Speed Kills – Slow Down to Thrive

Someone sits on the dock facing a lake

Space is where miracles occurred – Rich Litvin

It’s the beginning of the year. What’s your list of goals for this year?

Is it to become more productive? To read more books? To do more exercise? To be healthier? To make more money? To get promoted? To be more successful?

My goal this year is to slow down. I notice too much speed slow me down. It affects clarity, performance, and productivity. It hurts health and fosters stress. It makes people stop living their lives.

Imagine having a slice of smooth, creamy, melts-in-your-mouth chocolate cheesecake and eating it on your desk while attending a conference call, checking emails and getting ready for your next meeting – At the end of the day, you won’t remember the cake you ate tastes like.

Seeing career or business as a battlefield can create constant obsession about winning or fear of losing the race. It leads us to keep up to the point of breaking and ignore the question of what true ‘quality to life’ means to us.

Pico Iyer, an acclaimed travel writer who spends time retreating at Benedictine hermitage many times each year, puts it:

“The more information we have, the more space we need to make sense of it. “

Tim S. Grover, the personal trainer for an esteemed group of NBA players, puts it differently:

“Space is where you get back into the zone where you quite your mind until you have no thoughts. It just you, your instinct and focus…Where you feel no external pressure, just internal pressure to prove yourself over and over because you want it for yourself, not for anyone else.”

To fully function as humans, we need to slow down from the speed of technology to the speed of life. After all, we are an analog creature. To digest information and extract meaning from our experience, we need to get a little away from it.

It can start with little things we do daily.

Slow down your breathe,
and you’ll be more aware of what is alive in you more than ever before.

Slow down your walk,
and you’ll notice your footsteps and the distance you gain.

Slow down when you eat,
and you’ll enter a daily sacred ritual where what grew on the ground nourish and become part of you.

Slow down your thinking,
and you’ll create space to move with courage and dance by the music of your own values more authentically than ever before.

Slow down your talk,
and you’ll create a powerful pause for your next sentence that helps you to connect than ever before.

Slow down when you love someone,
and you’ll be more present for them than anyone else has ever been – away from expectations or judgments.

If you are reading this while you are working…

Slow down your conversations with your clients
and you’ll notice possibilities that they can not yet see.

These are inner work that involves skills one can develop. Skills that are not commonly taught in the educational system, but essential in leadership and life in general. Without doing inner work, our outer work will suffer.

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