Mind Your Business

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How often have we heard the term, “mind your business” whilst growing up? It seems to be one of the many favorite lines that my elders used to keep me in check. What if this statement could prove to be very useful, valuable and productive if applied to our kaleidoscopic lifestyles?

 With every passing day, we as humans feel bombarded and overwhelmed by the number of tasks and responsibilities heaped onto our shoulders.

How did we arrive here?

Was there ever a time when we had time?

 So, when our phone goes ‘ding!’ or we get a social media alert, our body responds with enthusiasm. We get an adrenaline rush from being wanted, from being thought about by people we may or may not even know. We think to ourselves that we deserve this, we’ve been going through so much that checking our phones for status updates and likes is our reward.

 But what happens when we’re scrolling, and thirty minutes go by? Then an hour… next thing you know you’ve lost that valuable time you were trying so hard to hold onto. These distractions keep us away from “minding our business.” Ask yourself this: You know everything about all the reality TV shows, who’s dating who, what’s trending and all these social media influencers, but what do you know about yourself?

Who is the lead director of your life if not you?

Who determines what role you’ll play and how you’re going to dress?

Why not get involved with yourself?

 If you’re not happy with where you are, what you’re doing or who you are, then it’s about time you made that decision to change.

For some people it’s so much easier to pass time playing video games; watching Netflix; browsing Facebook, Instagram, and all these other websites. It provides a temporary fix and high for what our bodies are really craving. We are after all "feeling beings that think.” The chemicals that provide us with these bursts of energy can be addictive and control our lifestyles instead of us steering our own ship.

 When we get a shot of endorphin, we experience a ‘runner’s high,’ and for that time we feel no pain. It’s how the body rewards itself and one cannot have laughter and fear simultaneously.

 Dopamine gives us that feeling of satisfaction, after putting so much effort into a project or task, we get a hit of dopamine to signal us that we made progress. The thing with humans though, is we’ve grown accustomed to getting what we want right away. When our phone lights up, and we receive that text message we get a hit of dopamine. When we keep checking our phones though and there are no alerts, it’s ourselves saying “Where’s that dopamine? I want more! Give me more!”

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 Distractions help us to deviate from our real problems. If we make up excuses, if our time is spent somewhere else then we wouldn’t have to deal with the ugly truths and harsh realities of our life, right? Wrong! Filling our lives up with these temporary fixes is like a doctor only treating our symptoms for the flu. We could have a chronic stage of pneumonia, but the treatments employed only give us temporary relief, and then we’re right back to where we started.

“For every thousand hacking at the leaves, one is striking at the root.” – Henry David Thorea

Humans are great at creating masks and telling lies to the surrounding people. We experience this when someone asks, “How are you?” and you respond “Oh, I’m good.” The conversation doesn’t go further than that. Why? Because we don’t really care to hear about their evening, or if they were sitting alone having dinner. We’ve grown to be very selfish individuals and our need to feel wanted, appreciated and loved goes unfulfilled. Our ancestors understood the true meaning of interconnectivity, that’s why we existed in tribes because of our herd-like nature. That sense of family and belonging wasn’t primitive, it was core to getting everyone to survive.

 We don’t just wake up one morning and become rich and successful. It’s the tiny details that we pay attention to. The dedication and perseverance with each brick we lay. That’s the type of solid foundation we aim to create. That’s the reward of “minding your business.”