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Today I am delighted to be welcome Nate to Reach Our Dreams. Nate is the author of Fearless Endeavors, one of my favourite personal development blogs. You can connect with Nate on Twitter or if you enjoy this interview why not subscribe to his RSS?

I hear a lot of talk out there about constant ‘doing.’ Post multiple blog posts a week, be connected to Twitter at all times, make sure you are always ‘hustling,’ etc.

This isn’t limited to the blogosphere though. It’s also pervasive in the workplace. So many people get a job and then it’s constant striving to get to the next level or the next best thing. It seems that there are quantum leaps in the advancement of technology as well as the pace in which we do things. Time seems to be speeding up and every year seems to go by quicker and quicker. Will there be a tipping point? Will we be able to slow down? Can we slow down? More importantly, can we truly know who we are and what we want if we can’t even take the time to be with ourselves? These are all tough questions. Here are a couple of things you can do if you are experiencing some kind of stress in your life, whether it’s feeling you are too busy or not knowing what exactly it is you want out of life.

Patience

Many times we can become impatient and I readily admit this happens to me as well. We’re unhappy when the train is late or we’re stuck in traffic. We can’t wait to get a promotion or get to the next level. We want to see signs of success from our business immediately. All of this leads to agitation and ultimately suffering.

Patience is a form of acceptance. Accepting that things unfold at their own pace. It’s letting go of the need to be somewhere else, do something else, or have something else. It’s the ability to be here right now accepting what is. Some of this may sound woo-woo to you, but it’s really quite practical. Let me give you an example from my own life.

When I started my blog I got caught up in a lot of what I talk about above. I focused on how many articles I should write in a week and became impatient if I didn’t receive comments on my blog. I also got caught up in Twitter. More and more, I became concerned with how many followers I had or finding more followers. As a result, I started experiencing this underlying stress and agitation due to my impatience.

Now, I have nothing against hard work, however, I believe it is very wise to learn to slow down and have patience in whatever you’re doing. If you’re always striving to get to the next place you will literally be missing out on your life as you’ll constantly be trapped in your thoughts.

Start becoming aware of your thought patterns and mind. When you find yourself becoming impatient, tune into what it is that is going through your head and recognize that it is just a thought pattern. Another example could be annoyance of being ’stuck’ in traffic. Why not let go of that impatience and just be? When you treat each moment equally – that is to say, you aren’t rushing to get to some “better” moment – you will tap into a greater sense of calm and peace within yourself.

Non-Striving

Non-striving goes hand in hand with patience because we are usually always striving to get someplace else. With this constant striving, we create stress in our lives. Continuing on my story above, my striving was creating more stress in my life. The reason being is that as soon as I created the story in my head that ‘I am a blogger,’ a whole bunch of ideas started flooding my brain with where I should be and what I should be doing. Examples: ‘I need to be on Twitter all the time,’ or ‘I should post X times a week,’ or ‘I’m going to get X readers by X date.’

When this happens you are creating a thought pattern around something being inherently wrong with where you are right now. You might have thoughts such as, ‘If I had more readers, if I only knew how to design a better look and feel to my site, if I only had better business skills, if I could just make a sale….’ and on and on it goes. Or, it could be revolved around thoughts you have about yourself such as ‘if I were only better looking, talller, didn’t have this illness, etc.’ With non-striving and non-doing comes acceptance. Acceptance of where you are and what you are doing right now in this moment.

At times, striving can cause us to become more lost, especially if you’re unsure of what you want to do with your life. You might get caught up in the allure of a job that seems glamorous or see people who are successful online so you want to try to emulate them. This is why so many people have mid life crises or now the quarter life crises. We grew up with expectations put on us with what we should do with our lives and how we should act, which in turn propelled us into a constant state of doing. Or, we think that we’ll find happiness following in someone else’s footsteps who we have deemed to be successful.

Instead of getting caught up in these habitual patterns and way of doing things, start to practice being with yourself every day with the sole goal of doing nothing other than being. Make no mistake about this. This practice itself takes a great amount of work and concentration. What you might find is that when you stop striving you will gain a greater sense and awareness of what it is you want to do along with the awareness that moving towards your goals will take care of itself. This is not to say that you will literally do nothing, but more to say that when you start to live your life this way your goals will naturally come to you as opposed to you struggling and striving to achieve them.

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