The Business of Life

Sisyphus photo by Jeffrey Hummel: Fine Art America

Welcome to 2022. I’m hoping it came in safely for you and yours.

Many of us may be challenged and like Sisyphus, feel ever-destined to shove at that heavy rock and yet are making little or no progress toward our business and personal goals.

It’s important to remember that the business of people — the business of our humanity — must always come first.

You’ll notice it’s been quiet here.

I’ve had a LOT of ‘people business’ since the end of last year. I worked very hard, managed pretty well to keep the juggled running chainsaws safely in the air. But, and there always is one … I suffered for it. My health, my spirit, my being were all challenged.

In many ways, it wasn’t worth it.

I was able to do more for people through giving but did less with people.

I worked through my federal and state taxes yesterday and owe more than I ever have in my life.

I cried.

The rock felt quite big and for many moments, it was rolling back down and over me.

Leaders have these experiences with business and also have them with their personal lives. It’s vital that we recognize our humanity in those moments, that we seek support when we need it — whether in the corporate or personal environment.

I’m grateful to have that support from professional spaces as well as personally.

I encourage you to take a moment, think about where you are (emotionally, spiritually, physically) and take inventory to determine if you need to stop juggling the chainsaws.

The thing is, we really don’t have to juggle them.

I stepped away from a toxic work situation to get my sanity back and after a few moments of self-reflection, I was able to again focus on the good I did over that time. I considered the lives touched — even the ungrateful ones.

As a person of faith, I remembered that not everyone who gains a measure of success from our toil beside them will say ‘thank you.’

And yet, we press on to the next client, the next job, the next family member, the next neighbor, the next student …

Rest assured, your labors are not in vain.

But in the midst, put down the chainsaws. Stop juggling them. Care for yourself and your loved ones.

The business will take care of itself for a minute.


If you find yourself struggling to balance your attention to the people in your span of care (yourself, your family, your colleagues, your clients), be sure you are focused on the people and not just the process.

Need support deciphering how to balance your focus? I’d be glad to work with you.

Published by AR Neal

Dr. Andree Robinson-Neal got bit by the writing bug in the 1970s and despite a career in education has never been cured of her penchant for speculative fiction. You can sometimes find her at https://agnubloom.com, where she writes under the name AR Neal, who will hopefully be discovered and have a bunch of her work republished in multiple languages and turned into stage and screenplays. She also writes under the pen name Hou-Rhyder. Find those words at https://hou-rhyder.com. She is a practitioner and the developer of Reconnoiter Leadership. Learn more at https://r-leadership.com.

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