Then don’t. If you are waiting for anything to make you happy or content then you are living in your mind and missing what is happening at the moment. The only time you can be happy or content is in the present moment. This is as good as it gets in reality. You can spoil what is happening in the present by holding out for a better future. If you stop thinking for a moment you may find that there are few problems in the present. Most are in the past or the future and only exist in your mind. You may also find that there is a lot be thankful for and enjoy in the present. Waiting for anything is a waste of the present moment. Give up waiting. Imagine waiting until you win the lottery to enjoy yourself. There’s a lot going on around you while you are waiting. Small stuff can be really enjoyable if you look closely. I am not getting weird but trees are amazing if you look closely. Same for birds or people you pass when walking. Don’t wait for this to be over. Do everything with your full attention. You might have missed the details if you were distracted or absent minded. Think about thinking less and just being present for brief moments.
I remember being asked this question by a colleague. I replied ‘No’ and his comment was ‘That’s a pity!’
Busy can be a place to hide when you don’t want to pause for reflection. Pause to clarify your direction, your values, your purpose. Busy can become a habit of filling up the spaces in your day or your diary. Multitasking can look like busy. Busy can become a way of distracting yourself instead of improving your focus or awareness. Busy seldom asks the question ‘Why?’ Busy people don’t smell the roses. They don’t even see the roses. Busy hasn’t got the time for reading, relaxing, walking and staying in touch with family, friends and neighbours. Beware! Busy can become a habit and an excuse.
Relaxing during spare time is good for our health and recharges our battery which is so important at this time. Just doing nothing is OK.
Next time you are asked if you are busy, say ” I don’t do busy anymore”. Be careful they don’t try to dump their work on you just because they are too stressed or too busy.
Isn’t it strange that business and busyness are so similar?
If you are concerned about what you will do if you are not busy, ask yourself ‘ What am I concerned about?’. ‘What am I avoiding?What don’t I want to discover about myself?’ Why don’t I want to reflect?’
‘Nerves’ can affect our performance. Many people avoid speaking in public because of nerves. Some people don’t speak up at meetings because of nerves. Nerves can come from a thought like ‘ I will make a fool of myself ‘ or a feeling of tightness in the chest or stomach. These nerves are simply a warning. You don’t have to obey them. If you really do want to become a more confident speaker or voice your opinion at a meeting then be aware of the warning but go ahead anyway. Your mind tilts towards the negative and can exaggerate. Imagine believing that you would rather die than speak to an audience.
A simple but not easy strategy is to distance yourself from the thoughts and feelings. Treat them as mental warnings and not commandments. Say to yourself ‘There’s the thought again’. It isn’t real. It is only one of many thoughts that pass through your mind. Imagine you have a waiting room in your mind. Tell the thought to wait until you finish what you are doing. Don’t engage. Create distance. This is the same for feelings that you call nerves. There’s the tightness again. Can you please wait in the waiting room. You can practise. Choose a scary thought about what might happen if you speak to an audience. As soon as it appears, ask it to wait. It will likely go away and may come back. Don’t try to get rid of these thoughts or feelings. Accept them but don’t treat them as if they are real. Don’t let fear hold you back from speaking to one or many.
We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make some changes about how we want to work in the future. Do we want to do more work at home? Do we want to attend meetings in person instead of zoom? Normal at work will be a new normal. Same for cash. Same for public transport. Do you want to make changes now that can become a part of your new normal for the future. Decide which parts of your work that you enjoy. Decide which parts you don’t want to continue doing. Gradually move to enjoying everything you do. Your results will be better if you enjoy what you do. If you can’t enjoy everything then at least accept without complaining. Doing what you don’t like doing and doing it with a bad attitude benefits nobody. Maybe acceptance can lead to enjoyment. Einstein said that creativity is intelligence having fun. We are all creating new habits. Make sure they serve you well.
Do you notice that some people are certain when they couldn’t possibly be certain? They know what is going to happen in the future and tell you with confidence. It’s probably coming from a need to show they are smart because they can predict the future. It would be unwise to contradict them as they may become more certain. I suspect that nothing is certain except death. Taxes used to be certain but this may not be true for everyone, I’m told. If someone is 100% certain it is tempting to ask them what will happen if they are wrong. Don’t do it. No investments are certain to prosper including any involving bitcoin.
My suggestion is to listen to people who are certain but be wary of their advice. Understand that they want to prove something to you about their superior ability to know the future. Accept what they say but don’t act on their advice. If they tell you they are certain that they don’t have the virus, treat them as if they do. There is one other certainty. The present moment, the now. You can be certain that you are reading this. Certainty slips a little when you move into the future in your mind.
When something like a pandemic hits us, we problem solve and may postpone dealing with feelings. Like PTSD, the feelings can catch up with us months later. It is now months since the pandemic arrived. If we are used to being positive and dealing with problems, we may not have the ability to deal with negative feelings. We may have trouble describing how we feel but know that we are not at our best.
The challenge is to accept these feelings. We also need to name or label them. We need to admit that they exist as denying them will only cause them to get stronger and disrupt us further. Maybe sit with them for a short time. Let them in. Sad, tired, resentful, angry, depressed. Do this with someone you trust or do it alone. Accept that these feelings exist. Accept reality. It can be very tiring to deny what is. We are social animals and social distancing is unnatural for us even if we are introverts.