How to stop busyness from killing your business and happiness.

Don’t be afraid of death. Be afraid of an unlived life. - Tuck, in Tuck Everlasting

It's my birthday today so I'm in a reflective space, asking what might be the greatest gift to share from 56 years in this human learning lab.

I'm fascinated with what really, really makes us tick from the inside out and how we dance well (or not) with each other, from a first meeting to a team project to global flourishing.

What do people really want? What keeps us busy? What ends up accidentally as the pursuit of busyness rather than a sublime, joyful stewardship of your real business, and what is "none of your business."? :-)

Let's pause.

Is the life I’m living the life that wants to live in me? - Parker Palmer

I want to ask you something and tell you something.

The question is: What are you living for? If an observer watching your daily behavior were asked this question, what would he or she surmise?

And here’s what I want to tell you: You were not born to settle. The purpose of your life was never supposed to be about getting all the to-do lists done or clinging to security. Leaders tell me they keep up with the busyness to not let their people down. (The irony is you're probably letting them down by perpetuating that kind of busyness while role modeling something you don't really want and is not everyone's higher potential.) Your life was never meant to become a waiting room either- for a prince or a promotion or public offering to come. You’re not supposed to feel stuck or restless. It is your destiny to realize who you truly are and share your gifts in the world. The joyful life within your heart’s desires is longing for you, wishing you’d listen more to its call. 

Imagine your optimal future self calling. How often does your busyness let that go into voicemail? Oops.

How is busyness going unexamined in your workplace? In your leadership? In your innermost thoughts and concerns? What might this be costing in potential effectiveness, efficiency, creativity, innovation, collaboration and genuine commitment to the best we could offer each other and all stakeholders? Are you willing to pay that price?

This is a profound choice; let it perpetuate or hit the pause button?

I wonder if most of the busyness stems from the human condition earnestly trying to "get" happy (fulfilled, prosperous, successful, secure, in your best flow zone, hit the numbers, - pick your own words here). We've inherited success advice and cultural norms about striving that tell us this is way! It's a lie.

Here’s the truth; to achieve the good life, you must become your true self.

Happiness does come from what is happening.

[We could pause on that sentence as the game changer for almost everything, and a nuanced, paradoxical real life exploration! Maybe that's the biggest lie/truth of all. :-)]

"Happiness comes from within" doesn't quite cover it either. Happiness happens (or not) because of how we relate to what's happening.

And that does come from unplugging and pausing, to remember your true power (What energy are you coming from? What's trying to run the show?) and plugging into your higher potential and let that fuel how you see, hear, speak, digest, choose and assess.

As you do this more deeply and pragmatically for yourself, that can truly flow in how you bring out the best in others. Now, we have a chance at that sublime, joyful stewardship of your real business. What's the cost-benefit analysis here? Imagine the impact on vital financials. What's your hunch about this?

Don't let me or anyone else preach to you. Ask yourself. Ask your deeper wisdom, compassion and wellspring of power. Perhaps it is time to wake up and claim the next growth edge of who you are meant to become and unleash that potential.

So, how does one get started? First, stop rushing. Time flies whether we’re having fun or not. Hit the pause button.

Once upon a time, I refused to slow down. I could have been a poster girl for Women Who Work Too Much and the Companies that Love Them. Today, my life is radically different. I am immensely grateful that my busy past transformed into my life's work with serving leaders to help them wake up inspired and flow in their true business success.

So, HOW do we actually live this inspired best potential? - well that's the ongoing learning lab and my true business calling. With more than 10,000 hours under my belt, I'm ever more excited about what's possible for all of us in what could be a "great turning where we learn to lead from Love."

What call do you want to listen to more? What might your Future Self say? What choice could you make about being willing to hit the pause button? Not have it all figured out. Just pause. *

Do not fear mistakes…There are none. -Miles Davis

* You might start with just being willing to be still. You may notice parts of you that don't like sitting still and want to get busy. (Welcome to the club, btw, me too, still after decades of meditating and practicing/teaching all of this stuff.) With absolute compassion, let your curiosity wander into what is trying to "get happy" and thinks the answer is in "getting busy." Let yourself also be curious about another energy that is more at peace right here, right now. Learn More