First decision: stop the busy loop

Week 18
Joensuu, Finland

In the last days my mood has not been particularly high. My inner knows that something is not correct. Then I wrote this post and  I came to my blog, to publish it, and I realized that most of the time I come here when I need to reflect or to rant. :O   At the beginning of this 2016, my reflection were in reference to focus and thinking…. but a deeper problem is present.

What is the problem? Honestly, I am blessed. I am healthy and complete, I have my love ones, I can pay the rent and have food over my table, I live in a peaceful country, I have a rich life and sleep well at nights. I am trying to help others, pushing my start up and my research, looking to collaborate, … So, what is it wrong?

 [For the records, I acknowledge that after my PhD graduation I was completely out. I was mentally, emotionally and even physically exhausted. It is taken me an “eternity” to reconnect myself with myself, 3.5 years and counting. Yes, it is impressive! The current diagnosis about my self-connection is: I am advancing, still I am not 100% connected but on the path. Then, what is wrong?]

One thing that has been bothering me lately is “cash flow”. Building a company from scratch, as a research spin-off it is NOT easy. I often say, ubium is my second PhD, because in so many ways my PhD journey is repeating in here. For example, once I wrote that it was until my PhD that I started to think, and now it has been until ubium that I am learning to “make money”. Wondering why I did not learn those things much earlier? Ok, there are answers to that, but it is not the focus of this post.

If cash flow is what it is bothering at the moment then I should acknowledge that I am aware that money is only symptom. I know there is something beyond which it is the root of the problem. Need to understand what is wrong?

During this week while my inner is working towards understanding myself, two events have influenced my reflection:

Event #1
I was invited at a DRAFT event Karelia University of Applied Science as panelist to answer particular questions about start a business. There, Jyrki Saarinen, who was also a panelist, and two of his advises were so good to me:
Advice 1: Busy does not mean to be productive.
Advice 2: Take decisions

Event #2
In this vblog of Santiago Zavala (I had been following him since October 2015) , he also stresses on the second advice of Jyrki.

Taking decisions is fundamental in all what we do in life. Actually, to do not take a decision is a decision in itself.

I am aware how DIFFICULT is to take decisions especially when it is unclear all that surrounds that decision to be taken. On my “personal back-channel”  I complain often because I need to take decisions constantly . Simultaneously, I am aware that when I know what I want, decisions are easier. So my solution is, one should focus and nevertheless one needs to time think.

However, back again to the fundamental question: what do I want?  the answer to this question belongs to me connecting to myself. I see life as juggling with different aspects of the self, and one has to take care of all of them. As time passes by,  I realize answering this question is a constant process.   Because we are often in our lives busy surviving, we do not reflect upon this fundamental question often enough, due to we are always running out of time. We are always busy.  Hence, I should start by reflecting upon the Jyrki’s advice #1, why I am so busy to do not have time to think what do I want?

In my search to understand the “busy does not mean productive” I found Paul Davis’ post “Why Do We Glorify Being Too Busy?. In his article, Davis first analyses what busy means in our time. He agrees that the person who best summarizes the current popular opinion about busyness is Tim Kreider, author of “The Busy Trap”. Kreiders states that today ’[b]eing busy is a virtue, so people are terrified of hearing they may have empty time.’

Personally, I do not get terrified if I have “empty time”. However, I notice that I am conditioned to be busy. If I am “busy” I think I am producing something hence I am not “wasting” my time. That is one important aspect for me. But at the moment, when I am stopping to think what do I want, I realized I am in a terrifying loop:

  1. I am busy because I need to produce. Everything is needed for yesterday!  I feel fine when I am producing. The feeling of achieving is one of the best ones!
  2. Due that I am busy I cannot take essential decisions, because I do not have clarity of what do I want. Decisions which are within my current “busy” activities and which are clear for me, are decisions easy to take. However the decisions which belong to deep purposes are not easy.  It makes me angry and frustrated when I must take decisions that I do not know, or I am not clear about them.
  3. To clarify my thoughts I need time to think and reflect. I am aware my thinking process requires time and effort. However, the world surrounding me, tells me there is not time for that , everything should be done yesterday.
  4. The only decision I take is to let my self-defense mechanism to take over. Due to indirect and direct pressure to make things for yesterday, I do not allocate the resources to think because I am busy producing things (back to number 1)

So, first decision: I must stop my terrible loop!