I Need To Slow Down
The importance of living in the present.
I’ve operated out of urgency for most of my life. Most of the time, it’s completely unreasonable. I’m trying to work on it. I often convince myself I'm unable to slow down, which is a lie. As much as I want to live a content life in the present moment, my mind constantly gets ahead. Why?
Americans require speed. We want to be the first, the best. We want to have more money, more power. I fall into this trap because, well, I’m American. I don’t want to live this way, and I know I don’t have to.
I stress myself out every day. I don’t need to. I know I don’t need to. I still do it. The reality is I don’t have anything I need to stress about. I have an amazing wife, a clean home, food in my fridge, and money in my pocket. Oh, I also have a Boston Terrier that has been a best friend for the past nine years.
Now, of those things I just listed, I will admit they do not come easily. There’s always going to be some stress. The stress I’m talking about is for the things I don’t have—the pressure of wanting more.
Slow down to go faster
There is only one thing you will never be able to get more of: time.
Cuddling with my wife, watching my dog jump in a pool for the 39th time in a row, meaningful conversations with a trusted friend. These are the moments where I don’t feel stress or anxiety, and it’s because I’m living in the present. I’m not stressing about what my wife and I have to do later. I’m not thinking about the 40th jump in the pool. I’m not strategizing over what I should say to fuel my ego. I’m just living life, and I'm content.
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Stress is debilitating. It stops me right in my tracks. My flesh tricks me into thinking I’m moving faster because I am. Fast heart rate. Increase in thoughts. I feel like I’m running 100 miles an hour when I’m not moving a single inch. If I slow down, take in the moment, and reduce my stress... my thoughts become more evident. My body relaxes. I can move forward effortlessly. This is where progress is made.
Identify what triggers you to “speed up” and then put some boundaries in place as if it’s a speed bump. This will keep you aligned and on track. You don’t need to make any detours. Just go to where you need to go. It’s okay if the destination changes. But it’s not okay to drive south when your destination is due east.
If you’re reading this and feel stressed, find something to enjoy in the moment, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.