Ours is a society that wants everything done NOW. We value getting things done quickly and then moving on to the next thing. And while there can be times when getting something done swiftly is truly a valuable thing, I think this mindset has skewed our view of life as a whole. We live in this hurried state most of the time such that I think we are missing the whole point…worse yet, we’re missing out on our own lives!
Life isn’t about getting “there” as fast as you can, it’s about the journey. It’s about doing the best we can, trying hard, and accomplishing the things we set out to do. It’s about pushing forward, persevering and never giving up. It’s about the people we meet, the relationships we build, and the experiences we have along the way. We miss out on so much in life because we are hyper-focused on getting to the next thing, failing to appreciate where we are right now. We get fooled into believing that if we “just” do this one last thing we will finally have the time to do all those other things we have been meaning to do…spend time with loved ones, enjoy a hobby, pamper ourselves, take a vacation, read a book, take that class we’ve always wanted to take, etc. The problem is there’s always another item waiting in the queue so we never reach that point where we allow ourselves the opportunity to do those things we’ve been promising ourselves (and in some cases promising others too). How miserable is that?! It’s a cycle of perpetual disappointment and drudgery in my humble opinion. A carrot that is always dangling in front of us, never to actually be reached. No wonder so many people are unhappy these days!
My recommendation – be present! This present moment, the one we are in right now, is all we really have, so take the time to reflect on it, revel in it, soak it up and welcome it. If all we are doing is rushing from one moment to the next, from one task or goal to the next, we deny ourselves the opportunity to enjoy life. Think about it. When was the last time you enjoyed feeling rushed from one thing to the next…feeling like you had no time to breathe, no time to relax, no time to do something for fun? Probably not very often if I had to guess. But the good news is we have the power to change that! We can go slow, enjoy the journey, and still arrive at our end destination…still achieve the goals we set for ourselves. In fact, I would argue that is the best way to do it. Allow yourself the opportunity to appreciate all the things you are doing to get where you are trying to go. It’s a healthy, happier way to lead your life.
As Confucius says in our quote of the week – “It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.” – I would encourage you to keep at it, whatever “it” may be for you, but also make sure you enjoy the journey along the way. Learn to appreciate that space between where you were and where you are going next. You, and anyone you interact with on a daily basis, will be so much happier for it!