There will always be something

William Liao
2 min readMay 28, 2024

Whenever I get hung up on a problem, every other activity becomes a distraction:

Instead of getting to take a break and eat lunch, it becomes something I have to do.

Instead of getting to meet up with friends, it becomes — at times, and I’m not proud of this — a distraction prolonging how long it takes to get the problem solved.

During the lunch break that I felt like I “had” to take today, I watched a TV show where the lead, a lawyer, spends the entire episode going to extreme lengths to win a case only to receive news at the very end that his mother, who he only recently reconnected with, had passed from a heart attack.

The episode ends with his face displaying utter shock — perhaps not just from the news itself, but also from the accompanying realization that his priorities were in the wrong place and there is no more opportunity to atone.

There will always be something — some nagging problem(s), some errand that needs running, some question that needs responding.

It’s a trap to assume this will ever not be the case.

All of this is that instead of hoping or waiting for your slate of issues to be wiped clean, which is extremely unlikely, it might be worth loosening your grip on them.

Go to lunch; be present. Meet with friends or family; be present.

Worst case, it allows you to take a valuable break.

Best case, you come to appreciate (before it’s too late) that there’s so much more to life to be invested in and to enjoy — whether it be meaningful experiences, cultivation of deep relationships, or… savoring a meal as a meal instead of an interruption.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (