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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Living a Full Life

"I'm busy." is probably the worst-ever response to "How are you doing?".<...>

I've previously written about how saying "I'm busy" is actually saying much more than just those two simple words.

As such I've developed a serious aversity to the notion of being busy and I admonish myself whenever I even just "feel" busy. On top of that, whenever anyone else mentions in conversation just how busy they are, I have to stop myself calling bullshit and asking _"Do you not think the rest of us are busy too?".

It's just become to go-to excuse for so many challenges that we're just not able (or willing) to overcome.

Instead of feeling busy, I've changed my mindset to that of having a full life. Because that is exactly what my life is right now.

I have a 2-month old baby at home and coupled with the 3-year hurricane that we call Adii Jr, my wife & I have never been challenged more. The last couple of weeks have been hard.

In-between the fickle and random challenges of being a parent, I have another baby too: Receiptful. We're picking up immense momentum (I can see that in the amount of time I need to invest in doing support every day), building really cool stuff and I feel alive whilst working on our ideas. But it's a baby and it needs a lot of TLC.

Add to all of that my need to connect with my wife, align our minds & hearts and just love. With two kids in the house this is probably more important than ever and it's sometimes challenging carving out the focus that this deserves.

And then I've not even mentioned my personal well-being or development. And much less finding time to connect with family and friends.

It's a full life and I would have it no other way.

I realized quite some time ago that I can't continue fighting the fullness of my life, but that it would be futile, because I'm an ambitious individual and I will always gravitate to fullness.

I've also long given up on the notion that work-life balance exists and have instead adopted a more liquid, flexible and integrated approach.

The one thing that recently shifted my head from feeling busy to truly embracing this fullness is by being very clear about my priorities (in order):

  1. My health
  2. My family
  3. My life purpose (professional and otherwise)
  4. Friends

This may seem overly selfish or simple, but it works. Every single is a success if I manage to hit those priorities. The shitty days happen when I prioritize something outside of that list and thus compromising on any of these. So #1 to #3 on that list have become non-negotiables and I then squeeze in #4 whenever / wherever I can.

I'd really challenge you to stop saying you're busy, because it's bullshit. It's merely an excuse not to challenge your status quo.

If you really / truly / deeply wanted to be less busy, there's multiple ways you could do that.

Life is imperfect, but it can be very full and fulfilling. Either we embrace that or we just feel constantly busy.

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