There’s a saying ‘it’s just business’ – which is just a lame excuse to justify less than nice ways of behaving towards people – a way of saying ‘it’s ok to treat you badly because it’s just business, it’s not personal’.
This saying really bothers me, because really, everything is personal and it’s not nice to not be nice. We feel as people – we love and live as people, not entities that can be bought and sold and merged and downsized.
I believe business is always personal (or should be), but I don’t believe personal should be business.
And yet it’s become that way.
We’ve taken the business ‘ideals’ of efficiency and productivity and even profits and applied them to our personal lives.
Busyness is really business. So when we say that our lives are always busy, we are saying that we are treating life like a business, calculating its ledger. And who doesn’t want a personal life that counts?
We’ve scheduled our personal lives – our hobbies, pursuits, social media posts and even our play.
Face time and Facebook – there’s an app for that – even if there isn’t one for face-to-face time.
But it’s more than the over-structuring and over-scheduling of our lives.
It’s an overall attitude of busy-ness and a business attitude that time is money, that everything should serve a purpose. And even when it isn’t about the money, it should still serve a purpose or it doesn’t have any meaning.
It’s an attitude that play should be about learning, that cooking should either be about culinary creations or a creating a perfect nutritionally-balanced diet. That everything we do should be spelled out on a mind-map first to ensure it fits with our long-term vision and leads to our soul’s desire.
It’s getting serious when we turn soul-searching into a business (opps that would be the personal development/spiritual industry, which does serve a purpose).
I have a blog and should be treating it like a business.
What is my blog’s ROI (that would be return on investment, for non-business types)? Let’s just say it’s in negative territory (if you count the $).
What is the marginal utility of reading my favourite blogs or Jane Austen or the Bhagavad Gita – will my enjoyment diminish over time as economists say it should or can I just keep on loving something I enjoy, you know, just for the fun of it?
What is the return on my investment of uninterrupted time playing Lego with my son– a brighter child, his future lucrative career in architecture, his ability to financially support us in our dotage?
What is the meaning of something if it doesn’t make my soul sing?
Now well that’s a good question!
Practically there is ‘business’ to attend to and sometimes that makes us busy. Not everything is going to make our soul sing the Hallelujah!
But not everything has to have a serious soul-purpose either – joy touches our soul lightly, spontaneously, serendipitously – it’s not strategic, it can’t be business planned and it is not experienced simply as some step in a larger spiritual quest.
We need less busy-ness.
We need less business in our personal lives – and more joy.
We need more soul-searching – but we don’t need to make a business of it.
We need more businesses with soul (and soulful purpose).
And we need more understanding that while purpose is important it doesn’t equal meaning – that meaning is found in joy and soulful business, in love and play, in overcoming challenges and sometimes on purpose – it is found in whatever makes our soul sing.
Fa,la,la,la,la, lah la,lah,lah,lah
Do you sometimes feel you run your life more like a business than a life? Do you find meaning without purpose? Linking up with Essentially Jess for another IBOT.