“The higher your drive, the more ‘down’ time you need.”
I remember reading the statement above years ago, and I’ve found it to be true. With the passage of time, human beings have a tendency to become human doings. With a new year fresh on the horizon, I thought it would be good to share some of the lessons I’ve learned about preventing the automatic drift toward becoming a human doing (someone who has so much to do – even if for good reasons – that the happiness, fulfillment and joy of life escapes). Here are some tips you can immediately implement, to keep you from becoming a human doing:
1. Beware the Mask of Busyness. Being busy does not add up to being fulfilled, highly productive, or happy. In fact, the exact opposite can be true. Sometimes, we keep busy to keep ourselves from doing the personal reflection we really need in order to make changes in our lives. As drinking is used by an alcoholic to mask his/her real needs for love and purpose, busyness can be something we hide behind to keep us from really growing. If you are busy, make sure it’s not a means of keeping you from doing the most important work of self analysis and life-change, from the inside-out. Don’t assume that because you are busy you are productive. The exact opposite may be true.
2. Type A Should be Plan B. A “Type A” personality – the kind of person who goes, goes, goes, all day long, and never stops, is not healthy. Multiple studies have proven that highly driven individuals can miss out on much of the deeper meaning and purpose of life found in healthy relationships. If you gravitate toward being a Type A personality, or are a full-blown Type A person, your first priority should be shifting gears by scheduling down time for yourself – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. A classic weakness of a Type A personality is being driven to DO things, and in the process fail to build healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are the grease of a happy life. Plan your down time – and take it- as much as you plan and execute the other “important” things in your life. You can avoid disease by planning and taking down time. Take time to do nothing, and make that your Plan A. Make busyness your Plan B.
3. Feed Your Soul – and Journal Your Journey. While it can be good to decompress by reading a book, watching a movie, or doing a myriad of other activities, take time to read the Bible and pray – in solitude – daily. And, keep a journal to record what you are learning about yourself, God, and life. Your journal does not need to be a treatise on life. All you need to do is write a paragraph a day to record what you are reading in the Bible, and what God is teaching you. The Scripture “Be still and know that I am God” ( Psalm 46:10) was written for a purpose – with you in mind. If you neglect being still, you are not only disobeying God, but also forfeiting the benefits that always come with obedience. It may be time to discover being still before God, first-hand, in this new year.
4. Go Deeper. If you’ve enjoyed this entry, you would almost certainly enjoy listening to my “7 Keys for Depth with God”, on CourageMatters.com or with the free Courage Matters App (iTunes and your Google App store). This free audio program provides short audio segments, each around 10 minutes in length, to help you improve your walk with God and quality of life. You’ll find this free program in our “Flight Lounge”, under our “Power Surge” section on our web site and on the app. 7 Keys for Depth with God is also coming out later this year, in book format, and will help you reach you fullest potential for God.
Remember, life is fast. It’s important to slow it down as much as possible. 🙂
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