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How Are You Keeping Busy? How Are You Keeping Small?

Today is a very special day to me. On September 9, 1828, Leo Tolstoy was born. I love his novels and assays which are full of wisdom. I read his dairies and found interesting thought about busyness. Tolstoy describes his talk with son Sergey. Sergey said that it is needed to be busy, not lazy. Tolstoy contradicted him. Tolstoy wrote in the dairy that we need to know the purpose of our busyness. We need to know why we do what we do; we need to follow our true calling in life. That is the meaning of busyness.

This thought resonates with my legal practice.

I represented a victim in one criminal case. It was a criminal fraud case. My client was deceived by the criminal. He made money transfers on criminal's bank account. So the receiver of money was known. A criminal should be identified and caught. For that purpose an investigator must to make some proceeding actions for collecting evidences. Fist of all he had to seize information from the bank about money receiver. But investigator delayed and did nothing. I gave him a few writing motions about needed actions. A few days later I called him and asked about treating my motions. But investigator answered that he had not time for reading. He was busy and asked to call him tomorrow. After that I called him on a regular basis and asked about my motions because his answers were different but the same: "I was busy... I am busy... I had not time... I have not time because I am going to the staff meeting... I am busy in other cases... I am in a hurry. Please call me tomorrow..." It lasted long.

I would like to ask him if he tried to investigate the crime. He was busy only.

I was obliged to complain against this officer because he was always busy. It's nonsense but there was no way to start investigation. I suppose you know the state bureaucracy in Ukraine. So it was not one complaint. It was a bunch of complaints. The paperwork dragged on. But after all I got a letter about investigator's work examination. I was informed that an investigator was fired because of unsatisfactory performance.

It was not my goal. I just wanted that investigator did what he should do.

The next investigator did all proceeding actions I asked for. I am sure he was not less busy than the first one.

In another criminal case the officer was so busy that he didn't even reply on my phone calls. I came to his office and found him playing computer game. A few times I felt strong smell of alcohol in the air. One time I saw him with the bruise under the eye. As you see he could organize his leisure time. But he did nothing for the investigation and told me about extremely busyness. He even bragged about busyness. So I complained against this busy investigator and after all he was replaced by another officer.

You can ask me why did I tell you about criminal investigation if you are far from this field.

Ok. Let's put aside criminal investigation.

I would like to ask you about great architects, doctors, military men. Whom do you know? Maybe you need time for making Google research but I am sure you will mention at least a few names.

But what about famous investigators? Whom do you know? Keep in mind that such legends like Lieutenant Colombo, commissioner Megre or even Sherlock Holms are fictions.

So what about real investigators? First of all I ask you about Ukrainian investigators. I doubt you know many of them. This inevitably raises the question whether this profession is worth for great deeds. Yes, of course! I tend to think that most Ukrainian investigators made their career choice because they were inspired by the stories about Sherlock Holms, Colombo, Megre, Hercule Poirot a long time ago. They wanted to investigate the most puzzling crimes but they are stuck in the busy trap. What a pity!

As you see I met a few busy investigators. I am sure you meet many busy people in your fields. We all live busy lives from time to time. The problem is that people who are crazy busy all day long are often average or even small. They never accomplish anything great. Busy people don't make things happen. Things just happen to them.

Many things which keep us busy keep us small. So think about this and be productive, not busy. Add value to your life and career, not busyness. Find your true calling in life and start chasing it. We were created to be neither small nor average, nor busy. We were created to be great.