Thursday, May 29, 2014
If you are not familiar with Project Happiness, it is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with resources to create greater happiness within themselves and the world. I love this organization and the work they do because, in our culture, I believe that we don’t focus enough on doing things that make us happy. Recently I was having a conversation with a friend on this topic and we were recalling how when we were growing up, we weren’t ever told to do what made us happy, we were told (by parents, teachers, society) to get a good job making a good living. Period. Happiness wasn’t part of the equation. This was normal for our generation (Gen X) and was typical of our parents’ generation as well; hence, they taught us what they knew. But eventually we all realize that it’s not about getting the job or making a good living – it’s about being happy.
Happiness obviously means different things to different people and what I love about the work of Project Happiness is they have done research and defined what “general” happiness means to most humans; things such as “meeting basic needs, tending to our comfort, getting what we want, experiencing pleasure, and meeting short term goals”.
So why the title of this blog post? I follow Project Happiness on Facebook and recently saw “Stop The Glorification of Busy” posted on their Facebook page. It resonated deeply with me because I work with many clients on calming down their chaotic lives and regaining a sense of control over the “busyness” in their lives. We live in a culture that not only accepts and expects us to be busy 24 hours a day but praises it. If we aren’t busy, something is wrong; we aren’t working hard enough, or, as I heard while coaching at a leadership development program last week: “if you aren’t busy, you’re a slacker”. Ultimately too much “busyness” takes its toll and not in a good way (you can see some of my former blog posts on this topic by visiting the following: Running On Empty , The Missing Piece Of Your Balanced Life, Is Balance Even Possible?, Manage Your Energy).
I see so many people get burnt out at a young age because of how much our culture loves to glorify being busy. And, so, when I saw Project Happiness’s Facebook post stating “Stop The Glorification of Busy”, I had to share it with you. The rest of the post said the following:
“NOTHING….is becoming rare and precious. Everything is hype, noise, desire, desperation, speed and greed. We in the modern world are good at ‘doing,’ but anemic at ‘being.’ Entertainment, busy-ness, texting while walking or even driving…’Efficiency’ is an addictive myth based on our fidgety fear of opening up. We cannot ‘do’ properly until we can, first, ‘be’ fully. Practice doing nothing – then – we can accomplish…ANYTHING.”
The only thing I can possibly add to this is that it is so very true. I hope you’ll pause to think about this during your busy week. If we each take steps to stop the glorification of being busy, eventually the admiration, acceptance and expectation of it will begin to shift.
If you want more information on Project Happiness visit their website: www.projecthappiness.org or visit them on Facebook.