Keeping up with yourself

We all know that one individual who is always doing something. Said individual, when not talking to someone on the phone is either hurrying into some void or hurrying back from a similar void. Their face is a territory of tension. And this tension is pervasive. You believe you must be in an equal amount of hurry when you are around these people lest you look like a loser. So you make redundant phone calls, disturb people around you with loony requests, and walk really fast, straight into the perception bubble.

21st-century inventor, sociologist, and middle sister, Kim Kardashian is often credited with inventing the perception bubble. For Kim, fame became the soap; and vice versa. She became really famous for being really famous ad infinitum.

Walk inside any modern workplace and inside every irritating idiot is a hustler and inside that hustler is a Kim Kardashian: Some version of being really busy being really busy.

The most basic version of the busy bubble involves creating the perception of long hours of work. This is the work epidemic of the decade. There’s no cure for this disease. Because now that you are floating inside the perception bubble of busyness, you love the attention you get.

And that’s the problem. It’s the fools that believe you and celebrate your busyness. The asinine bosses that watch your ballooning bubble in awe and credit you for doing all the work. You know, for all the work that wasn’t necessary in the first place.

Soon, things get weird. You begin to take credit for everything. You set up meetings when you have nothing to do. You make vacuous comments in these meetings. You complicate simple things and make life difficult for everyone else. And what makes this entire thing ridiculous is that everyone just freaking follows along. And the freak-show goes on.

With the perception bubble, you are, in a sense, an entertainer. And like most entertainers, you feel like shit at the end of the show. Because all along you get things done by keeping the busy bubble intact. Not because you particularly believe in something. You do it because it will keep your busyness going. To keep you from asking if what you are doing is useful at all.

You worship busy. And then life comes quietly along and pops the bubble. People you work with find you a nuisance, your personal life is a car pile-up of unattended relationships, and your boss feels you aren’t keeping up with the Kardashians elsewhere.
We don’t create magical things through perception. Perception produces temporary, mostly forgetful things. The world responds to quiet execution. Fulfillment is more attention giving and less attention seeking. Things created through perception don’t serve anyone in the long run. Faux perception is only an outcome of insecurity: A need to constantly prove something to someone, making them feel how awesome you are as you feel numb yourself. Perception is a futile endeavor I see play out at work over and over again.

The light at the end of the perception lane is a firefly, oblivious not just to the shortness of its life, but to the light within.

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