February 21, 2018
Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.
If you are like I am you have often found that what you were doing kept you on the run much of the time. In fact, some of us get so into the rushing habit that we don’t stop to see if everything we are doing is really all that important.
Those who decide to avoid the rat race are the ones who find the value of choosing quality over excessive speed. I recently read aPhycology Today article that offers ideas on how to slow down. I have extracted the main points for you today.
It’s Just Not That Important
The rush to nowhere gets you nowhere.
You know that rushing and being anxious and worrying about whether you will get there on time—and in one piece— can impact your physical body as well as your mind. And when you rush, you are likely to make more mistakes, overlook things and be less careful with what’s most important.
Resolve to have a plan. The reason most people find themselves rushing is that they know they need to do something, but they don’t have a plan to accomplish it. What time would you need to leave to get to where you need to go on time? What might you be able to do in advance to prepare–put out the clothes you will wear, pack your purse or briefcase the night before, put things in your car, or have the train schedule handy so you know what time you need to be at the station?
Keep a journal. Be aware of the triggers which put you into the state of rushing. Most people have something chronic they do over and over again that defeats them (on a number of topics!) so identify what throws you into the rush. Is it always work related? Relative to your kids? Is it when you are avoiding something? Is it because you under-estimate how much time something will actually take? Do you get distracted? There are so many situations, and reasons, for any person to rush. Figure out what puts you there, so you can identify a way to deal with it next time.
When you notice yourself rushing, stop and breathe. What? In the middle of hyperactivity, you should just stop and breathe? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting where you need to go? If you don’t stop, right in the middle of the rush, and calm yourself down, you will almost inevitably make mistakes and regret doing something. Taking a pause might be just the thing your brain needs to orient you to what’s most important.
Deliberately be nice: Stop for someone in traffic. Take a moment to look into the eyes of the clerk and say “Thank you,” instead of rushing out of the store. Set your attention on “Who can I help right now?” This small act reminds you that the world is much bigger than you are, and whatever you are rushing about in this moment will be merely a memory tomorrow.
Make a conscious decision to slow yourself down. Unless you are following an ambulance taking your dangerously ill child to the hospital, or about to lose your job if you are late one more time, or on the way to save your elderly parent who has fallen and has minutes to live without you there, almost everything else can wait. Yes, there are life experiences that demand you step up with vigor and push everything aside to get to where you are going, but most times it is not the case. You can make better choices, and ultimately it IS a choice. Resolve not to let the rush control you and define you. Plan. Breathe. Be conscious and aware, and focus on what’s important.
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.
John De Paola
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
A physician presented his bill to the attorney representing a deceased person’s estate. Each of them knew the other, having tangled quite a few times in court, where the doctor was often called as an “expert witness”. The Doctor asked the lawyer if he wanted the bill sworn to.
“No,” replied the lawyer, “the death of [Mr Smith] is sufficient evidence that you attended him professionally.”
“Be that as it may,” replied the doctor, “the fact that you handled his affairs is probably why he couldn’t afford to pay this bill in the first place.”
I said to my wife, “Guess what I heard in the pub? They reckon the milkman has made love to every woman in our road except one.”
And she said, “I’ll bet it’s that stuck-up Phyllis at number 23.”
An airline pilot with poor eyesight had managed to pass his periodic vision exams by memorizing the eye charts beforehand. One year, though, his doctor used a new chart that the pilot had never before seen. The pilot proceeded to recite the old chart and the doctor realized that she’d been hoodwinked. Well, the pilot proved to be nearly blind as a bat. But the doctor could not contain her curiosity. “How is it that someone with your eyesight can manage to pilot a plane at all? I mean, how for example do you taxi the plane out to the runway?” “Well,” says the pilot, “it’s really not very hard. All you have to do is follow the instructions of the ground controller over the radio. And besides, the landmarks have all become quite familiar to me over the years.”
“I can understand that,” replies the doctor. “But what about the take-off?” “Again, a simple procedure. I just aim the plane down the runway, go to full throttle, pull back on the stick, and off we go!”
“But once you’re aloft?” “Oh, everything’s fully automated these days. The flight computer knows our destination, and all I have to do is hit the autopilot and the plane pretty much flies itself.”
“But I still don’t see how you land!” “Oh, that’s the easiest part of all. All I do is use the airport’s radio beacon to get us on the proper glide path. Then I just throttle down and wait for the co-pilot to yell, ‘AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!’ pull the nose up, and the plane lands just fine!”
Slow down and enjoy the journey right now. Take time for the people in your life. They won’t always be there.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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