The reason busy is a failure is because it’s a non sustainable mechanism that encourages unhappiness. “Busy”, as I define it, is the state of having a loaded, pre-determined schedule that requires you be in a certain place or perform a certain action, mostly because that action must be satisfied to match the needs of another individual. This can be a meeting, this can be work, this can be a yoga class – anything that matches these “pre-determined” characteristics. When you’re busy, you have a schedule of must-fill actions throughout your day.
This reminds me of two things:
There is an old Shoe cartoon in which he is sitting at his typewriter staring out the window when another bird comes by and says, “Why aren’t you pounding that keyboard”?
To which Shoe replies, “Typists pound keyboards; writers stare out windows”.
I’m glad someone else remembered that! It’s from the early 1980s!
Here is a poor scan of it:
And also Victor Hugo’s quote:
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
I’m busy all the damn time. But not according to the accepted — or apparently acceptable — definition of busy: having someone else tell me what to do.
Go do your busy. And lay off wondering about mine.