Good Busy

Wow, this post by David Foster hit home with me. See if it does for you:
I’m doing everything I can to convince people that hurry is bad. It makes smart people stupid, it damages everything we touch, and it is certainly not God’s intention for any of us. Anything worth doing - really big, epic, important, life-changing, world-moving missions - has to be done over a lifetime. So there is no need to hurry.

I’m on a mission to get people to trade a bad hurry for a good busy. Listen to the example of Jesus Christ. Think about it. He didn’t have TV, cars, Internet, any of the tools we have today. He walked everywhere He went. And yet He was never in a hurry. But He was always busy. He said He was always at His Father’s business. So what does it mean to live with a good busy?

Here are seven insights I’ve discovered:

1. A good busy means you’ve found your calling. When I found my calling as a writer and speaker, I took time out of my life for ten years of academic training. I also was a pastor and leader and continued to write through those ten years. The reason I could go to school that long is because I found my calling. I was going to devote the rest of my life. And what I am able to do now in my fifties, has been shaped by what I was willing to do and sacrifice in preparation in my twenties. So a good busy means that you have found your calling and you’re not in a hurry. This is something you’re going to be mastering and loving and doing for the rest of your life.

2. A good busy means you will succeed over time, not overnight. A lot of hurry involves getting someplace quickly by cheating and cutting corners. There is no overnight success. Success is over time; little-by-little, day-by-day, here a little - there a little, three steps forward - two steps back, getting up and being unrelenting in your commitment to the task ahead.

3. A good busy means you can pace yourself for a marathon, not a sprint. The world is full of bright, shining stars that burned out quickly and will now spend the rest of their life on the sideline. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?

4. A good busy means you can stop to repair misalignment. We know this is true in the automobiles that we drive. When they begin to shake and handle poorly at higher speeds, smart people take them in and have the alignment fixed. To ignore it is to wear out the tires, the ball-joints, the suspension, and ultimately to destroy the car and maybe even endanger your life. When you’re in a hurry it can be ignored. In a good busy, you can stop and repair misalignment and then re-enter the race in a healthier pace and perspective.

5. A good busy means you can see people not as something to be used and abused and cast away, but as the very reason you’re on the journey in the first place. If your mission is not about helping people, meeting needs, righting wrongs, then you’re in the wrong business. No wonder you’re in a hurry.

6. A good busy means you’re into fruit, not results. It means you understand the law of the farm always trumps the law of the factory. Life is not an assembly line that can just be turned to the right when we want more output. Life is like the farm. You plant, you plow good seed in good soil, and over time you have good fruit. And the good thing about fruit is that it comes back in its season. It’s sustainable over time.

7. A good busy means you won’t become obsolete. Hurry is about taking advantage of the moment; the skills, the assets, the technologies available at the moment. Busy means that while I’m in this for the long haul, I understand the trends, that technologies change. For example, we live in the day of social media. A lot of people forget that the issue is not Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or FriendFeed. The issue is this: people will always want to connect. That never changes. How we connect is ever-changing. A good busy means that you know the trends, the technologies that help you complete and compete on a mission worthy of your life, time, energy, and resources.

Here are the benefits of a good busy that I can come up with. Sit down with your team and ask this question, “Are we into a good busy around here, getting things done over time in the right way? Or are we into a hurry, quick, easy results, short-cuts, grabbing, trying to get ours, cheating in the name of success?” There is a big difference.

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