I wrote the following piece after I found everyone around me (self included) always needing to say they were and remain busy. It was almost like neither of us had any value unless we uttered those words or suggested it to someone else. Calling someone “busy” was like the highest complement. I don’t say busy anymore. I always have the choice in what I do, and remain in control to make space for the things I love.

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What you say about yourself, is your reality.

When people ask you how you are doing… do you say, “busy!”?

Asked how are you feeling…. And you respond with “tired.”?

How’s it going… and you say “its really intense.”?

How you respond to the most common question others ask, is crafting your very own reality. Try this experiment. Measure the times you hear “busy” from friends or colleagues when you ask how they are doing. Notice your tendency to do the same. Now get a little smug, because there is a way you can define a higher value than just suggesting to the world that you are insanely busy (because that does seem to be our modern day currency).

Over the next week when people ask (especially co-workers) how you are doing, stop and first feel what a balanced life feels like for you. Imagine it. See that you know what great balance in your life and work feels like and how to attain it.

For example, I envision myself using my mornings and evenings to spend time doing things I love with people I love; I feel it making me even more productive than cranking out a few more hours at the office. I also feel stronger about my health and ability to get good rest. I have a way of working that makes me super effective, creative and efficient.

Now… Answer the question, “How are you?”

“I’m doing exceptionally well.”

Commonly the counter-response will be, “wow, great.” And nearly every “busy person” will wonder why and how, because you also seem so effective. And then you can talk about what you do to create balance in your life — again listening to yourself create it. You can be honest that sometimes it’s a challenge to push back, but ultimately you know it makes you better. This is how you own your life, how you create balance. You create it with your language first, action second. Then, watch others around you start to do the same; finding value in each other without the need to be busy.

Curator of urban experiences, proponent of mindful leadership AND President, CEO of EQ Office

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