I have a love/hate relationship with the word “busy”.
I LOVE being busy. I feel happy when my life feels full. I find that I get demotivated and feel kind of useless when I don’t have things on my to-do list, events coming up or plans in the works.
I HATE when being busy is used as an excuse – either for not doing something you know you should have, or for devaluing relationships. “Sorry, I haven’t called, I’ve been busy.” I hate when people use that excuse with me … and I hate that I know I use it too.
As a child, I am pretty sure that “busy” was never an excuse I used. “Sorry best friend, I am too busy with homework to come and play outside”. Homework could wait. Time spent being silly and laughing with my friends could not. I’m pretty sure then, nothing was more important than spending time with friends.
Now, I find my relationships suffer because of “busy”. Friends can become an after-thought. I see my friends or talk to them when we have time to spare – which can, unfortunately, be few and far between. I know alot of it has to do with growing up and having more responsibility to support yourself and others, but ultimately, I think at any age, it comes down to priorities.
I find that in the culture we live in, that the busier you are, it seems the better your life is and the more valued a member of society you are. Life has become a competitive sport. The less time you have in your schedule is inversely proportionate to how successful you are and the amount of super-human powers you possess to get it all done. Success equals happiness.
However, we often change the measures for what success is, and so are never truly satisfied or actually happy with anything we do. So we add more things to our plates to reach this moving target for happiness and success. We forget people and become focused on goals and status symbols. We simply justdon’t have time for anything else. Our jar is full. Over full.
Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me … for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
Children live life fully and without worry or fear. They aren’t concerned about how much money you make or how many things you have on your plate. They have genuine love. They don’t have competing priorities. They value playing with each other, being in community with one another. They are happy.
In this TED Talk, Shawn Achor talks about positive psychology. Achor says that the lens through which your brain views the world, shapes your reality. If we can change the lens, not only can we change our happiness, but we can change every single outcome in our lives at the same time. Viewing our lives through a new lens can help us dream bigger, see clearer, feel more successful and be more grateful for the realities that actually exist for us. We can begin to live out of love instead of fear. Negative realities become positive blessings.
So, what would happen if we all flipped our priorities and viewed life through a new lens – the lens of a child?
Our life would first be filled with what really matters. Caring about each other would be our priority. We would choose love over fear and peace over power. We would be just as busy but I think would feel a lot more fulfilled because as we spend more time with others, in community, we get to experience and spread love and make a difference in the lives of others. True success.
“The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” – Dalai Lama
May we learn to shift our priorities and refocus the lens through which we view our world, to be more like children. May we learn to let go of the little things and make more room for the big – making room for the moments that make our life fulfilling. May we never be too busy for that.