Are you happy being busy or are you busy being happy?
There really is nothing wrong with being busy. The key to positive busyness is introducing choice into your experience. With this choice, we give ourselves permission to have periods of work mixed with periods of rest and entertainment. With a mindful awareness of what is happening right now, busy-ness can be joyful, freeing or enlightening. But our culture’s focus on consumption and accomplishment can trick you into a habit of non-stop busyness that may not serve you. I wrote about this previously in The Tragedy of Speed, Part 1.
I was fascinated by a recent exchange between Arianna Huffington and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors. Responding to Musk’s lament of working 120-hour workweeks and nearly living at his work, she offered an open letter urging him to bring the same scientific approach that creates innovation at his company to his own health and
wellbeing, specifically sleep. She wrote, “The science is clear. And what it tells us is that there’s simply no way you can make good decisions and achieve your world-changing ambitions while running on empty,” she wrote.” Sadly, Musk responded (around midnight), “You think this is an option. It is not.” There’s a huge cultural and capitalist reluctance to slow down. But we can bring mindfulness to it.
Grant yourself a moment of peace,
and you will understand
how foolishly you have scurried about.
Learn to be silent,
and you will notice that
you have talked too much.
and you will realize that
your judgment of others was too severe.
– Chinese Proverb