It’s not your fault. Seriously. We live in a culture where you’re being conditioned to run from one meaningless task to another, filling your days, months and every single minute with unnecessary things for the prized, but rarely acknowledged, status of busy. As if it’s something to aim for. What’s happened to us?
In my own life I see how I traded meaning for measurement. How many likes did my post get? How many followers do I have? Those numbers begin to measure our worth. I traded being for busy. I don’t have time for coffee! I’m busy! I can’t rest. I’m farrrr too busy (and important). And then busy became me. Who and where was the old, real, me? I traded image for impact. What will they think (of me)?! Will this (will I) look good?
At the IF:Gathering this year, Vivian Mabuni said: Be about IMPACT rather than impression. Rebekah Lyons said: You cannot self-preserve and give freely.
Impression is all about self-preservation. It whispers: Protect who you are. Don’t let them see your weakness. Your brokenness. Your pain. Your truth. Forget about meaning…just measure. IMPACT gives freely. Impact opens the doors and shows up imperfectly, unpolished and real and simply speaks like a normal person. Can I get an amen for speaking like a normal person?! Do you remember how to do that? Let’s be honest: it’s hard.
It’s hard because we live in a time where people speak like crazy people or they don’t speak at all. Social media feeds are filled with either hate or whole segments of people who’ve gone silent. In our busyness we’ve forgotten how to be. How to listen, love, disagree and still respect our differences. Every blessed thing in our lives revolves around image. What filter do you use?
Impact. Impression. Self-preservation. Give freely.
How do we do this? How do we back up, stop the hustle and re-engage our heart so we can be more concerned about IMPACT, which means giving ourselves freely?
Here are a few places to start:
- Disconnect from Distraction: Turn it off. What, you ask? Everything. All of it. Social media, your phone, your computer, your television, your problems, your fears, your insecurities. Turn it off. We all have problems and reasons and excuses and coping mechanisms but it’s time to move on. It’s time to stop sitting in them. Feeding them. Fueling them. Numbing them. Re-engaging them again and again and again thinking that this time will be different. It’s time to deal with them and move free of them.
- Re-engage in Your Actual Life: Who are your people? What can only you do? For example, only YOU can be the wife to your husband, or the mother to your child. Only YOU can be your mother’s daughter or your sister’s sister. What is happening in your real life that you’re missing, want to change, or simply show up for? Managing your actual life well is integral to your work, dreams, leadership and business. Dale Partridge says: Success at work without success at home is no success at all. How true is that? What good is financial or business success if your own family doesn’t feel seen, known and loved, by you?
- Slow Down: How far can you run and how long can you hustle? The answer is not long. Everyone who lives by the hustle eventually fades. You need to have a pace of life that is sustainable and not out of control. A schedule where you have time to connect with the real people in your life whose input matters; time to connect with God and the way He is leading, guiding, and speaking to your heart. You dictate the pace of your life and slower, though counter-intuitive, is better
- Rest: Your life is not your work. YOU are not what you do. Every week you need to have a day of rest; a 24-hour period that you stop producing and simply be present. At first it will be hard. It will feel frivolous or even foolish. You will be tempted to think that if you work more and longer you’ll get ahead faster. But you report to a higher power, a higher order, and you understand things aren’t actually in your control. There’s a beautiful quote that says: My heart is at ease knowing what is meant for me will never miss me, and what misses me was never meant for me. You don’t have to make it happen. If you make it happen on your own, you will have to sustain it on your own. Let God build the house.
Life is crazy. People are crazy. Too often the world feels like it’s spinning out of control with overwhelming schedules and over-running mouthes. In so many ways, hustle has replaced heart and we’re losing it all. Our sanity, our lives, and our minds.
If you’re tired of being silent or angry or weary, fighting a battle you cannot win or don’t even want to participate in any longer then it’s time to stop. You get the final say in your one life and you get to say enough. If you want to be about meaning instead of measurement; being instead of busy; and IMPACT over impression, then you must choose to go against the flow. Disconnect from Distraction. Engage in your life. Slow down. Reacquaint yourself with rest. It just might be the best decision you ever make.