Maybe you’re too busy because you’re proud
Last week we started talking about the danger of the busy lives that we are all living. We talked about how busyness saps our joy, attacks our heart, and can act as a facade to cover up the deep rooted problems that are in our souls.
We want to start talking about some of the core issues that we lead to us being too busy. Today, we want to talk about how pride can be a motivator for our busyness. Pride is defined as, “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” Let’s look at some of the ways in which pride might serve as an impetus for being too busy.
People Pleasing. Perhaps you are too busy because you try to do too many things (obvious, right?). But what if the reason that you try to do too many things is because you say yes to too many people. Again, this might seem obvious as well, but why do you always say yes? Why do you say yes until you feel crushed by your busyness, which in turn results in you feeling bitter towards those who asked you to do things, or leaves you feeling like you will let everyone down?
People who are too busy because they always say yes are deriving their worth and value from what other people think of them. They please people because they fear people - they fear their disapproval. This is a one way street to misery.
Living for praise. When it comes to work and organizations especially, it is easy to say yes because we think, “If I take on this extra assignment, I’ll be a hero to everyone!” We falsely believe that if we can help out with this one thing, people will finally appreciate us for how we deserve. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. We are better off doing what we are supposed to do with excellence then agreeing to do everything else in the world.
I’m irreplaceable. Sometimes we are too busy because we assume, “If I don’t do this, no one will. Everything depends on me!” The truth is that you are only indispensable until you say no. You are unique, but you aren’t irreplaceable. It is remarkably terrifying how easy replaceable we all are, how quickly we forget about people, and how blazingly fast people move on - especially in organizations. Everytime someone storms away thinking, “This place will fall apart without me” they are almost always wrong.
Stuff. For many, busyness is rooted in the endless pursuit of stuff. Whether it is a phone, clothes, a boat, a home, or your hobby, people work to earn, and earn to spend. We are too busy because we often feel better trusting in our possessions to give us safety or joy rather than in God. Imagine if we all stepped back and said, “I actually only need X amount of money to live. I don’t need to work those extra hours.” What a crazy thought!
Ambition. It is okay to have ambition, but many people have ambition for all sorts of irrational reasons. Over the years, I have met too many people who are busy, worn-out, and stressed because they are still trying to prove themselves to their dead parents, ex-girlfriend they never see, or an old high school coach. Your busyness won’t make those insecurities go away.
Eeyore Complex. Let’s be honest - some people just love to be busy because they get to complain about it. If this is you, then you love that people feel sorry for you in your busyness. Again, this is rooted in insecurity and pride!
Control. Some of us are overly busy because we need to be in control. This could be anything from doing your teenagers laundry instead of teaching them how to do it, cooking dinner instead of letting your spouse prepare the meal, or any task under the sun. If you find yourself saying, “If you want something done right, then you need to do it yourself” you are most likely guilty of this. In your pride, you think that only YOU can get it done. Don’t make yourself the standard. You are the cause of your busyness!
We could go on and on! Perfectionism says, “I can’t let up because I can’t make a mistake.” Success says, “If I keep pushing, I’ll finally be somebody.” Pride leads to all sorts of busyness. Maybe the reason we’re busy is because we need to get over ourselves and start thinking of ourselves less.
Ultimately, how do you know if this is your problem? Answer the question, “Am I trying to do good or to look good? You can organize a fundraiser to do good or you can organize a fundraiser to look good. There’s a big difference. Don’t let your pride ruin your life by being overly busy. Don’t say no to everything, but don’t be afraid to say no!