Yikes! Time has flown right by and it's been a couple of weeks since we've gotten together. My circus has been fighting colds, pink eye and got caught up playing Life: The Hurry Up Edition. This is me, slowing down and putting the game away.
Hi there! I've missed you!
I recently came across a saying by Leo Tzu, "Nature doesn't hurry, yet everything is accomplished." Is it possible to never hurry, but to get everything done? It just doesn't seem possible in today's society where being busy and having the most jam packed schedule, still keeping the most positive attitude makes you successful and important and those who do not are simply plain lazy.
Maybe? Maybe not? Maybe we’re playing the wrong game — we’ve been conditioned to believe that busier is better, but actually the speed of doing is not as important as what we focus on doing. This has been heavy on my heart lately and I've recognized that lately, maybe I'm going at the wrong speed. Maybe if I'm constantly rushing, I will miss out on life itself. Ever think the same thoughts? Let’s let go of the obsession with speed, and instead slow down, stop rushing, and enjoy life.
And still get everything done.
Crazy right? Let’s look at how.
Mindset. It's important to realize that life is better when you move at a slower, more relaxed pace, instead of hurrying and rushing and trying to pack too much into every single day. Instead, get the most out of every moment.
Is a book better if you speed read it, or if you take your time and get lost in it?
Is a song better if you skim through it, or if you take the time to really listen?
Is food better if you cram it down your throat, or if you savor every bite and really appreciate the flavor?
Is your work better if you’re trying to do 10 things at once, or if you really pour yourself into one important task?
Is your time spent with a friend or loved one better if you have a rushed meeting interrupted by your emails and text messages, or if you can relax and really focus on the person?
Life as a whole is better if you go slowly, and take the time to savor it, appreciate every moment. That's the simplest reason to slow down. But you'll need to change your mindset (If you've been stuck in a rushed mindset until now.) To do this, make the simple admission that life is better when savored, that work is better with focus. Then make the commitment to give that a try, to take some steps to make it happen.
But I Can't Change. There will be one or even a few of you who will admit that it would be nice to slow down, but it's just not feasible, your job won't allow it, or you're a single parent doing the job of two, or you'll lose income if you don't do as many projects, or your community is depending on you, or living in the city makes it too difficult to go slowly. You may agree that it's a nice idea if you're living on a tropical island or in the country, or if you had a job that allows control of your schedule, or if you received more family support but it's just not realistic for your life.
To keep with the game theme, I call bullshit.
Andy Andrews' book, "The Travelers Gift" and the movie, "Eat, Pray, Love" both talk about your life being the direct result of choices you've made and actions you've taken. They both talk about taking responsibility for your life. You got yourself in this situation, you can get yourself out. And I completely agree. If your job forces you to rush, take control of it. Make changes in what you do, in how you work. Work with your boss to make changes if necessary. And if really necessary, you can eventually change jobs.
You are responsible for your life.
If you live in a city where everyone rushes, realize that you don’t have to be like everyone else. You can be different. You can leave earlier instead of driving in rush hour traffic. You can have fewer meetings. You can work on fewer but more important things. You can be on your smartphone less, and be disconnected sometimes. Your environment doesn’t control your life — you do.
I’m not going to tell you how to take responsibility for your life, but once you make the decision, the how will become apparent over time.
Join me next week for Part 2: 9 Tips for a Slower-Paced Life.