Are you going too fast?
Have you spent much of your life rushing at such a speed that on the odd occasion that you do stop and contemplate what has gone before you you’re left wondering what happened to your time?
I’ve long been aware of the Slow Movement, but here’s irony for you, I’ve been too busy to learn what it is all about.
Recently I read an interview with Carl Honoré who published “In Praise of Slow” in 2004.
Rather than taking a step back in time in a New Age sense, this is more about shifting gear.
It does not eschew technology, in fact it embraces it, while remaining in control of it.
It’s about living life while we have a life, which calls to mind something I read from the Dali Lama that went something like this:
We sacrifice our health to make money.
Then we sacrifice our money to regain our health.
We are often too anxious about the future to enjoy our present.
The result being that we do not live in the present, or the future.
We live as if we’re never going to die, and then die having never really lived.
That’s tough isn’t it? And so scarily true.
Yet taking time over something generally means you do it better.
Cooking. Cooking from scratch, so that you know what is in what you’re eating, and you take pride in it. The interesting thing is it’s generally a lot cheaper too.
Eating. You know, properly eating, at the table, taking time to savour the food, and digesting it. Slowing down your eating is not only massively more healthy, you’re also likely to eat less as it takes 15 minutes for your gut to tell your brain that it has had enough.
Working. There’s that lovely joiner’s adage of ‘measure twice, cut once’. I encourage my teams to take time out of their working day to get some air. I’ve always loved walking meetings. But I’m afraid I’ve failed in that I usually stop because I’m exhausted, not because I have done what I need to do.
Relationships. What about family, friends, even colleagues? Wouldn’t our relationships benefit from being given more time?
Even if we speed through our lives, working as hard as we can bear, then our holidays should be an opportunity to kick back for a while.
The Blackberry put that idea under threat like nothing before. Yet the bosses I have worked with who I considered to be truly in control would lock theirs in the desk before they left the office to go away.
This post was prompted by a conversation with guests in one of The Cornish Way’s cottages during the past week. Jane told me that she had planned to do so many things on her holiday, she’d even written an itinerary. Instead though she saw on the shelves three books that she had wanted to read for ages and ditched the schedule, going no further than the garden for four whole days.
And she said that she’d felt more in touch with herself than she could ever remember.
I’ve questioned why we run around frantically to cram more in, and I’m sure it has to do with fear. Fear of missing out (the dreaded FOMO), fear of looking like you’re not pulling your weight, and Honoré even sites fear of being alone with ourselves.
I’m still desperately trying to transition from frantic to at least stopping from time to time so I know that it’s not easy, even when you have accepted the benefits.
Having a dog helps. Particularly in stunning scenery as we have in the far west.
St Just helps too. Having all you need in great little shops on the doorstep where you actually talk to each of the people who serve you. It came as a revelation to me how enjoyable it is, and it’s still quicker than going to the supermarket.
I hope you’ll find time to slow down a little when you come on holiday with The Cornish Way too.
If we can help in any way give us a call, it’s what we’re here for.