I’ll first admit, that being busy is a good feeling. It creates a sense of importance and value in who we are. It’s a way for us to tell the world “we’re a big deal”. Rushing around checking off to-do lists each day creates a dopamine like effect that continues us down this illusive path of being busy. In fact, most of us are told that being busy is a good thing. Before I became aware of how the impact of such thinking, I used to equate someone who is busy to someone of accomplishment and success. Who wouldn’t, right? If you have more meetings, more obligations, more commitments in today’s age, that immediately puts you above those who have less. In fact, if you are not busy, you are deemed lazy. So that’s what I was led to believe.
Unfortunately, being busy is a mask to cover the real work that has to be done, but is not being completed. Yes, we are running around checking off to-do lists, but how many of those things really matter? Are we putting first things first? Or are we putting second, third, fourth things first, neglecting the vital functions that make our goals a reality? Accomplishment and achievement does not mean saying yes to everything, but more, saying no to most things. We should focus our time and attention on what matters.
There are really only a couple things that matter in moving you forward. Each time you say yes to something that does not matter, you are saying no to what does. Simple.
More often than not, we have not identified what matters, which is why we say yes to so many things of lesser value (lesser value in relation to the importance of your vital priorities). We have not created a vetting system for what’s important to us, and in the absence of such, we say yes too much. As hard as it may be, we need to say no more often. We don’t because of the expected disappointment in others.
Saying no creates a temporary moment of being uncomfortable, yet frees us in the long run. I feel people will respect us more in the end, if we do say no because, when we say yes, our value of time permeates to them as a sense of our own value in them, which is greater. Simply put, if others understand more how we value our time, they will feel more valued when we make time for them.
I will not see eye-to-eye with some, and that’s ok. That’s what makes life unique, but at some point, we must ask ourselves, “Am I truly free?” Only in asking ourselves that can we lay out the true narrative of the life we seek versus the one we are living.