You Can Have Everything You Want, But You Can’t Have It “All”

Related to the previous issue, why was it that I sometimes did not have time for friends and family?

I was “too busy.”

Too busy doing what, exactly?

Too busy trying to “do it all” – because that’s what society conditions us to believe, that we can have it all.

There’s a couple things that have contributed to it recently.

First, a fear of missing out.  With the rise of social media, constant communications and a hyper-awareness, more than ever there is a fear of missing out. You’ve got to see what your friends are up to, and see what’s going on in the news, and schedule as many of your own activities in so you can also “experience” what everyone else is experiencing.

Second, I recently read a theory that being busy and totally scheduled shows social status.  To the outside world, if you are constantly going from one thing to another and other people have difficulty fitting into your schedule: then this must mean you are valuable.  In fact, Dr. Ann Burnett at the University of North Dakota made an interesting observation from holiday letters spanning five decades. Over time, she’s noted the letter discuss less the blessings of the past year: and more on how packed the year was with activities.

Here’s the problem –

We will never, ever be able to do absolutely everything.

Let’s just take one small area – art and culture.  Every day there is so much beautiful music being released, books written, paintings, sculptures, movies, sporting events. You could spend 24 hours a day trying to consume it, and it would be the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the pace of creative creation is increasing where every single year, even more is being produced than the year before.