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April 9, 2024

Bored, Busy, Balanced, Bliss

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I’ve been observing people for quite some time, particularly evaluating them through the lens of their productivity, and I’ve found that there are 4 levels of progression that we must go through to feel like we’re making the most of our time. That progression is bored, busy, balanced, and bliss.

Starting with being bored, this is when you’re simply under-stimulated. You have extra time on your hands, you’re at a loss for what you’re passionate about, and you find yourself doing things you don’t really care about to fill the day. In our crazy world, this is uncommon because there are so many things that are requesting our time.

A step up from that is to be busy. This is when you have full days with things going on and places to be. It seems like there’s not enough time in the day to get it all done, and it feels more fulfilling because at least you’re not wasting time being bored. We’re all familiar with what it’s like to be busy…. But the problem in this phase is that you don’t have enough meaningful engagement, or the things you’re engaged in have large costs to them.

This brings us to balanced. So you’re not bored... And you have full days, you’re not just busy doing things that are taking up your time... Being balanced is having the right amount of the right things. I prefer using the word 'harmony' because that’s really what happens here, all your activities synergize to produce wonderful days with a full breadth of experiences and outcomes. Being balanced is only possible when you can discern what is a valuable use of your time, cutting out the excess so that you can address all of your needs.

And then, following that is bliss. It’s a state of fulfillment, peace, and ecstacy. You don’t feel rushed or pressured to do anything but instead feel presence with everything you do. I believe that our ultimate pursuit is to create bliss in our lives.

Interestingly, these 4 phases exist as a cycle, with variations on two criteria: How much you have to do, and the level of alignment of what you’re doing.

You start with boredom, where you don’t have a lot to do and you’re not living in personal alignment. Then there’s busy where now you have a lot more to do but it’s still out of alignment. Then you get to balance where you have a lot to do and now it’s aligned with who you want to be. And finally is bliss where you again don’t have much to do but what you do is fully aligned. And once you lose that alignment, you get bored.

If you want a visual to see how the cycle works, check it out here!

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