I hate the word busy. It is so trivial, but we use it all the time.
Someone asks how you’ve been. You either say, “good” or “fine” or, very likely, “busy.”
I wish the term were relegated to the context of phone calls. You know, like back in the day when phones had wires attached to them and you used them to actually call people? If the person you tried to call was on another phone call (and they didn’t have this new technology called “call waiting”), then you would get the “busy” signal.
I probably just lost a bunch of you guys that are around my age or younger, so let’s just move on.
We are all busy. We have all said, “there just isn’t enough time in the day.” We have all wished we could do this or that, and we use our busyness as an excuse for the things we haven’t done.
But here’s the thing. You don’t need more time. You need to use the time you do have more effectively. Less Netflix, less scrolling, less swiping, less wasting of time. Less is the answer, not more.
Same goes for money and “stuff”. I’m sure you probably feel like you need more money, but I challenge you to make sure you are effectively utilizing every last dollar you do have, then worry about what you could do with a few more.
And how about the stuff we buy with that money? Does more stuff truly make us happy? Or is it true, as it’s said in the movie Fight Club, that “The more things you own, the more they own you.” Does more stuff bring you peace, happiness, freedom and satisfaction? Or is more a burden?
More time, more money, more stuff, more whatever-else…
More is not the answer.
You do not need more — you do not deserve more — if you are not using what you do have to it’s fullest potential.
(I know, I know — it is dangerous to talk about what we deserve these days. We all deserve the trophy, even if we didn’t win the game. And we deserve to have access to basic human needs — such as cell phones, and cable, and late-model vehicles. But that’s another topic for another day.)
This idea of more is everywhere. It is so pervasive in our culture that we don’t even know we are being influenced by it. It is, if you believe the lie, the answer to all questions.
Except, it is a false answer, isn’t it? A quick hit of more almost always works for a moment — maybe a day, or a week, or a month if you’re really lucky. But more always leaves us wanting…well, more.
If more is not the answer, what is?
I would argue, we should be working towards doing less and doing it better.
Identify what really, truly matters. It can only be a few things. You are not super-human; you cannot do everything, know everything, and master everything.
So, again, pick just a few things — the few things that you really value. The things that you feel called to. The things that bring you the most, deepest, longest-lasting satisfaction, and the things that bring the most good to those around you.
Now do those few things — just those few things — and do them really well. Do them with excellence. Pursue them with passion. Give them your time, energy, attention, money, resources, and heart.
Other things? Don’t tolerate them. Don’t allow them to creep in. Don’t say yes to them, because in doing so you are saying no to the few things that you should be giving yourself to.
Expectations of others? No.
The current trend or “it” thing? No.
Wasteful or idle use of your time? No.
Activities that deplete your energy? No.
Empty ways you spend your money? No.
Relationships that are life-sucking? No.
Without focus? No.
Without passion? No.
Without purpose? No.
You have to say “no” to a million things — often even good things — so that you can say “yes” and truly commit to the few things that you should be doing.
So, what does this look like for you?
What are the few things that really, truly matter?
What are you going to do about it?