You are Wasting Your Precious Life if You are Busy

Recently I read two quotes about Busy-Ness. 

“Busy is a drug that a lot of people addicted too.” Rob Bell.

“Busy life is a wasted life.” Francis Crick

I pondered over these profound thoughts. I thought if it is an addiction let me write about it. This addiction could be life-consuming. 

If we look around us people are competing to remain busy. Those who are not busy try to look busy by doing irrelevant things.

Richest people are busy, strugglers are busy, settled are busy, children are busy and even senior citizens are hammered by social norms to remain busy.

Some are busy in earning money, some are busy in earning more money, some are after power, some are busy in social circles and with friends, some are busy in ‘so-called’ social responsibilities, some are busy in religious rituals, and some are busy wasting time. The disease of busyness has plagued most of us.  

It’s really an addiction and it’s really a wasted life if you remain till the last busy and die one day.

“Beware the barrenness of busyness.” Socrates

We humans are not born to remain busy.

Humans are the most intelligent species in nature. They are given the intelligence to inquire about their temporary existence in the material world. Why are they suffering the fourfold miseries of birth, death, old age and disease? And the most fundamental is who they really are?

Handpicked related post: 27-year-old dying woman’s advice.

Here are some quotes from prominent texts about the purpose of human life:  


The ultimate purpose of all life and activity in Jainism is to realize the free and blissful state of our true being. True philosophy should result in removing all bondage (karmas) in the process of purifying the soul.

The central theme of Jainism considers religion as a science of ethical practice. The conduct of the present life should be aimed to attain total freedom from which there is no return to the birth and death cycle. Every soul can attain liberation and supreme spiritual state by realizing its intrinsic purity and perfection.

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The ultimate goal is to attain Nirvana, freedom from the cycles of birth and death.

Bhagavad Gita (2,72)

Bhagavad Gita
Sri Krishna Idol

एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिपार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति |
स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति

Such is the state of an enlightened soul that having attained it, one is never again deluded. Being established in this consciousness even at the hour of death, one is liberated from the cycle of life and death and reaches the Supreme Abode of God.


The aim of Upanishads is to convey that by realising the truth the spiritual aspirant attains immortality – liberation from the shackles of bondage which causes rebirths

Bhaj Govindam

Oh fool ! Give up your thirst to amass wealth, devote your mind to thoughts to the Real. Be content with what comes through actions already performed in the past.

One may go to Gangasagar, observe fasts, and give away riches in charity! Yet, devoid of jnana*, nothing can give mukti even at the end of a hundred births.

*Jnana means self-knowledge.

Saint Kabir

Raat gawai soye ke, diwas gawaya khaay, Hira janam anmol tha kodi badle jaye.

Which means; Whole of your life you spoilt and wasted your time by sleeping and eating only, but remember God has given you this birth to achieve heights, but you have made your life worthless.

Egyptian Proverb

The purpose human life is to achieve the state of consciousness apart from bodily concerns.

Swami Vivekananda:

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda

Everyone must work out his own salvation.


One man is gripped by insatiable greed, another by a laborious dedication to useless tasks. One man is soaked in wine, another sluggish wish idleness. One man is worn out by political ambition, another through hope of profit is driven headlong over all lands and seas by the greed of trading.

Some are tormented by a passion for army life, always intent on inflicting dangers on others or anxious about the danger to themselves. Some are worn out by the self-servitude of thankless attendance of the great.

Many are occupied by either pursuing other people’s money or complaining about their own…. Some have no aims at all for their life’s course, but death takes them unawares as they yawn languidly. (From his book: On the Shortness of Life)

Shrimad Rajchandra:

Je Swarup Samajyä Vinä, Pämyo Dukh Anant;  (AS-1)

i.e. In absence of understanding the true nature of the soul, I experienced endless suffering.

Sarva Jiv Chhe Siddha Sam,  

Je Samaje Te Thäy; Sadguruäjnä Jinadashä, Nimitta Käran Mäny. (AS-135)

 i.e. All souls are like liberated ones;

One who understands gets liberated. Precepts of true Guru and the state of omniscience are among the instrumental causes.

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Narsimh Mehta:

Jyãn lagi ãtmat tatva chinyo nahi,tyãn lagi sãdhanã sarva juthi…

i.e. Unless one realises the Atma (Soul), all endeavours will be futile…

Tattva darshan vina ratna chitamani janm khoyo

i.e. Without knowing the Atma i.e. Soul, one loses jewel-like human life.

He suggests knowing the Soul is the purpose of human life.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra:

The Ultimate objective propagated by Patanjali Yogasutra is Samadhi. i.e Moksha. Yogasutra, in fact, was written to guide the aspirants of Moksha to attain Moksha. Sage Pananjali has shown 8 stages of attaining the Moksha.

Patanjali Sage
Sage Patanjali (BC 150)

Yet we Souls, are so obsessed with identifying the self as a body that we do not think there are other 4 limbs of Yoga beyond Asana and Pranayama.  Asana and Pranayama are the external limbs along with the other two limbs i.e. Yama and Niyama, internal 4 limbs start from Pratyahara, which is the 5th limb and the 8th limb is Samadhi.

This is the height of our limitations.   

Our Busyness in the external world that we see around us with our mind and senses keep us occupied throughout the life. We do not realise we are Souls and the purpose here is to attain Moksha.   

The purpose of human life is to know the self i.e. Soul, and then to attain its Nirvana/Moksha.

Handpicked related post: Do you know the 1st Step on the Moksha Path?

The highest ignorance we all (except enlightened Souls)  suffer from is believing self as a body. Since this is a basic fallacy, we remain busy with our bodily activities, agendas, priorities, and responsibilities.

Our ignorance about the self-keeps us totally oblivious of our own responsibility as a Soul.  

Isn’t this kind of life lived with ignorance about the self and without a spiritual goal a life wasted?

This purpose can only be achieved in the human body and not in any other body. Yet we under one or the other pretext avoid knowing who we really are and what is the ultimate purpose of who we really are.

It is not only Indian philosopher and enlightened souls have said so, here is a quote from Bill Hybels

“Most of us are far too busy for our own spiritual good.” Bill Hybels

We are busy knowing more and more about the world but don’t know the self, what an irony?

“Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment.” Lao Tzu

The death wish of Alexander The great is for everyone to read:

Out of his three deathbed wishes of Alexander the Great, was;

“Both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin. I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world”.

Alexander, The Great

“A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.” Alexander the Great

The fate of every human being is the same. & yet we cherish our busy-ness in amassing wealth,  remaining busy in external, physical, material world ignorant of the ultimate purpose of human life.

Even in our otherwise free time, we look for opportunities to become busy in other external things. There are TV, Movies, Shows, and Parties.

A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.” Soren Kierkegaard

Inward looking and questioning about the self-do not occur to us.

This example explains the reality:

We all are sailing in a big Cruise (The World). The rule is everyone will be thrown in the sea one by one (Death). Knowing to swim can only save us (We are a Soul, not the body).

We all are busy in an illusionary world of the Cruise. Some are busy eating, some making money in the casino, some are enjoying shows, games, and whatnot. No one realises the importance of learning how to swim. This is the power of the illusionary external world.


We become so engrossed in this world, that we forget we will be thrown in the sea one day. This even after seeing others being thrown regularly in front of us. Yet we have to learn to swim does not occur to us.    

Only those who are not busy can think about the self. About the sorrow, shallow and temporary happiness, and therefore the importance of learning to swim.    

Karma Yoga – Misinterpreted.

Some take shelter under the Karma Yoga propagated in Bhagavad Gita. They believe by remaining they are doing Karma as stated in Bhagavad Gita. They falsely believe they are practicing Bhagavad Gita.

However, Bhagavad Gita is about detachment. It is about doing Karma without the attaching arrogance of doing it. Doing Karma with detachment and without expecting the fruit of the Karma. ‘

But we fight and squabble and do what not to in our efforts to get the fruit of our Karma. Our arrogance about of our Karma is highest when we get some fruits according to our expectations.  

This is not the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. Therefore the pretext of Karma Yoga is not going to help.

“Busyness chokes deep thinking.” Todd Stocker

What could be more harmful about being busy than this? Our capacity for thinking deep is checked. Our mind always remains preoccupied with our worldly agendas and which are plenty.

Our busy-ness for whatsoever reasons stops us from achieving our highest goal in human life i.e. Moksha. To end the cycles of life and death for the soul.  

I think yes, busy-ness is dangerous, it’s an addiction, it’s a disease. It is harming the very purpose of our human life.

Busy life

Busy-life, in fact, is a wasted life.

Find time for the Self. Only Self. No books, no family, no one else. Only you are in your company.  

In his book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, and It all small stuff, Dr. Richard Carlson, writes;

“People are no longer human beings. We should be called human doings.” By quoting his therapist La Corner, the author writes,” If you allow yourself to be bored, even for an hour or less and don’t fight it, the feelings of boredom will be replaced with feelings of peace. And after a little patience, you will learn to relax.”

The author says there isn’t a specific technique other than to consciously do nothing. Just sit still, perhaps look out of the windows, and notice your thoughts and feelings. …. The payback is tremendous.       

Yes, payback could transform your life.

Be busy, but be moderate. Find time for the higher human purpose. That is the highest priority.

Your time starts NOW and the time is very limited than we think.

You may also like to read: The Real Maths of Body & Soul




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