Usually the weekends offer us a chance to stop in our busy lives and reflect a little bit. That’s kind of rarity nowadays. We’re very overwhelmed all the time: so much to do, so much information, so much busyness that we all experience.
Have you ever asked yourself why we’re so busy? I’ve just done that. And I think that we feel that somehow our prestige, our sense of importance is wrapped up with how busy we are. But keeping busy all the time, keeping bombarded with information all the time is not conducive to a happy life. It’s a crazy way to live.
Being overly busy results in us being tired and less creative, it keeps pumped up and without time to reduce the pressure. Busyness fills our minds and we get overwhelmed and lose track of where we are going as we are so caught up in the tasks at hand.
Let’s be honest with ourselves… Most of what we are doing isn’t that important. We just keeping ourselves busy for busyness sake. We’re keeping ourselves so busy so that we don’t have to think about the meaninglessness of what we’re keeping busy doing. Have you ever thought about that before?
Being Active vs Being Busy
I am someone who enjoys doing a lot of different things, and yet I don’t enjoy being busy.
There’s a difference, of course, between being active and being busy. It’s a good thing to be active, but being all stress out about how much there is to do it’s a kind of craziness. It’s not so much the quantity, but is the mindset of compulsion: I have to do so much!
Maybe we want to continue to have a very active leisure life, but let’s do it without compulsion. It seems reasonable to say that this way of living is not conducive to human flourishing and happiness. Is there an alternative?
Being Happy = Living Simply
Shouldn’t there be more to life than rushing around and doing things every second of the day? I am convinced that there is another way to live, a way which involves some lifestyle changes.
Busyness is a symptom of modern living, but we can control it so that it isn’t a constant part of our lives. We deserve to enjoy our lives, too.
Here are some humble lifestyle considerations which helped me a lot, that you might want to consider for living a more peaceful life:
Stay Relaxed All The Time
Stress isn’t about how much you have to do, stress is unquantifiable. There are many, many people who do a lot of things all day long stress free, and there are some people who have like two things to do all day long and they get stressed out about. So the stress is not linked with how much we have to do, it’s a state of mind about what we have to do.
Keep in mind that continuous stress is exhausting and unhealthy.
Keep Your Wants Few
Always wanting more, always thinking: What do I need now? is not a conducive mindset to peace. So stop wanting things you don’t need, all the time.
Today nobody will tell you to stop buying. There’s no commercial for that. The whole machinery of the ideology that we live under (consumer capitalism) is designed to keep us dissatisfied all the time. And buying more and more and more in this kind of useless effort to stave off our dissatisfaction is insane.
I am convinced that the first step to happiness is contentment. Happiness isn’t about getting more stuff.
What more do I need to be content? If you have an answer to this question you will never be content. Because as soon as you’ll get the thing that you think you need it, you’ll just repose the question. The only way to get contentment is just to stop and say: I don’t need anything more. I have enough.
Most of us we got everything we need already. But we confuse want with need. We have been encouraged to confuse want with need. These are the powers of consumer capitalism which whispers in our ears: You need the new ipad.
Take The Big Picture
Stop trying to judge other people. If you can’t read their minds, then you can’t really judge who they are. You can judge their actions, but you can’t really judge the person.
And also stop worrying about your own happiness all the time and start worrying about the happiness of somebody else. All happiness in the world comes from thinking about other people and their happiness and all unhappiness comes from thinking only about yourself all the time. To put it simply, if you want to be happy, stop worrying about you all the time, and worry about what you can do for somebody else.
Stay Unplugged As Much As You Can
I know that in the information age this can be difficult. But we should unplug at least from the television. Some people would say: I need to be informed. The information means power.
C’mon! If you’re uninformed about the fact that there is suffering everywhere, then sit down in front of TV set, just inform yourself and then turn it off. If you’re interested in doing something, if you’re really interested in actually going to Syria, for example, and trying to help somebody there, then inform yourself about Syria. But if is just infotainment, then it’s sick, it’s perverse to watch other people suffering for your amusement basically.
This is not a healthy way to live, it’s insane. The television it’s not a neutral force in our lives, it’s a negative one, a detrimental one.
We keep ourselves busy – being stressed, being plugged in, being selfish, judging other people, wanting more and more – so we don’t have to reflect. Busyness becomes like a drug, like morphine, so that we don’t have to think about anything. We’re using this constant distraction as a way to stop thinking about things that really matters.
We should think that this constant busyness isn’t endemic in our minds. We should also forget the idea that our self -worth is tied up to our busyness.
Let’s be sure busyness doesn’t compromise our happiness. Let’s get used to not doing stuff all the time. Let’s learn how to sit quietly, alone and happy and just review, contemplate our lives.
When is the last time you just sat and did nothing? Or watched the sky in a quiet place?