When I was a child, I can recall sitting at my desk in elementary school racing the boy next to me, who had no idea he was even in a race, to see how quickly I could get my assignment done. As I grew older, I began trying to anticipate what the teacher would assign, so that I could race to be done first. I couldn’t tell you why I grew up thinking faster was better, but it became a pattern that followed me into adulthood. It showed up in the way I gauged which highway lane or grocery line was the fastest or how I could order my household tasks or work assignments for speed.
In my youth, speeding around all the time was exciting and it energized me. When my first child was born and I sat on the sofa holding her gently in my my arms, I realized that inside, I was still racing. I didn’t know how to be still, calm, and at rest, but my life change demanded a new way to live. So, began my journey to learn the hardest skill I have ever tried to master – slowing down.
When the weight and speed of life takes its toll and our souls are crying out for a little peace, it’s time for a sea-change that begins with a new perspective. Here’s an absolute gem from leadership coach, Steve Chandler. Enjoy!
It doesn’t seem like it would be true. It doesn’t seem like slowing down would get more done. But it does.
Every day I do it, I get more done. Every day I experiment with slowing down I understand the tortoise and the hare.
If I’m doing the right thing, I can do it as slowly as I want and my life will get better. If I’m doing the wrong thing (caused by a stressed, rush-rush contaminated decision-making process) it doesn’t matter how fast I go I’m going to be even more STRESSED when I’m finished because it wasn’t the wisest thing for me to be giving my time to. And I know it, and it stresses me out to know it.
If I am on the wrong road it doesn’t matter how good I get at speeding down the road. It’s the wrong road.
I need to remind myself of this: Slow down and win. Take your sweet, gentle time and have this one conversation ahead of me be relaxed and warm so that the relationship I have becomes relaxed and warm. Slow down. Even slower than that.
There you go.