July has been a really busy month. This month’s challenge, to write a blog post every day, has kept me busy basically every free minute i’m not performing at work. Even when i’m not working on a blog post, i’m brainstorming ideas of what to write next. (Not sure what i’m talking about? Read this.)
Next month’s challenge is something similar but exponentially less valuable, to post a video clip every day via Instagram story. Well, I sort of already do that, so it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Plus i’d be dedicating a lot of thinking points to something that doesn’t make much of a difference.
A good friend sent me this article the other day: Being Busy Is Killing Our Ability To Think Creatively
This made me wonder. I like to keep myself busy, always taking on new projects or working on something. One part is because I enjoy it, but another is because I feel guilty if i’m not being productive. There’s a lot that goes into that thought, a lot of questions to ask.
I have this life. I have a somewhat functioning body and mind, and was raised with every resource I needed to flourish and enjoy the world. Not everyone has the same circumstances. So I would feel guilty, to sit around doing nothing, when I could be aiming my efforts towards something that may make the world a little better.
Another thing; we live in a world that idolizes creation, expects performance, and teaches us from a young age to work. Before we’re allowed to go out and play, “have you finished your homework?” is thrown upon us. We’re graded on our ability to complete handouts and fill out math equations that’ve been calculated uncountable times. Then we’re ranked among our peers, our values sent to institutions that decide whether our futures are bright or grim with a heavy slam of the hammer, by email, of course.
The spotlight is shifting from dreamers and storytellers to billionaire entrepreneurs who have transformed some aspect of our lives ‘for the better.’ We bask in their glory, wondering how they managed to do it, what they will do next, and how we can be like them. And as our sightline is set to space we forget the crumbling world that’s the source of our pleasure and will cease beneath our greed. Then we’ll blame it for doing so.
I have big dreams too. I want to create, do, explore, and change the world. You cannot achieve great things by doing nothing. But if keeping myself pointlessly busy creates so much noise that I’m no longer able to see what’s valuable and important, then some time with quiet can provide clarity.
So i’ve changed my mind about the August challenge. Instead It’s going to be: meditate for 10 minutes every day. As hard as I’ve avoided meditation, mocking it’s simplicity and lack of ‘doing anything,’ the concept has infiltrated my life. I hear about it on podcasts, from coworkers and friends. Seeing that I can barely sit still for 5 minutes without a task to focus on, it’ll be a self-discipline challenge as well.