
So let go, laugh a little more. Life's too short to be serious all the time.
And life's too short to be busy all the time.
Practical Next Steps
Find little slots of time where you don't have anything planned (or plan those time slots) and then do nothing during that time. Go take a nap, or go on a walk in the park, or read a light book.
Purpose to not think about work or problems or areas of stress in your life. Be intentional in these times, but make sure to enjoy them. Nothing is more precious than peace.
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