In a world that revs you up and obsesses over better and faster, it has never been more important to slow down. There has never been a more important time to just slow down, forget about better and go slower. Much slower. We have to learn to purposefully find a slower pace, because we just can’t sustain living life the way we are living. We can’t live healthy, happy, meaningful lives when we are always gunning at top speech, and often in the wrong direction.
Why is it so hard for us to slow down? Why are we so afraid? It feels so strange, doesn’t it? To go to bed at a reasonable hour? To not feel an overwhelming sense of urgency? To just sit there. To remain calm in an emergency. We have been trained to go, go all the time, to move and get busy without knowing the reason to be busy. We take on work, or create work that doesn’t matter, just so we can feel life move at a very rapid pace.
We are most uncomfortable to just sit there. To experience silence. We feel most unproductive and silly. We have two speeds; pedal to the metal and crash.
We hide from silence and see inactivity as unproductive laziness, because we believe we are missing an opportunity to do be more productive. To get one more thing done. To answer one more email. To go just a little longer. To push a little further.
But what is it for?
When do you give yourself time to think? When do you walk away from everything that puts demands on your life and just wonder where you have been and try to assess where it is that you want to go? Doesn’t it make sense that we need to give ourselves a lot more time to figure out the reason why it is we work so damn hard, and to ask if we are happy where we are, or if we desire to stay there?
Slowing down can do that for us. Slowing down can take on many forms. You can walk without counting your steps, you can meditate, write, read, or sip your cup of coffee for pleasure and not use it as an energy boost. You can purposefully plan to enjoy the good company of great people far more often, avoid meaningless meetings and needless conflict. You can set aside time to plan and examine where you are in your life. You need to slow down, so you can see where you need to go.
Slow down your life is not an option because it is a requirement. If you are honest with yourself and believe that you deserve a better and happier life, than you need to make it a regular habit to slow down and let yourself be.
You have to give up doing for being. It’s not easy. Lots and lots of things seem so important at the time. We are distracted by this and by that each and every moment of our life. But you can do it. If you make slowing down a priority. If you plan for it. Prepare for it. Schedule it. Life won’t slow down on its own. You have to slow it down on your own.
You should, because you’ll be so much better for it.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Nick Abrams via unsplash.com