“Those who are wise won't be too busy, and those who are too busy can't be wise.” ― Lin Yutang
“I am so busy.”
It’s a simple, common, four-word sentence.
And with the uptick in demands professionally, quantum increases technologically, and intense strains on our time personally, it’s a sentence the vast majority of us use with great frequency.
We use it when speaking with professional colleagues to show our importance: “Things are going extremely well for me…I am so busy.”
We use it when there is some task, job, or duty we’d rather not do: “Sorry. Can’t help with that…I am so busy.”
And we use it to describe our yesterday…tomorrow…weekends…and life: BUSY.
In the journey through life, though, it’s important to keep in mind the goal should never be mere busyness.
Juliet Funt suggests there are four causes of being busy that rob us of full productivity. She thinks we all have aspects of these four characteristics within us and that they steal our time, energy, ideas, satisfaction and potential to truly live inspired. They negatively impact our relationships, our health and our bottom line.
The four thieves of productivity are: Drive, Excellence, Information and Activity.
In reading these traits, they sound healthy, beneficial, good. But when taken to an extreme, they are absolutely detrimental.
Drive demands that we are always sprinting forward toward the next goal, achievement, buzz, rung on the ladder.
Excellence reminds us that what we have is not enough, that the project remains imperfect, and demands that we always give more, get more, perform better.
Information pulls us into the weeds of needing to be in the know on everything, from the Hollywood gossip and what our friends’ friends ate for dinner to headlines from around the community or the world that have no bearing on our lives.
Finally, Activity insists on our calendar always being packed, our day never including rest, and our mind never being able to reflect, pause, wonder.
The antidote to the thieves requires pivoting away from the “so busy” and into the “actually important.” When you struggle with one of the characteristics (and we all struggle with at least one of them!) consider asking one of the following questions:
1. Drive: Is there anything I can let go of? 2. Excellence: Where is good enough, good enough 3. Information: What do I truly need to know? 4. Activity: What is most important right now?
(I had the great pleasure of visiting with Juliet Funt on our most recent Live Inspired podcast. She’s a fascinating person, outstanding communicator, passionate mother and extraordinary thinker. She unpacks these ideas with additional clarity as well as introduces an important concept for work and life called Whitespace. If you ever feel so busy, I encourage you to listen by clicking the link below.)
My friends, it becomes easy in the busyness of the day, the stress of the job, and the challenges in the home to be buried by the tasks, the anxiety, and the stuff of the day.
But today, choose instead to slow down and be a bit more mindful.
Choose to create a little whitespace where you can discover the truth of what really matters and the great gift of all you already possess.
No, it won’t remove all the little things in life that require your attention. But it will free you to focus on the things that actually matter.
This is your day. Live Inspired.
* * * * * Listen to my full Live Inspired Podcast interview with Juliet here: bit.ly/FuntPodcast
Juliet Funt is the CEO of WhiteSpace at Work, a global speaker, influencer, consultant to Fortune 100 companies, and “a warrior in the battle against busyness.”
She is a self-described perfectionist who admits baking as her zen moment. He natural intuitiveness, authentic message, and insight allow her the uncanny ability to connect with people at all levels. She has led her team to create changes in low-value work like emails, charts, meetings, paperwork and unnecessary clutter to make life more efficient and enjoyable.
Juliet helps us find the space in our lives to make a really profound change. recharge and reclaim our passion for work.
Today, Juliet shares through humor, story-telling, and lessons how we can find a brief moment to ignite our most productive self.
Join 700,000+ friends and listen to #LiveInspired Podcast S7 | Ep. #69 and subscribe: iTunes: tinyurl.com/mob8dnq Stichter: tinyurl.com/mvbu36o iHEARTRadio: tinyurl.com/kmm7vxp GooglePlay: tinyurl.com/myot748 My website: tinyurl.com/ydbsy3r4
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"Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall." This quote from Oliver Goldsmith has been on my mind a lot after visiting a young man in the hospital about a month and a half ago.
Like me, this young boy's fingers had been amputated after being burned, and he was struggling mightily in his new life. But with a little help, guidance, and encouragement, he is finding ways to overcome challenges and get back to doing some of the things he loves.
It may take some time, some struggle, and some adjustment, but today's #LiveInspired vlog reminds us that in order to succeed, we just have to be wiling to get up one more time than we fall.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you have chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” -E. Tolle
When relationships end, dreams collapse, failures mount and life gets hard, it’s common to view what’s happening to us as bad luck, unfortunate, or unfair. It’s easy to feel as if we’ve been abused, betrayed, and abandoned by someone or something.
Contrast these common reactions to adversity with that of Olympic gold medalist, television analyst, and genuinely remarkable human being, Scott Hamilton.
While visiting with Scott recently, I asked about his upbringing, his family, his skating, his cancer and how he continues boldly moving forward in life.
He shared that it all starts at the beginning.
Although his birth mother gave him up for adoption at just six weeks of age, Scott never felt anger, never felt unwanted. Instead, he shared a very different perspective:
“I felt chosen.”
He explained his birth mother gave him the remarkable gift of life, gave him the best love she could for the six weeks they were together, and then gave him to the most amazing family he could have imagined.
Scott felt that his new family chose him, too.
They wanted him to be fully part of their experiences, their family, their life. Scott was a sickly child, but they chose to get the best medical care they could for their son – and then to fill his days with the one activity that both lessened his physical discomfort and fueled his competitive spirit: figure skating.
He felt uniquely chosen to have the rare determination to deal with the inherent challenges of figure skating. Scott estimates that he’s fallen on the ice 41,600 times. He quickly adds, though, that he’s chosen to get right up every time.
Scott excelled in figure skating, far surpassed all local competition, and as a teenager was invited to compete at US Nationals. A bit nervous and unfocused that competition, he executed his routine terribly, falling five times.
As difficult as it may have been getting up after those five falls in order to finish his program, the news he received shortly afterwards would be far more gut-wrenching.
His mother had cancer, it was serious, and because of the oncoming financial strain on the family, the approaching year would be Scott’s last on the ice.
Thousands of hours spanning a dozen years of practice, hundreds of competitions, the dream of skating again nationally – and with any luck maybe even internationally – would soon come to an end.
And yet Scott seized even this as an opportunity, as a gift, as another example of being chosen.
He determined to be grateful for the final year his parents provided, to skate with everything he had and to leave no doubt about his passion for the sport or gratefulness for his parents. At the end of that year, Scott was again invited to the national championship. He not only won that national championship, he’d win every other skating competition over the next four years, including a gold medal in the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.
(With the 2018 Winter Olympics upon us, I visited Scott Hamilton on being an Olympian, walking among the world’s greatest athletes, competing, winning, watching his flag rise and his national anthem play. I also got to ask about the incredible journey that lead to gold medal, and the little known, but unbelievable journey that followed it. My friends, it’s an awesome conversation with a terrific human being. Listen to the Live Inspired Podcast to hear his story, and what it means to you as you author yours. Click the link below to listen to the full interview.)
Although he fell some 41,600 times on the ice, and at least as many times off the ice, Scott Hamilton feels fortunate. In fact, he still feels chosen.
How might the way you show up, react and lead forward change if you chose to view the events of your life through the lens of being uniquely chosen for them?
How might this perspective inform how you feel about the minutia of each day, from traffic jams to financial strains, carpool lines to work meetings?
How might it elevate the manner in which you parent your little ones, love your spouse, embrace your singleness, serve your community, live, lead and love your life?
Today, my friend, choose to embrace whatever your present moment contains by accepting it as if you have chosen it…and been chosen for it.
Commit to working with it, not against it.
Feeling chosen to do the work we do, lead the lives we live, and impact as many around us won’t keep us from falling down.
Instead, it provides the confidence to know that this will pass, the courage to get back up, and the ability to skate into the best versions of who we are called to be.
“Understand that failure is part of the process and when it’s over, it’s over.”
Scott Hamilton is a four-time World Champion, Gold Medal Winner at the 1984 Olympics in Saravejo, co-creator of Stars on Ice, commentator, performer, author and philanthropist.
Scott has had his fair share of setbacks. He suffered a misdiagnosed condition as a young boy, lost his mother to cancer, and had his battles with cancer as well. Yet, by his own calculation, he has fallen down 41,600 times and gotten back up 41,601 times. He used that metaphor to replace fear with courage and clarity of purpose.
Even though he is perhaps the most recognizable male figure skater in the world, his struggles and successes are entirely down to earth. Scott’s message has humor and wisdom, delivering uplifting encouragement for us to get back up one more time and continue forward as a champion.
Today, Scott joins us to share his story of being adopted, his mother’s fight with cancer and how he used her inspiration to reach the Olympics.
Join 700,000+ friends and listen to #LiveInspired Podcast S7 | Ep. #68 and subscribe: iTunes: tinyurl.com/mob8dnq Stichter: tinyurl.com/mvbu36o iHEARTRadio: tinyurl.com/kmm7vxp GooglePlay: tinyurl.com/myot748 My website: tinyurl.com/y8guptcv