by Elliot Lyons
My mom used to say some people were, “always busy but ain’t doin’ a damn thang.”
We all know what this looks like: we at work looking busy but ain’t doing nothing. Sometimes this looking busy actually includes work, but it’s the type of work we do to avoid actually doing the work we should be doing, and at other times it’s just finding creative ways to look like we’re doing anything.
This happens in life, too.
We can fill our time with activities, but not grow. We can spend time looking busy when we’re really on the couch.
We can be busy doing stuff, but it may not be the things we need to be doing.
It’s hard cutting through all the noise in our lives to find out what’s essential, but it takes commitment to growth to begin asking the difficult questions: Am I where I need to be? Am I doing what I need to be doing to get where I want to be? Why am I doing this in the first place?
Carrying out the answers is even more difficult because we often avoid the one thing that’ll push us over the edge towards our dreams. If we want to leave our dead-end job, we’ll talk about applying, maybe actually apply from time to time, but we won’t give ourselves a deadline, plan our exit, and stick to that plan. So we stay where we are.
This is a loop: we’re moving, but not going anywhere.
In these times, it’s useful to go inwards and think about why we’re not where we want to be. And it’s hard because we have to be honest with ourselves. We may have to admit we like the comfort of where we are more than the challenge imposed by what we could become.
And there’s nothing wrong with liking the idea of change—growth always begins with an idea that sprouts into a dream. But if not acted upon that idea becomes a fantasy that fills our heads with things we will never do.
The whole purpose of dreams is to lift us into a new reality, to push us to truly get shit done; otherwise, we’re just caught in the endless loop of fantasy.