My Ground Truth

Psychologist | Military-Grade Mindfulness Trainer & Coach | Carsten J. Grimm

‘Busy’: A request for a different conversation please

Here’s how most people I know answer my casual polite inquiry; “how are you?” 

”Busy!”, or “oh man, so busy”, or sometimes “tired, I’ve been so busy.” 

So here’s the deal. I know you are dude. I am too. We all are. And this does not appear to be changing in between inquiries. So given that, I was hopeful we might add some more nuance and honesty to our conversations from now on.

Let me offer some recommendations:

”Oh man, I’ve been pouring myself into this work project I really care about, but I think I’ve gotten myself off balance and it’s probably time to stop and reflect on my wellbeing. I’ve allowed myself to become trapped by being ‘busy’.”

”I’m good, thanks. I mean I’m tired because my kid hasn’t been sleeping well, and I’ve been fighting with my wife which has been making me anxious. But I’m maintaining my perspective and I know things will pass and get better soon. My mind has been a little busy, though.”

”I’m busy getting after something I’m passionate about and nothing else comes close to mattering right now, until I run out of energy or I unlock some huge breakthrough, or the project runs out of steam, or I suffer some kind of energetic destructive burnout.” 

“I am doing a lot of activity, little of it actually producing much tangible impact, but I hope you notice this activity and validate me through non-verbal acknowledgement, or just by your sustained attention for a few moments, so that I feel better about myself.”

”I am verbalising a story about the frenetic pace of my outputs which means that I am very, very, valuable.”  

I’m busy? Use your words! You’re an adult. Own your decisions.  

You might like to try some of these: 

“I’m good. I’m taking a few days to chill and recover. I don’t feel the need to burn myself out right now.” 

”I’m maintaining a decent pace, and I’m making wise choices about my energy levels.” 

“I’m stopping to reflect right now. I’m not sure this is a direction I should maintain. I’m thinking and that requires me to not do a whole lot of tangible outputs for a while while my subconscious percolates through a bunch of difficult-to-verbalise complexity.”