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Unfortunately, busyness has become the badge the many people chose to wear. We think people will think we are important when they hear we are busy. Perhaps, we are too afraid to face the things we really need to face, so we get busy doing things that don’t really matter in the end.
Tonight, I had a fantastic conversation with a group of men who are serious about becoming better husbands, better fathers, better leaders, and better men. We talked a lot about busyness.
I shared with them the experience I had last week when I realized I was overwhelmed. (If you read my blog posts over the past two weeks, you’ll get a feel for what I shared.)
I thrive on being busy. That’s what I keep telling myself.
In reality, I need a break from time to time, and I must learn to slow things down.
I was perusing an article on Lifehack in preparation for my conversation with these men tonight, and the article said “When you’re busy, your aren’t present.”
And one of the men said, “Busyness is the enemy of intimacy.”
Last week along with tonight’s conversation confirmed that I’m not alone.
I don’t want to be known as the guy who was always busy.
I want to be known as the man who was there – for my wife, for my family, for my friends.
If you’re interested in jumping into conversations like this one with other men, consider signing up for the Stretched Men Group. You can learn more at www.stretchedmengroup.com. Once you’re on the website, signup to schedule a free (no obligation) phone call with me. I’d love to talk with you!
Are you too busy? What do you do to slow down? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
“The focus of Lesson 1 is Newton’s first law of motion – sometimes referred to as the law of inertia. Newton’s first law of motion is often stated as: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Even when you lie down to sleep your brain keeps going.
We’ve conditioned ourselves to go, go, go, and the more I experience life it seems like inertia might just be our enemy sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a person of action. I want to be busy getting things done – things that matter.
Here’s the problem: We are also directed to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
The discipline of stillness takes intentionality. It takes purpose. It takes an all out resistance to our natural tendency to move.
According to Newton’s 1st Law of Motion, we actually need an unbalanced force to stop us or to change our direction.
I’ve experienced these kinds of unbalanced forces before. Like the time my wife was hospitalized leaving me with two young kids to care for while running around between home, the hospital, and work. Or like the time when I received a call from my Dad telling me my Mom had been diagnosed with “Early Onset Alzheimer’s Progression.”
Sometimes these unbalanced forces can seem catastrophic at the time. When we step back, these might actually be the things we need to re-calibrate us – to cause us to stop, to think, to be still.
Recently, I have felt inertia taking over in my life. Some of it is fantastic. But some things in my life require that unbalanced force to force me into a better pattern or position.
I’m not waiting for something catastrophic; I want to take the right next to step starting now. I want to slow down and even stop to take in life, to connect with my Creator, and to make sure I’m on the right path.
This morning, I’m sitting in Starbucks. I often use this time before church to write, to read, and to observe. I treasure this time as it gives me an opportunity to pause – to collect myself for an hour or two.
Life has been moving at a blistering pace lately. Leanne and I are leading an incredible marriage class at our church. My mastermind group for men is gaining momentum as we get further into the semester. Work has been consuming as we navigate through the performance evaluation process. Last weekend, we visited Grove City College as Isaac moves closer to college. This weekend, Hannah is home for fall break. And I’m in the middle of getting my book ready for release.
In my reading time this morning, I read an article about hustle and balance by my friend, Ellory Wells. In the article, Ellory explains why he is choosing hustle right now. I get it! I’m a hustler for sure. BUT… I’m also convinced we need SABBATH. We need rest from time to time. We need the intentional moments and opportunities to connect with our God, our family, our friends, and even ourselves.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11
My Sunday morning Starbucks time is part of my SABBATH experience.
Today, I’ll go to church; I’ll have lunch with my family before Hannah heads back to Messiah College; I’ll probably take a nap in front of a football game; and I’ll catch my breath.
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
Being busy has become a status symbol in our culture. If you’re not busy, you’re not accomplishing anything. That’s what society is telling us.
I want to work on my book. I want to schedule several blog posts and emails to the people on my email list. I would like to talk to my daughter (who is away at college) on Facetime. I’d like to take at least 10,000 steps.
I want to write and give my next Toastmasters speech. I want to schedule an appointment with my tax accountant. I would like to clean up the house to make sure we are ready for any showings that might happen this week. I’d like to meet one-on-one with my team members.
I want to publish my next book (Rooftop Reflections). I plan to go to Guatemala and build more houses. I’d like to complete my Advanced Communicator Silver and my Advanced Leader Silver for Toastmasters. I would like to move up at my company. I plan to complete Dynamic Marriage Facilitator Training with my wife. I hope to sell my house and downsize.
It’s not a bad idea to have plans for our days weeks, months, and years. After all, “if we fail to plan, we should plan to fail.” But what if our short-term goals and accomplishments don’t match up with our long-term objectives?
I think these are two very important questions to ponder. And we need to have the answers to these questions in mind as we plan out our short-term goals and our plans for the next days, weeks, and months.
You will not succeed in meeting your long-term (life-time) goals by accident. You must be intentional. You must begin with the end in mind.
Here are a few of my long-term goals:
These are just some of my goals. Knowing these, I’m in a much better position to answer the initial questions asked at the beginning of this post.
Over the next few days, I’ll be sending out additional information to those on my email list about living intentionally today. If you want to get these emails, make sure you are on the list. Sign up below!