Everything was Meaningless

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.


“I’m good but I’m busy.” A rather common way to respond to a how-are-you question. What we do not see is that we often become busy not because we have an internal mission, or we have something that we truly want to accomplish, but rather because other people are busy. We pain ourselves with guilt that if we do not overly fill our time, we are not productive enough. In a fast-paced and crowded world, busyness is frequently viewed as a badge of honor, and as a result, truly essential things can become obscured by less important tasks and distractions. We pride ourselves on our packed schedules and overflowing to-do lists, convinced that the busier we are, the more successful we must be.

Having to choose between two seemingly important things in our life is easier said than done. As the world becomes increasingly distracting, it is becoming harder to identify what is truly important in our lives. The irony of productivity is that, in the end, it’s not about getting more done, but getting the right things done.

One question to end the spiral of aimless productivity: Where do we spend our time, energy, and effort?


Why less? What if the key to happiness and fulfillment lies not in pursuing more, but in pursuing less?

It is very easy to say yes as it gives gratification to both the receiver and giver. When the day of commitment arrives, a huge burden is usually felt by the giver. As a result, the person is overworked, overwhelmed or stretched. Changing your perspective needs narrowing what you really value and accepting that most things are noise. But it is not just being less, more importantly, it’s about the essential – essential relationship, essential living. It is a battle between the trivial many and the final few.

Pursuing less also allows us to focus on the things that truly matter. We’re able to prioritize our goals and values and focus our energy on the things that are truly important to us. We’re able to make meaningful connections with the people around us and find fulfillment in our relationships. Don’t forget that we are capable of making choices and we are not obliged to do everything. An impulsive yes has a long way to go – either a fulfilling one or a time lost. Build a system that protects and enables you to pursue those you value.

Do not aimlessly navigate. Like shoveling coal out of the mine with the goal to put as many coals as possible outside. Don’t live in a coal mine. Instead go to a diamond mine. Find the things that are really precious and valuable.

Photo by Xyza Vasily Dela Peña