How do you spend your days?
Ever feel like you’ve got to steel yourself for the day because there’s just so much to do?
Ever say to yourself, “I just can’t find the time!” when you’d love to accept the offer to have dinner (attend a concert, take a walk, etc)?
Ever wonder wonder when you’ll really get to let go and relax?
I hear these kinds of sentiments almost daily. And, I’ve said them myself.
They reflect the large scale action addiction that most, maybe all, of us are caught up in these days!
Action addiction, you ask?
Yep, it’s that constant chasing around to get all the data, complete all the tasks, and go for the short-term wins, whether racing to put out fires at the office or juggling our social calendars.
Keeping busy with lists and plans provides a continual dosing of the hormone dopamine, a key player in our sense of enjoyment and pleasure.
Dopamine drives our addiction to action. It feels good when we get all the stuff done, all the items checked off the list, right?
Yet, what’s the cost?
When down time is nonexistent, when tasks are more important than people, when savoring a moment (your child’s smile, a beautiful landscape, a juicy conversation) is inconvenient, well, you’re likely in the throes of a serious action addiction.
There is another way.
First, a test:
When you’re starting your work day tomorrow morning, and just about to get into action, have a seat. Don’t turn on the computer. Don’t look at your phone. Don’t create a list or even look at yesterday’s. Simply sit. Breathe. Look out the window. Do nothing.
Notice what occurs in your experience. How’s your body reacting? Your thinking mind? Your mood? If this proves a bit challenging and you’re itching to get up and go, take note. You’re likely experiencing the impact of the dopamine dance of action addiction.
By practicing being intentional, and present in the moment, we can literally create more space and time for what’s important in the scope of our lives, not merely whatever provides another shot of dopamine!
Busyness is a choice, one that keeps us doing activities vs. taking actions that create a life of meaning and purpose.
What’s your choice today?