The sheer addiction to compulsive action is perhaps the biggest risk our society faces today. Our economic system breeds an insatiable hunger for more - more possessions, more activities, more time, more information, more commitments. The result is not just less happiness, but a kind of deep unsettled restlessness. The fruit may be sweet, but the root is bitter.
Leo Babauta has commented that we are drinking from a "fire hose of information" and choking as a result. The phenomenon of relentless multiplicity - endless emails each requiring immediate, Pavlovian action - is well known. Real and virtual commitments blur as online social networks require nurturing but continuous involvement.
Our hearts are racing on the hamster wheel, keeping the debt-laden, morally bankrupt system revolving. Is this the only way?
It is not necessary to drop out of society to start restoring a healthy balance and stability to our lives. Start by using a Yamazumi board to track your daily routine. Where is the waste? But go beyond an efficiency focus to ask: What (task, goal, commitment, relationship)is truly necessary?
Instead of aggregating junk, take a leaf out of Richard Koch's thinking in "Living the 80/20 Way". Using Pareto thinking, discover what really adds the most happiness, joy and value to your life. Find those "happiness islands". Now multiply them.