Bentley and Chumley do not have too much to do!

My two St Bernard dogs are like whales. And the reason that


is once again NOT because they are dogs and we are human beings and all dogs have to do is be a dog and/or bark and/or eat whilst we as humans have considerably more to do on any given day, just take a look at my Inbox. No.


It’s because Bentley and Chumley do not have language.

They are sitting right behind me as I write this and I have asked them. They don’t.

My dogs can’t think ‘I have too much to do’ and they can’t say ‘I have too much to do’, so ‘too much to do’ doesn’t show up in their life. Bentley and Chumley NEVER have ‘too much to do’ showing up in their lives.

And the reason you have ‘too much to do’ is because you do think and say it. And so it does show up for you. Consistently. Every day.

Just like everything else in your life. Everything shows up in your life as a function of how you language it.

‘Too much to do’ doesn’t exist out there. It ONLY exists in here (David points to his head). And in our speaking.

And the first, critical step in addressing your sense of overwhelm is to simply delete language like that in your life. Cut it out. Stop it.

Stop it. Tell the truth instead

I’ve given up on the word ‘busy’ – try me, it doesn’t pass my lips any more.

Why have I done that?

One of the reasons is because I realized that most of the time when I was saying the word, it was a lie. Not a lie because I had nothing to do. Not at all. Just like you, in my life there’s always ‘a list of things to do and be done and some come unexpectedly and all have varying degrees of urgency and importance accompanying them’.

So I have lots to do and so do you. Let’s not get into a contest here about whose list of things to do is the longest. That’s really not the point.

The reason it was a lie was because most of the time I didn’t mean ‘I’m busy’ but (especially to my clients):

‘I’m feeling really needy right now so I need you to know that just because I don’t work in a Big Organization I don’t sit around twiddling my thumbs all day’

or (especially to other consultants):

‘I see you as a competitor in a Universe of scarce clients and so I need you to know that my business is successful’

or, unfortunately, often I really meant (to lots of people):

‘I may indeed have just said Yes to your request but I’ll probably let you down and not deliver on time and in full and I hope the code word ‘busy’ we’ve just used will encourage you to be complicit with me in forgiving me for letting you down…’

Or more positively, sometimes when I said ‘I’m busy’ I actually meant:

‘I’m not at all ‘busy’. My life is full of amazing things I get to do, things that are in my circle of influence because of the sort of work I do and how I’ve chosen to lead my life. I’m not ‘busy’. I’m abundant in things to do! I love that these are mine to do!! How lucky am I?!’

But I used to chicken out and say ‘I’m busy’ instead. Everyone else was saying it, and I wanted to be cool like them, and fit in.

But not any more.

Complete your own personal translations of the word ‘busy’. Be curious about what’s going on for you when you want to say ‘I’m busy’. And experiment with telling the truth instead.


Extract from Change your World One Word at a Time, available here.