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Why I Started Stripping…

…away all the busy work.

A race horse waits at the start line. A gun fires and the race is on. It runs. It doesn’t ask why or how, it just runs, because that’s what race horses do.

A corporate worker, we’ll call him Vlad, sleeps with one hand on his phone. Alarm buzzes and the race is on. Up, emails, brushing, coffee, gym, go, go, commute, work, a bunch of emails that start with “sorry for the late reply.” Oh shit, did I meditate today? Did I write in my morning journal? Crap I’ll do it now. Email, email, email. Where’s the coffee? I haven’t checked my credit score in a while. How’s Bitcoin doing? How’s the…

An alarm buzzes and the race is on. Corporate Vlad doesn’t ask why or how, he just runs, because that’s what busy business people do.

To feel like I’m not wasting time, I engage in busy work. Truth is, a lot of the work is obsolete. Distractions to fool myself into feeling accomplished. Suddenly my mind wanders and I remember that I’m not growing from all of this busy work. The solution? Let me add morning tea ceremonies and Tai Chi to my daily routine. Let me add another journal session, a daily blog post, another thing to the unsustainable stack of things.

Life becomes a giant Jenga game, pulling blocks from the bottom to stack them higher and higher up. We all know how this story ends. (With the idiot friend who tries to remove a block from the row with only one block…)

Whenever the self-imposed busy trap starts to reach it’s chaotic crescendo, I start stripping. That’s right, I reach behind my back, and un-clip the brassiere of overload. Life’s great bra strap is “why?” It’s the single plastic clip of a question separating you from freedom.

Why am I doing this? Is it to grow in my career? To be a digital influencer? To finally discover immortality? Whatever the reason, it’s unlikely that overwhelm and stress will help achieve that end.

It’s not practical to throw everything out and start life from scratch. Somewhere in that bathwater is a baby. The rubber ducky has gotten a little slimy, and he can go. And we need to change the shower curtain, this is embarrassing. But the baby can stay.

The art of living is figuring out where those sticky burdens lay. The science is in figuring out which of them are worth keeping. And life’s religion is to remember to do so regularly.

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