The Busyness of Business: Time To Change Gears

The Busyness of Business: Time To Change Gears


~Joel’s Blog

This Business of Busyness…Is This Living?

A favorite book of mine is The Rudder of the Day, by Dan Miller, which I got at his awesome “Write to the Bank” workshop for authors. He has a chapter about how busyness makes us, well, nuts. In our quest for a better whatever (income, position, stability, house, etc.) we work our proverbial fanny off to achieve the whatever. Been there. Done that. …And still doing it. How about you? Anyone in your mirror resembling this guy?

Back In The Day

Remember back when you were a kid and the hardest decision that you had to make was what you wanted to play…first? Sure, life was full of busyness then, too. But the busyness had a very different feel to it, didn’t it? Because you’d be busy doing things that were fun and fulfilling. So even though you were “busy” doing stuff, the stuff you were doing was pleasant, appealing and, more often than not, joyful. Not all busyness is created equal.

Back To The Future

Dan uses the phrase “soul-less work” to describe what our current levels of busyness bring us. It’s an apt description. When you engage in busyness for a long enough time, you really do feel as if your soul was sucked out of you somewhere along the way. And it didn’t require a Dementor from Harry Potter’s world to do it. Just your own merciless, too-often-unquestioning march towards that whatever. Sorry, but you know it’s true.

At least now in my world, my busyness is directed at “move-toward-goals,” rather than “move-away-from-goals.” In other words, my activity is focused on building our businesses, instead of submitting to the busyness requirements of the enterprise I was employed by. In my old corporate world, complaining to my superior didn’t get me much. At least not much of a positive response. Now if I complain to the boss, I’m looking at him in the mirror. And that’s a much better situation. Much, much better.

What are your thoughts? Are you in a busyness spin-cycle? Have you found a way to shut off the machine and return to a time of busy play? What’s your story?

Engage here. And who do you know that should be thinking about this problem of busyness? Engage them, too.


photo credit: anieto2k via photopin cc

Effortless Concentration?

Effortless Concentration?

Falcon - Thoreau

The concentration of this raptor, perched on our back fence, was intense. Fully mindful of its surroundings, it was obvious it was yet effortlessly and singularly focused.

Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for the rest of us.

What would your world be like with intense but effortless concentration? How might your goals be impacted?

Engage here.

How to Avoid “Black Crab” Syndrome, Part 3

How to Avoid “Black Crab” Syndrome, Part 3

Meet The Crab

Last time…

We looked at the very real possibility that we, intentionally or otherwise, might be the very “black crabs” to those around us. While wishing for a little support in making progress towards our goals (like a shove from a black crab, rather than a tug), we may, at the same time, actually be the tugging black crab to someone else’s efforts at positive change and growth. Ouch.

mirror in woods

Have you ever felt inner tension at your place in life? Struggled with a desire for “more,” whether it was “more money,” “more job,” “more fulfillment,” “more happiness,” “more friendship,” “more sense of purpose,” “more ____________?” The chances are extraordinarily high that you have. And that you do.

“Black Crab” Big Business

According to one statistic, the self-help industry amounted to over $10.5 billion in 2010. That’s a lot of self-help, don’t you think? Maybe this is why the industry has a perhaps well-earned nickname: shelf-help. Meaning that the delivery system for the eagerly-sought self-help (book, DVD, 3-ring bound course, audio series…) ended up on a shelf, instead of meaningfully absorbed into the self who bought the help, in the first place.

Is it possible, then, that the seeker of the self-help actually impedes their own growth?

Sure. I believe this happens all the time. As I mentioned in my last post, like a crab seeking to escape its bucket, people are driven to reach for more out of life, to move beyond their “bucket” of limitations. Deep down, the belief that there is a wide-world out there, full of opportunity and adventure, pushes us to reach for the lid of the metaphorical bucket. And sometimes, our dreams are dashed because of a dream-deprived loser, suffering from negativity and fear, who is one of the black crabs in our life. But, then, perhaps we are sometimes that black crab in someone else’s life.

However, most often, we let go of the lid. We pull the ripcord. Bail. Implode. Give up. Lose faith. Self-destruct. We “black crab” ourselves.

I’ve experienced this self-induced crab-melt in my life, and I’ve seen it in countless people in my professional life. It’s crazy-making.

Makes you wonder—why is that? That’s where we’re going in the final installment of As the Crab Turns….

What are your thoughts on this? Is self-help good? Bad? Both?

Engage here.

Image by Tasha Kamrowski on Pexels

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