As a society, we have created two matrixes for success. Money and power. We structure our lives to compete in those two areas almost exclusively and won’t consider ourselves successful or worthy or important without obtaining both. We will break our backs in busywork, working constantly, chasing an ideal that has become obsolete and outdated. If we are not continuously busy, we are looked at as being lazy, insufficient, or lacking motivation. We literally have glorified busy, and I can’t even.
I don’t propose that you stop being busy because I don’t have empathy for you. We are all busy. Being busy is a poor excuse however, when you make your busy more important that someone else’s busy. I liked the idea of having places to go, things to see and people to meet. I believed life was about being busy, and the busier I was, the better off I’d be. We weren’t built to dedicate so much of our time tracking down two things that mean nothing to our happiness in the end however. We were built to thrive.
I can’t take credit for thrive. Ariana Huffington in her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder, lays out 10 ways for us to improve our work life balance and introduces thrive to our lives. Thriving touches all areas of our lives that often fall to the cutting room floor by focusing on just money and power to define success. When we expand our lives in the pursuit of significance from just work, thriving allows us to move past working long hours that cause us to miss important family events and impact our health, to focus on more of the moments that drive true happiness.
So, how do we downplay the significance of always running from one thing to the next and instead thrive? Detox yourself from digital handcuffs and go off-line. Take the time to enjoy the solitude of your own thoughts and invest in taking care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat right, invest in and spend time with your loved ones. We prioritize what we value most and by you admitting that you are not busy doesn’t imply that you are a failure, it implies that you value yourself enough to make you a priority. Work isn’t our whole life, it’s a part of our lives. Just the same as our family, our friends, and the passions we enjoy doing. So let’s stop the glorification of busy already, let’s redefine success as by making a positive difference in the world. Let’s get busy being unbusy.