Ever been lost in a car on the way to an important event? If so, then you know that people are the only animals that speed up when they’re lost or confused. It’s only as a last resort that we’ll finally hit the brakes, put the car in park, and set about the humbling task of asking for directions. The sad truth is that many of us live our lives the same way: lost, directionless, and never slowing down enough to find the real answers we need. Unfortunately, slowing down and doing less are foreign solutions for today’s problems. Envision a student notifying her parents that her goal is to slow down because she’s stressed out in school. Picture a husband suggesting that he wants to do less in his marriage. The very concept of doing less seems like sheer laziness, but it can actually be a very productive strategy for living.
For readers who are finally ready to stop speeding along and start slowing down enough to find some answers, John Busacker’s new book, Fully Engaged: How to Do Less and Be More, offers practical advice on how to do just that. In a world full of countless options and disorienting decisions, we have to allow our internal GPS to stop and recalculate the direction of our life. As we do so, we’ll find greater abundance, contentment, and peace of mind. Fully Engaged encourages and equips us to move beyond what Busacker calls an “air guitar life”—a life of furious motion and considerable energy but, in the end, one with no sound and little lasting impact. In a culture of random noise and fury, Busacker offers a measured and wise strategy for living that is marked by three key components: 1) Awareness, 2) Alignment, and 3) Action.
• Living with Awareness means that, instead of piecing together random moments, you begin to live intentionally. By doing so, you no longer measure your life’s worth by your paycheck, but by effectively blending all aspects of your life. It is understanding that the moments that make up your life contribute to the overarching story of your existence, and in order for that story to stay fresh, you must add to it regularly. A life of awareness is a life defined by the values that you hold dear rather than by the habits and routines that only lead to more monotony. In the end, awareness means that you stop sleepwalking through life and become fully engaged with the world around you.
• Living with Alignment ensures that what you have and what you do match what you really want out of life. It means that your job is not simply a means to make money, but a calling to be pursued with vigor. It is the realization that your dreams are meant to be lived out, and that your life is more than just showing up. When your life is marked by alignment, you don’t live one life at work, another life at church, and yet another life at home. Alignment patterns all aspects of your life around what you really want so that everything you value and do is interconnected with your dreams.
• Living with Action compels you to move in directions that propel you toward an exhilarating future. This means that you’re not afraid to fail and that setbacks are to be celebrated as progressive steps on the journey of success. It’s the understanding that you must pursue connection with others because community is a necessary component of fulfilled living. A life of action is a life of generosity, because giving back is the natural response to engagement. It is impossible to be fully engaged and be passive.
“You have gifts to give, family to love, and dreams to live,” writes Busacker. “You were created to learn and grow, not to replicate and repeat. What if you could not only live each day, but really live it—and love it?” Everyone desires to be this engaged—to feel connected, joyful, and alive. You’ll begin to thrive instead of survive, to act instead of react. If you’re burned out or rusted out, Fully Engaged can help you find a whole new layout for living!
About the Author: John Busacker is president of The Inventure Group, a global leadership-consulting firm, and founder of Life-Worth, LLC, a life planning creative resource. He is a member of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network and is on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Carlson School’s Executive Development Center.
In 2009, Busacker released his first book, 8 Questions God Can’t Answer, which unlocks the profound power of Jesus’ timeless questions. He annually teaches in a variety of emerging faith communities and supports the development needs of leaders in Africa through PLI-International.
John is an avid explorer, occasional marathoner, and novice cyclist. He and his wife, Carol, live in Minneapolis and have two adult sons, Brett and Joshua.