We have created times that are 'crazy busy'. Everyone is chasing somewhere, in a hurry. We rush from one call to another. we even go to the bathroom with our headphones on. When we are dealing with one issue, we feel as if we should be doing something else.
Isn’t it a paradox that technological inventions have caught us in this trap? But did they catch us or did we ourselves?
The technology was to help us simplify many routine activities and free us from what is tedious and less important. We have invented the car, the washing machine, the microwave, the mobile phone, the vacuum cleaner, the dishwasher, and finally e-mail and the Internet. What happened to the time they were going to save us?
Today lack of time almost determines the importance of a person. Your inaccessibility determines your rank, especially at work. If you are not busy, you are not someone to be reckoned with. If your cell phone is not ringing or texting constantly, you hardly exist.
We complain about the constant lack of time as if it were an inherent quality of Nature. Yet time has been dancing in the same rhythm since the dawn of time.
We don’t live our lives. We act them out. We move among other people who are equally busy, and with the same reverence, we all play the art of making the best possible impression on each other. It is the appearance that counts, the outside, not the inside.
What’s more, the more what’s inside silently screams empty, the more we try to fill it with even more activities. But what is internal cannot be replaced by what is external.
Today our value is determined by what we do. Not who we are. We delude ourselves that by doing more, acting more, achieving more, getting more, accumulating more, acting, acting, acting — we will become Something, we will be Something. And I think the direction is the opposite. First, you need to be Someone or Something to act in a certain way.
And what causes the constant lack of time? Our choices, unfortunately.
We decide what we fill this time with. In fact, we choose. At the core of these decisions is what is internally important to us. If we are clear about this, it is easier to make these choices. What’s more, then we are aware that we are making this decision. And, unfortunately, this responsibility for our choices has to be faced. It is hard. Because to swim against the tide we need independence and courage. Otherwise, we will live our lives without realizing that our main purpose was to make a good impression on others.
And now I would like to make a reference to our life at work.
In large companies, feedback is very popular these days. We may learn from others what we did wrong and what we did right. We may hear how we are perceived, what should we correct, what attitudes to strengthen, what behaviors to avoid, and where we have the so-called “opportunities for improvements” (that is, translating from corporate English to ours, what is perceived as our shortcomings).
It is good if such a practice exists. We have an invaluable opportunity to learn how sometimes our intentions are perceived completely differently by the outside world. How can the correction of certain small details (e.g. the way of formulating sentences or asking questions) significantly help us achieve our goals and build trustful relationships?
I, however, would like to encourage us to receive such feedback consciously. Which means not submitting to it unconditionally. To be able to do it consciously, we need to be aware of our goals and have inner clarity about what is important to us.
We will choose for ourselves what we want to improve and whatnot, and why. We will be able to accept the fact that some of our behaviors will not be welcome “by the general public” and proceed without distractions and internal frustrations.