“Man, I am so busy!”, said everyone I’ve talked to in the last three years. With what? “Oh, you know, work.” In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve talked with anyone recently who claims that they’re ‘not that busy’ and enjoying more free time. I haven’t done any academic studies recently to back the claims that people are legitimately busier, on average, than they were fifteen years ago, but the perception is certainly there. Chalk it up to mobile devices making us available to calls, emails, texts, snaps and tweets 24/7, but most of us constantly feel like we’re overly-engaged with work and our social lives.
I myself have recently taken on more responsibility with work, have become a father in the last year, and still try to get in my share of late night beer league hockey, so I feel like I can make the claim that I’m a little busy myself. I get it, yet I am actually going to advocate that maybe we could all stand to get a notch busier. Hear me out.
This advocating for ‘taking on more’ is not necessarily a blanketed statement for just adding more activities, like a video game habit (been there), to your life, but rather adding another dimension to your life beyond the conversation of “I’m just really busy with work”: a dimension that is bigger than a hobby, or a weekend pursuit, but a passion that you perpetually develop and involve in your everyday life. Universally, this passion could (and should) be the pursuit of helping others and leaving the world a better place than you found it.
In the last year, I took on the chairmen role of, ironic to this post’s theme, the B.U.S.Y. Foundation. Building Up Successful Youth is a not-for-profit foundation started in 2011 that works to give Calgary youth a ‘leg up’ through its pillars of a Connector Program, an Entrepreneurship initiative, and a dedication to supporting charitable causes like Brown Bagging for Calgary kids.
For me personally, I have added a dimension to my life through this newfound passion for helping university students get a jumpstart on their careers, providing funding to ambitious student-run startups, donating (and bagging) lunches for young students who do not have the financial means, and helping organize events to fund these initiatives. Taking a few hours of out of my week in the evenings or a slow afternoon has provided me with an experience that is truly unique and gets me in the ‘game’- the game of giving back and feeling like I am helping others.
The next time you’re doing the “catch up chat” with an acquaintance over coffee or a cocktail, and notice that you’re speaking to ‘how busy you are with work’, think about what other dimensions you can share with this person. If it is limited to work, family, and weekend parties, I’d like to challenge you to take on more and add another dimension to that conversation. Change that conversation from how many emails you have in your inbox this afternoon to how many people you’ve had the opportunity to impact this year.
If adding this dimension to your life resonates, don’t wait for someone to ask you to contribute; go actively seek it out. Be a ‘Big Brother / Big Sister’, volunteer, be a mentor, get engaged. You could even add the dimension of giving back through your business- Whitespace Writers, which runs local creative writing workshops on finding your voice, donates a full registration each semester to a BUSY student to help them stand out in their chosen career. Finally, if your imagination for adding this new dimension to your life is suddenly a little blank, I’d love to hear from you at: firstname.lastname@example.org , or www.busyyyc.com/getinvolved.
Sponsored: Busy YYC
Website: email@example.com or www.busyyyc.com/getinvolved