I have had an unusually busy Summer this year and this has left me feeling slightly exhausted. Being busy is not something I particularly enjoy, in fact, I actively try to not be too busy. But, what I found to be most interesting is how people seemed to applaud me being busy. And, how this reinforcement made being busy seem somehow more attractive to me.
Making a virtue out of being busy
My experience made me more aware of the tendency to make a virtue out of being busy in our culture today. It almost seems like a reflexive response in conversations:
“How are you?”
“Really busy these days”
“Great, great. Busy good I guess?”
“Yeah I guess, a lot going on. You?”
“Good, me too”
At first sight, such a conversation might seem like a harmless routine exchange of pleasantries. And, that may very well be the case for the most part. But, there is also a real danger of a certain undertone. An undertone that treats frantically rushing around being busy as a good thing!
Noticing your state
Becoming aware of how you are is the starting point. Are you indeed rushing around like your hair is on fire? Do you even need to? What is behind your busy-ness? Is it due to circumstances beyond your control, or is it habitual? How long have you been in a state of constant busy-ness? What impact is it having on your life and your relationships?
Asking such questions of yourself requires you to pause. To take a step back and look at what’s going on in your world. And, that takes resolve, particularly when those around you seem to reinforce a state of constant doing, a state of being busy.
We will all go through periods of busy-ness in our lives. Some, more by our own choosing, others less so. Remember that there might be a tendency to unconsciously take on being busy as a sort of cultural norm. The real question then is: How aware are you of your state? And, to what degree do you choose it?
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