If you pass an old friend on the street — wait, that doesn’t happen anymore, let’s start over.

If you reconnect with an old friend on a video chat and ask them how things are going, what is their response? 9 times out of 10, I bet they say some form of “Busy!”

Maybe they’ll say something like, “I’m good, everybody’s good, just busy.”

We all do it. Why do we say that?

Is “being busy” a good thing or a bad thing in our minds? Do we think it will impress the other person? Is it some scheduling version of “keeping up with the Joneses?”

Well, first of all, it’s 2020 and most likely it’s true.

We were all already juggling a thousand things in 2019 and then 2020 came along and offered us a lot more time with the kids at home, side hustles to try to pay the bills, and a 10x increase in 30 minute video calls that could have been three minute conversations in person.

So, I get it. We are all busy.

But if that’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone asks how you are, that seems problematic to me. I want my answer to that question to be something like “Happy,” or “Fulfilled,” or at least “Currently on the path to achieving my goals!”

From my experience, the response of “I’m busy” comes most naturally when I am in the weeds, bouncing back and forth between too many tasks. I’m stressed and hanging on by a thread and the last thing I want to do is come up with a creative answer or, sometimes much harder, an honest one.

That happens to many of us and it’s a recipe for disaster for our health, wealth, and happiness. Yet we tell each other how busy we are and wear it like a badge of honor.

But movement is not achievement.

I used to spend my time bouncing back and forth between those tasks, myself. I still do sometimes. But if you step back and look at your activity from a bird’s eye view, you will see that doing that only leads to you spinning in circles. And if you’re going around and around in circles, you aren’t moving forward on anything.

Instead of spinning, take a moment to pause, and then be strategic.

One step (i.e. task or activity) should lead to the next step. That step should lead to the next and then eventually they should lead to your goal.

But that’s where most people fail. They don’t establish the goal (Where is this all leading? What do I want to eventually gain from this?) If you don’t establish a goal then you will have no idea where you are going. If you have no idea where you are going, you can’t map out a path.

And if you don’t have a path, then guess what? You bounce back and forth between whatever catches your attention at the moment and you’re spinning in circles.

But before you can establish a certain goal, you have to tap into your inner self and understand what you really want. Being self-aware is the first step in solving almost all of our problems.

You have to understand what you really want to achieve and how you want to impact the world as well as what beliefs you currently hold that are preventing you from doing those things and why you get so easily distracted and pulled away from your path.

If you don’t have a purpose, you don’t have a path.

And if you don’t have a path, you don’t have progress.


Rain Bennett is a two-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker, writer, and competitive storyteller with over a decade of experience producing documentary films that focus on health and wellness. His mission is simple: to make the world happier and healthier by sharing stories of change.

You can read the rest of “Right as Rain” here, and check back every Wednesday on Chapelboro for a new column! 

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