When asked “how are you doing?” do you respond with something like ” Good, busy but good.”? What does that mean? Is it a ‘pat’ answer? What are you busy at? It seems busy is laudable. Busy is respected. Busy is expected? But is busy meaningful, productive or healthy?
What would happen if you change the response? What if you said ” Good question. Let me think about that.” ” I am really enjoying my time at work and feeling like we are accomplishing all our goals. I get to spend time with family and friends and much needed time alone. My health is good and I am in a great place emotionally.” Too much? Maybe, but certainly more meaningful than ‘busy’.
My confession is that I don’t feel busy. I don’t strive to feel busy. I love the pace that I am able to live life at. Am I missing anything? Likely, but in this moment I get to treasure the blessings and look forward to opportunities. Will I regret not being busier? I doubt it, when my time comes I hope there aren’t any regrets.
Can you become un-busy? Easy to say, harder to do. In this case(maybe in most cases) saying it is the beginning. Try not saying the B word for a week and see what unfolds itself. Observe where your priorities shift. Is watching another reality tv program or checking Facebook again still as urgent? Did you find time to get important stuff done and find time for you to enjoy the blessings in your life?
Make this week remarkably un-busy,
If I knew then what I know now (or think I know) I would have done some things differently (maybe). This isn’t regrets (I have a few, but then again too few to mention). This is about offering encouragement to readers in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to take action to change your world earlier than I undertook. If you have personal goals for a distant future, don’t put off starting until a later date (usually when I have more time, have more money, have more energy, experience..) Excuses are poor reasons to not begin.
I am healthier today than 10 years ago, I am smarter today than 10 years ago and 10 minutes ago I have stronger relationships than yesterday and last century. I wasn’t intentional about these changes until the last 6 years. Every day my intentions rule my actions and inactions. Every day I have the choice to do things or not do things that make my life, my family, my world better. I am better intentionally recognizing the choices and imagining the impact.
If I knew then … I would have set significant long term goals and then putting in place 10 day landmarks, 100 day navigation points and 1000 day destinations for as many longer term aspirations as possible. The higher level discipline of intention and accountability towards something important (to you) will reap remarkable benefits when you are a decade older and another decade older …
Make Today Intentionally Remarkable,
Sometimes it feels like my world is spinning out of control. Busyness captures me and I resort to tried and true rituals rather than exploring remarkable opportunities. In this place, in this time, with these people we should expect miracles but often seemed mired in mediocrity quicksand. Multitasking my way to bounded rationality where “I have too much to do” has been my refrain and excuse for not shipping my very best. My best intentions don’t seem to produce my best work. Only when I focus and deepen my efforts do I see the quality and results I am known to achieve.
Practice makes perfect – not likely. Poor practice delivers poor results.
My battle with mediocrity is the same one I have with procrastination. My important priorities don’t receive attention because I can always create something urgent (often more fun or easier) that looks important. The gravity pulls me to do something else, almost anything else – the laundry, checking Facebook, … When I set priorities for each day (I started with 3) and don’t just tick boxes but rather complete them deeply, fully and to the best of my ability, I celebrate.
Mark Twain said ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’ I try get the most difficult task done first and when I succeed the Twain adage is true. I can feel myself pulling away from mediocrity towards miraculous. I feel better, lighter, readier. I am strengthened by the effort. After years of practice, this hasn’t become habitual and I need to remain vigilant or mediocrity invites me back.
Remarkable people use their strengths to strengthen themselves and others. When I am mired in the quicksand, up to my knees in averageness, I am not strong. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow I am committed to being strengthened and breaking away from the pull. How about you, what miracle could you create in three days?
Make Today, Tomorrow and the Next Remarkable,
Edit – just received notice that the master of productivity David Allen is hosting GTD Fundamentals next month for those who are serious about getting out of the quicksand.