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Don't be busy... Be on-purpose!

Posted 4/12/2019

Busy is the new black. Every one is busy being busy, yet very few people are getting anything significant done. Why is that? The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, said:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

That’s something to reflect on. When you think about the things you are doing when making the statement that, you are ‘busy’, are they truly leading you to the vision you have created for your life, or, are they just taking your time? I want to challenge you this week, if this applies to you, to stop being ‘busy’ and start being ‘on-purpose.’

It is my experience, in my own life and observing others, that on-purpose people have a clear vision and mission, whereas busy people have none. It is also my experience and observation that on-purpose people are energised, productive, happy and fulfilled, while busy people are tired, time-poor, frustrated and stuck! That was me to a tee. I used to wear ‘being busy’ as a badge of honour. I thought it meant I was more successful and should be more respected. I learned from a young age that the secret to success was working hard, so I made it my mission to work longer and harder than everyone else. After 15 years of working ridiculous hours in one, then two businesses, was I successful? No, in fact far from it.

I’ll tell you exactly where ‘being busy’ led me. It led me to working over 100 hours, 7 days a week. It led me to be in almost $100,000 debt. It led me to compromising my health, my relationships and my future. It led me backwards and feeling helpless and hopeless. It led me to regularly use the excuse ‘I’m too busy’ to; meet people, spend time with family, improve myself, look at opportunities, prioritise my health, create my vision and plan my life. In other words, being ‘busy’ was destroying my life. Does that sound dramatic? Maybe it does, but my addiction to ‘being busy’ resulted in me being financially devastated, time bankrupt, emotionally stressed, physically empty, romantically challenged and socially barren. Yes, I think it’s fair to say that my need to ‘be busy’ was destroying my life. I honestly don’t know if I’d still be here if something didn’t change.

From busy to on-purpose.

I was filling my life and creating this busyness, because I thought it’s what I was supposed to do, and, because I didn’t have a true vision for my life. After fifteen years of personal training, I had lost sight of why I was on this planet and what my life stood for. I see far too many people in the same situation. In my opinion, a ‘busy’ person has no vision, and an ‘on-purpose’ person has a clear and powerful vision. ‘Busy’ people will fill their lives with whatever comes along and seems urgent at the time. Alternatively, ‘on-purpose’ people deliberately prioritise and choose to do the things that will move them towards their vision. So, what changed for me? I discovered my meaning, my mission and my purpose?

It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened because I went on a search to find answers to my ‘busy’ yet meaningless life. It started when I was challenged to write a description of my ideal day, if I had all the time and money I needed, optimal wellbeing and was with the people I cared about most. I did that, and I have shared it often. Then over the course pursuing of this day, through my business, my writing and my speaking, I discovered my true purpose… to create a wave of wellness all around the world. It is this purpose that guides my choices and actions. It is this purpose that gives me energy and passion. It is this purpose that fills my time with things that I am passionate about and gets me where I want to be. I am no longer ‘busy’, I am now absolutely ‘on-purpose.’

Now, let’s throw this over to you. I mentioned earlier that being ‘busy’ was destroying my life, what about you? What is it you are filling your life with, that on the scale of greatest importance to you, really doesn’t rate that high? What are the things that are causing you to declare that you are ‘too busy’ to get to the gym, go for a run or do some regular exercise? What is taking all your time that you are ‘too busy’ to prepare and have the right healthy food with you at all time, so are resorting to either processed food or skipping meals? I can tell you that being ‘too busy’ to look after yourself is destroying your health, one day at a time.

Are you really ‘too busy’ to spend the time you need with your family and the people who are supposedly important to you? You know what I’m talking about here, don’t you? If you are, what are the things you are prioritising over them? Can I be honest here? Like I was doing, if you are too busy for your family, then over time, you will be destroying the relationships that are most important to you.

What will be the impact on your life in the next five, ten, fifteen, twenty years and beyond, if you keep making the excuse that you are ‘too busy’? Are you really ‘too busy’ to learn more, read self-improvement books, reflect more, attend more seminars, look at other opportunities, create other sources of income, build strong relationships with the right people, look after your wellbeing and invest time in the things that make your heart sing? Because if you are, you may not only be destroying your life, but even more tragically, missing the true purpose you were put on this planet to realise.

If I am pressing any of your buttons or, causing an anger response right now, then, that’s a good thing. Turn that anger into action. Can I encourage you to take the time and really work out what is important to you, what your life stands for and what you truly want it to look like in the future? Get excited about this vision and believe that it is possible. I promise you that, when you have a clear vision for what you want, you will make different choices about what you will fill your life with, because you will know what is and isn’t moving you towards that vision. As soon as that happens, you will go from ‘busy’ to ‘on-purpose.’