Constantly checking your BlackBerry. Waiting for your next e-mail. Getting to work early and staying way too late—sound familiar? It's important to you to work hard in order to get ahead in life, but ask yourself this: Are you actually too busy for your own health and well-being? Find out how to re-evaluate what your needs and wants are...and what can wait until later.
How often do you find yourself feeling rushed, pressed for time, hurried, stressed or overwhelmed? While feeling as though you don't have enough time or your life is overwhelming is not a new phenomenon for most people, it seems to be getting to an epidemic level in our culture, particularly because you find yourself "plugged in" all the time, with laptops, cell phones, BlackBerrys and iPhones.
Sadly, you may allow yourself to be a victim of your schedule, your communication devices, your co-workers, your clients, your families and the other demands and responsibilities of your life. And while many of these things are important and many of them do need your attention, you often forget that you're the one who set up your life this way and allow yourself to get stressed out, overwhelmed and caught up in your never-ending to-do lists.
I was at a workshop in San Francisco recently, put on by Hay House, the publishing company founded by author and teacher Louise Hay. Hay, who wrote the best-selling book You Can Heal Your Life about 25 years ago, is a pioneer in the world of personal development and mind-body connection. She is a wise soul and teaches people to love and care for themselves in an authentic way. It was an honor to connect with her at this event.
On the final day of the workshop, I asked her if she was planning to fly home (to San Diego, just an hour's flight from San Francisco) that evening. She said: "Oh no, Mike, I would never do that to myself." Her response, while simple, floored me. I thought to myself, "Wow, that is a great example of honoring and caring for yourself." Then I thought, "I could use more of that."
I often pack my schedule with so many tasks, activities, events and deadlines, it becomes hard for me to breathe, enjoy what I'm doing or really bring the best of myself to a particular activity, event or interaction. I then feel like a victim of my crazy schedule; I have a built-in excuse for why I don't show up for others, and I also don't have to take full responsibility for my results or actions. ("What do you want from me? Do you have any idea how much I have going on right now?") Can you relate to this?
This "I'm too busy" or "I'm overwhelmed" story that you run is a lie that you keep telling yourself and others. Ultimately, you end up believing the lie and allowing it to run your life. But here's how you can prove it's not true: Whenever anything serious happens (you get sick, someone else gets sick, someone dies or anything else occurs that is severe enough to stop you in your tracks), all of the important stuff you have to get done gets put on the back burner. You realize how relatively unimportant most of it really is.