Practical analysis for investment professionals
21 November 2014

Weekend Reads for Finance Pros: Our Brains and “The Disease” of Busyness

Posted In: Weekend Reads

I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time sitting still and just “being” instead of “doing.” My idea of “relaxing” usually involves something physical: running, swimming, cooking, spring cleaning, doing whatever, so long as I’m on the move. It takes a lot of discipline to just “be” instead of “do.” Which is why a passage from a recent post on the On Being blog, “The Disease of Being Busy,” really struck me.

Omid Safi, director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center, writes: “This disease of being ‘busy’ (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and well-being. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.” Stopping myself from being busy, in a sense, is about simplifying. As American author Henry D. Thoreau once said, “Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! . . .  Simplify, simplify.” I can’t help but wonder how much of my life I fritter away with my obsession with detail. Busyness, it seems, is how I try to manage detail. Here are some other interesting reads, in case you missed them:

The Financial Industry


Our Brains

Women and Their Careers

And Now for Something Completely Different

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

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About the Author(s)
Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster was a content director on the professional learning team at CFA Institute and host of the Take 15 Podcast. She is the former managing editor of Enterprising Investor and co-lead of CFA Institute’s Women in Investment Management initiative. Lauren spent nearly a decade on staff at the Financial Times as a reporter and editor based in the New York bureau, followed by freelance writing for Barron’s and the FT. Lauren holds a BA in political science from the University of Cape Town, and an MS in journalism from Columbia University.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Reads for Finance Pros: Our Brains and “The Disease” of Busyness”

  1. Rob Wilson says:

    Lauren, totally agree with you! One of my favorite quotes – I fail to remember the source – is, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” I’ve been practicing meditation for probably four years now and it’s still so darn challenging at times to be still.

    As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts and being a go-to for excellent weekend reading!

  2. Lauren Foster says:

    Hi Rob – thanks for your comment. Glad to hear you enjoy Weekend Reads.

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