Most people seem to believe that being busy is the equivalent of being important. However, the people who are the happiest have learned that being busy is a waste of time.
I get so frustrated when I spend valuable time working on a project, either at home or at work that fizzles out. Even more painful is the occasional realization that what I was working on was trivial from the start. Often, I fail to see these things for what they are when they first grab my attention. Life moves so quickly that I can lose the perspective that I need to separate what is important from what isn’t.
I can get swept up by the urgency of something. By the time that I’ve noticed that I’ve lost my Balance and Focus, I have unwittingly traded away valuable blocks of my time. When this happens to me, it feels like the spiritual and emotional equivalent of being pick-pocketed. As it must feel for the person who realizes that their wallet is missing, there is often a delay and some denial between the actual heist and the realization that something valuable has been taken.
Based on many of your responses to these weekly Cruxes, I have constructed the following three themes that most resonate with our community of subscribers. Please read on to determine if any of these are tuned to your personal frequency.
- Time Starvation and Busyness- Several days ago, I was traveling through an older, very established neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA. I was struck by how common it was, earlier in the last century to build homes with large front porches. To see these today is so inviting; they project a sense of retreat, an unplugging from the hustle and bustle of daily life. They hint at the invitation to “Come on over and sit a spell. Make yourself comfortable and let’s talk about life… yours and mine.” If anything, most newer homes have just a front stoop. These concrete pads project a clear message too. “State your business, make your delivery and be on your way.” We have lost touch with the idea that the time we enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Our over-commitments lead to time starvation. Naturally, I think that I can accomplish much more than is actually feasible during my wakeful hours. Saying “no” is a lost art, probably because we don’t recognize that by saying it, we are actually saying “YES” to ourselves. When it comes to being too busy, most of us are in the same boat and we are nearly all seasick!
- Meaningful Work- The chance of finding a company to which you can commit for the “long haul” and that is willing commit to you in the same way seems to be getting smaller and smaller in our mind’s eye. Instead, a whole bunch of good folks whom I know are doing their very best at a job that provides for their family but falls short of arousing their hearts and minds. The general state of the economy and the roiling uncertainty in our world contribute to people staying the course in their jobs despite a gnawing sense inside that groans…“There must be something more that I can do with my life!” Meaningful work is a gift. Finding a place in which the world’s great need intersects with my great passion is not as easy as it sounds. Sadly, not everyone gets to grow up to be an astronaut.
- Getting Past Our Past- Putting my past into perspective has been a rigorous work in progress. Reconciling the life with which I learned, to the life that I now live with has been hard fought. When I recollect my youth, I am saddened that I was not more virtuous. At the time, I was steeped in habits and behaviors that I have since worked to displace. We all do things of which we are not proud and we have all fallen short of the goal. Breaking the influence that our past has on our present requires mindfulness, forgiveness and love for self.
What about you? Would you take a moment to comment below or reply to me and share those things that rob you of your Balance and Focus? I am interested to learn and keep writing about those things that grind away at the hopes, dreams and relationships that matter most to all of us.
Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying…. cause you are!