“If you do something you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
It happens all the time. It happens when people ask each other how their day was over the dinner table, or they see someone they haven’t seen in a while at a party, or they check in with someone via phone or email. It’s often routine small talk, and for some people it’s become as automatic as blinking or answering a “How are you?” question with the one-word phrase “Good.” But it bothers me.
What is it? The phenomenon of people saying how busy they are.
There’s no doubt that we all have tons of things going on, we have our problems and issues to deal with and we all wish we had another couple of hours in the day. That’s life…it’s perfectly normal and okay. But I’ve noticed a trend. When people are happy with their lives, what they’re doing, etc., they don’t ever say they’re busy. They talk with passion, excitement and energy. They give examples. They smile. When people don’t feel fulfilled for whatever reason, then they say they’re busy. It’s a euphemism for “Don’t ask…it’s a long story, and I don’t really want to talk about it.” And you know the tone of voice that goes with it – it’s tired, defeated, reactive and defensive. If you think about it, it’s a pretty negative way of viewing the world, and living your life. And I’m seeing it more and more in my everyday conversations.
In my own life, I saw this happen. I enjoyed my work, but I’m not sure I really loved it. I used to be excited about my family, friends, relationships, etc., but I didn’t always make the extra effort like I should. I used to hit the snooze bar several times while waking up and dread certain things I’d have to do that day. I used to say all the time how busy I was. Nowadays, my to-do list has never been longer than it is today and I’ve never had more stress in my life, but I don’t see it that way. I absolutely love what I do for work. I pursue my relationships and the people who mean most to me with renewed vigor. I start my day with a bounce in my step. I’m excited about what I get to do and who I get to be around. I can’t remember the last time I told someone I was busy.
So I challenge you: don’t just be busy. Prioritize the things/people/work/causes/whatever that are important to you and make you happy, and then make a conscious decision to fill as much of your time as possible with them. It seems like a simple and easy thing, but I think it’s really easy to lose focus of this when life happens all around us. Still, following through on this most basic concept can change your whole world view and help you lead a much happier and more fulfilled life.