The Power of Slowing Down

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My last semester of college was crazy busy. On top of finishing my degree I was wrapping up my internship, working part-time, and getting ready to get married. I felt like I had a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in.

I was up late one night working on a paper and overslept the next morning. I scrambled to get my stuff and get to class as fast as I could.

I drove to class as fast as I could, swerving in and out of lanes to make up the time. I knew I was going a lot faster than the posted speed limit but I couldn’t afford to be late to class.

I was going so fast I barely noticed the light turn red. I put on the brakes as quickly as I could but I was too late. I slammed right into the minivan in front of me.

I could see the driver yelling at his wife and motioning to me with some not-so-friendly gestures to pull over. Because I was going so fast I not only endangered and inconvenienced this family but I also caused the very thing I was trying to prevent: being late to class.

I learned something important that day:

Being in a hurry can cause the very thing you are hurrying to prevent.

Living at a frantic pace can cause us to miss what’s important. Whether its rushing to send an email only to find later that it’s riddled with typos, staying up to late to finish the expense reports only to discover after you’ve submitted them that you used the wrong formulas in excel because you were too tired and now you have to go back and do it all again, or realizing after a trip to the doctor that your busyness is costing you your health are all examples of why rushing through our lives usually causes more harm than good.

Slowing down, on the other hand, offers us a better way. When we slow down we are able to catch the mistakes we might otherwise have missed, saving us from looking foolish and having to spend time redoing everything. Slowing down allows us to enjoy the work we’re doing and increases the chances that we’ll actually do our work well. In short, slowing down helps us to mess up less.

When you feel in a hurry remember to slow down so you don’t mess up.

Slowing down enables us to enjoy the people in our life (and for them to enjoy being around us) because we’re not racing by them at breakneck speeds to get the next thing done on our task list. What we’ll realize before too long when we start to slow down is that moving at a slower pace reduces the worry and stress in our lives and gives us the space we need to live the kind of life that we really want.

After my run in with the minivan I realized I was moving too fast, both on the road and in my life. I decided to scale back on some of my commitments. I realized I might not get perfect scores on everything while working, doing an internship, and getting ready for a wedding and that was OK. It wasn’t worth my health and well-being. And it’s not worth yours either.

Question: What do you need to do so you aren’t living you’re life in a hurry? You can leave a comment below or by clicking here.

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