Tag Archives: connection

Aside

This week’s email featured an essay from Harvard Business Review by Umair Haque on leadership called “How and Why to be a Leader (not a Wannabe).  I enjoyed reading it, especially because Haque touched on the subject of love and … Continue reading

An Invitation to Re-examine ‘Busy’

busy

I read a thought-provoking post on the subject of busyness recently that got me reflecting about this subject a bit.

Everyone seems to be “busy” lately. In fact, it seems to have become the “go to” answer to the perennial question “how are you?”  “Busy,” we say, to anyone that will listen. We’re really, really, busy — crazy busy in fact. We’ve got lists, demands, obligations, expectations and we’re never done with them. We’re important because we’re busy. And we’re needed. We’re so busy that we’re stressed and tired and never have enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I don’t know that many of us have thought about the impact of this one word on ourselves and on others. In addition to projecting self-importance, “busy” accomplishes a number of things. “Busy” sets up a wall between people that’s hard to get past. When someone tells you they are “busy” it sends the message not so subtly “don’t ask me for anything” or “don’t make any demands on me.”  “Busy” keeps friends and colleagues at arm’s length and says “I really can’t be here for you right now.”  It minimizes the opportunity for connection. “Busy” is also a bit dismissive and vague. How different would it be to say,”I’m great and I’m working on some really interesting projects right now.”  That’s a conversation starter — whereas “busy” tends to block further inquiry.

To be sure, every one of us has times when we’re trying to finish a project or meet a critical deadline and we’re legitimately flat out. But you know what?  With all of the busyness, each and every one of us finds the time for what is most important in our lives.

I have a lot of projects and priorities. I have lists of my own that I will never finish. But I don’t want to be that person that’s too busy to take the time to really connect or to pause for the things that matter.

I invite you to join me in consciously letting go of “busy” as a lifestyle choice.

What Dogs Can Teach Us About Trust

Dog photo

There are days that I am simply amazed by the level of trust that my dogs seem to place in their humans. On a regular basis, my lab Jake will lie next to a rocking chair in our house with his paws, his tail, or even his head under the bottom rail of the rocking chair while someone is sitting in it. One careless forward rock could be a seriously crushing blow. I don’t think he does this because he’s stupid, I think it’s because he trusts us not to hurt him. Why shouldn’t he?  We’ve never given him any reason not to trust us completely.

Since Jake was a puppy, life has been nothing but good. He’s never been hit, never left out in the cold, and never gone without food. He’s never had any reason not to trust. That’s not always the case with dogs. We adopted our last dog, Max, at the age of three.  We were his third home and it’s pretty clear that he was abused early in life. He never completely trusted us. Max would cringe when anyone picked up a broom, a rolled up newspaper or a vacuum.  He almost never let people touch his stomach, and he sometime growled when people make sudden movements around him. Kids made him especially nervous with their unpredictable behavior. In every other way he was a great dog, but it made me sad that this beautiful golden retriever had learned not to trust his humans. Jake is so different, his gentleness and trust know no boundaries.  He’d willingly let a 2 year old use him as a jungle gym or take food out of his mouth.

Complete trust.  It’s a beautiful thing.  And so rare.  Imagine how different life would be — and how much more connection might be possible — if we humans could always be so simply gentle and trusting with each other.