“Let go of some things in your life that you worked hard for, but that are now holding you back.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, 11th President of the American Enterprise Institute
Image from Unsplash by Jordan Whitfield
Over the past several years, I have discovered and embraced the wisdom of the adage, Less is More. With two young grandchildren the idea of more love for people and less love of things really hits home.
As we add a new year to the mix, life seems to be accelerating. Spending our time and energy to hold on and maintain previously hard-won victories makes less and less sense with the acknowledgement of life’s impermanence.
Where is it time to let go of things you previously valued? How can your open hands help you grasp far more of what is even more important at this point in your life?
“When spinning out, the only thing to do, as hard as it seems, is to get off the mental merry-go-round.”
—Mark Nepo, poet and philosopher
Image from wikipedia
The Tilt- A-Whirl is a classic carnival ride found at almost every amusement midway in America. As its platform moves through hills and valleys on the track, the free spinning tubs rotate on an axis.
For people who get dizzy easily, the best coaching is to avoid this cochlear disruption altogether or at least avoid eating beforehand.
Many of us take a mental merry-go-round on a daily basis. We have our ups and downs and we often find ourselves going round and round, always returning to where we began.
Last fall we took our grandson Weston to Sesame Place on a fairly unpleasant day. Most rides — including the merry-go-round — had no lines and we could ride multiple times in a row if we wished. We all declined another spin.
Where is your personal or professional life spinning a bit too fast?
How are you making yourself dizzier through your own mental carnival ride?
What do you need to do to stop or slow down the ride to regain your balance?
Go deeper and immerse yourself in the familiar to see what lies in the deep fields of being alive.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Logan Weaver
Slow down and really take in the world around you. Bring all of your senses to high alert to notice everything anew.
Pretend that you have superpowers of immersion to experience new dimensions of being alive. Imagine having telescopic and microscopic vision as well as supersonic hearing, super tasting and super smelling capabilities, like certain animals that share our world.
How wonderful these new capabilities would be if we would only slow down and look deeper into the familiar.
Where are you currently racing through your life?
Where would slowing down and exploring your world from a more immersive perspective reveal new insights and wonders to enjoy?
“Don’t rush through moments to get to better ones.”
Image from Unsplash by Dieter de Vroomen
- Drive faster than the speed limit?
- Eat your meals on the run?
- Speed read or scan e-mails?
- Race from meeting to meeting?
- Live for your weekend and dread Mondays?
- Spend excessive time on social media?
Where else do you find yourself in a rush to get to some place else that appears better?
One possible reason may be due to the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance. He suggests that when we hold both a clear picture of current reality and a vision for a seemingly preferred future in mind, the vision will actually pull or attract us to it.
This concept can be highly useful to goal achievement and making progress toward what we desire. It can also leave us a bit empty and dissatisfied—always seeking something more or better.
Where and how would slowing down—mindfully and skillfully experiencing each moment—help you lead a happier and more satisfying life?
“Don’t be in such a rush unless you’ve got the time.”
Image from Unsplash by Andy Beales
At my fitness club recently, I was speaking to an automotive executive named Jim about The Quotable Coach series. In addition to showing sincere interest in the concept of quote/coaching commentary/and an exercise to apply the nugget of wisdom to our own lives, he shared today’s quote.
He also told me stories in which rushing had a painful downside – not the least of which was stubbing his baby toe too many times to count.
Where and in what ways do you find yourself rushing around your world, with the results you desire falling short of your intentions?
Where would slowing down a bit and taking your time on both important and seemingly urgent matters be the way to approach more aspects of your life?
“The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry.”
Photo from Flickr by Tristan Schmurr
At no time in history have we ever been more productive, and achieved more in our professional and personal lives. Who doesn’t find themselves racing through their days to keep up or stay ahead of the pack?
Unfortunately, this increase in achievement and productivity is often associated with considerably more stress and less fulfillment and satisfaction.
Examine the following list of daily activities many people engage in, and notice your own level of urgency to finish them as quickly as possible:
- Reading email and other forms of written communication.
- Eating your daily meals.
- Conversations with friends, family, and colleagues.
- The number of hours of sleep you get each night.
- Your driving speed throughout your day.
- Your propensity to multitask.
How and where in your life would a slower pace, taking the time to savor sights, sounds, and tastes bring you greater success and satisfaction throughout the day?
“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
—Howard Ruff, financial adviser and writer
Photo from Boy Scouts of America
We tend to live our lives at a mad pace, with only a few moments each day to catch our breath.
When we do this consistently, our level of stress goes up, and our effectiveness and productivity go down. Another consequence of this rush-around world is that we rarely get to the big and important projects that we most desire.
Taking time to plan and build our own “ark of life” prepares us for the critical life events that come our way and make life worthwhile.
Examine some of the most important and urgent life issues that are just around the corner or over the horizon. How can you work backwards from these events, to be as prepared as possible and get ahead of the rainstorms of life that are coming?
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
— Mahatma Gandhi, leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India
Have you noticed lately that the pace of life has picked up considerably? Wall Street and large organizations capitalize on the critical factor of speed. Everyone wants what they want bigger, better, and faster—but at what cost?
Evaluate your own organization and examine the level of stress and overall job satisfaction for yourself and those around you. How much more are you expected to accomplish these days compared to a few years ago?
With the internet, smart phones, and other technical wonders that make communication instantaneous, the world expects us to speed up proportionally, and be available 24/7, as if we were computer microprocessors ourselves.
Based on what is most important in your life, determine the optimal speed at which you choose to operate, and make the necessary adjustments to your world. Do you need to speed up, or will your life be better if you slow down?
Feel free to reply to this post to share your thoughts and perspective on this important issue.