The Different Forms of Busy
It was one of my most aware coaching clients who mentioned that she thought I might be advocating hard work as the only path to success after listening to the current audio of The Moneylove Club. On that recording, I said that The Law of Attraction was a lot more than just positive thinking, something I don’t think is stressed enough. Then I went on to say that, and this is from my personal observation, just about everyone featured in The Secret, all those teachers of prosperity and The Law of Attraction, worked their butts off. Many of them are constantly on the go, and it is not unusual for them to do 200-300 talks in a year, practically living in airports. But I wasn’t advocating this behavior, merely illustrating that only part of the story is told in the hugely successful 2006 film.
In fact, one of the phenomenons that uniquely occurs in this group is the “trapped by your staff” syndrome. In order to get that many speaking engagements, a staff is necessary, quite often four or five people whose job it is to book the person, plan the travel arrangements, and take care of all the logistics of a busy speaking career. So if the speaker should want to take, say, a one month vacation in Tahiti, to enjoy some of the fruits of his or her labor, the staff would still have to be paid.
I remember one famous speaker telling me that he missed the days when he and his wife did all his booking and he made $150,000 a year. Now his company was doing about $2 million, but he only got to keep a little over that original $150,000, the rest going for expenses and a staff of six fulltime people. So he was forced to keep a lot busier than he would have liked by virtue of the fact that six people were dependent on him for their income.
For some people, busyness is natural and comfortable, and even relaxing. I think Ray Bradbury, whom I also quote on my audio, is one of these. I repeated a comment he gave me for my book, Psychological Immortality:
I think busyness is everything–I don’t care what you do as long as you’re busy and as long as you love doing it.
Full Busyness versus Empty Busyness
The dictionary definition of “busyness” is: active or sustained effort to accomplish something. It doesn’t say anything about frenetic hyper-scheduling. I think we need to put the whole concept of busyness into two categories, which I’ll label “Full Busyness” and “Empty Busyness”.
Full busyness is the kind of full and satisfying life someone like Ray Bradbury or Richard Branson or The Dalai Lama experience. Lots of creative energy, lots accomplished, but lots of play and the ability to kick back and relax, reflect, meditate when that’s appropriate. This is not the same as someone who fills his or her life with activity for activity’s sake, “busy work” if you will, always operating at a frenetic pace. I think the most important aspect of full as opposed to empty busyness is that the full version always leaves room for unexpected opportunities, wonderful surprises, new adventures and new creative projects and new people.
In Moneylove I talked extensively about Creative Laziness, and in a paragraph entitled, Idleness Is A Myth, I wrote:
Of course, idleness really doesn’t exist. You may be loafing, but you’re not idle. Your brain is still performing its millions of chores, your creative imagination is still going ahead full blast, and your body is still going through all of its changes, Laziness is truly the mother of creativity. If your body and conscious mind are idle, your subconscious mind, your creative mind, can plunge full steam ahead, and your conscious mind will have room for those new ideas to pop up. A busy life will keep you from tapping into a lot of your potential creativity.