I have been told repeatedly to slow down.
“Slow down. You don’t look after yourself. You’ll wear yourself out.” Only one problem. When I do slow down, I trip, I fall, I get sick, I become less productive…..etc. etc. etc.
Um that’s not exactly incentive to slow down, is it?
Hiking is a blessing, I am not super fit or fast, but I love being outdoors and climbing a mountain gives me such a feeling of achievement, it even rewards me with a vista at the top. Inevitably I am often slow on the ascent, but I usually end up running down on the descent.
Side note: Anyone who has climbed hills or mountains knows that running downhill is the worst thing you can do. The day after is painful! Your thighs seize to the point where you can’t even stand up without a shot of pain.
So why would I run downhill? Because in the past when a friend said “Slow down, you’re gonna fall”, and I slowed down at her instruction, I tripped, I fell. Ouch. This has happened every time I have tried to slow my descent. Fact.
Slowing down makes me trip or fall. Every time.
When I am in the moment, the energy is coursing through me and my pace maintains strength and balance. Walking through a city can be much the same.
I am often asked – “Why are you walking so fast?” “What are you in a rush for?”
Well, I’m not. I like to walk at a steady pace and my pace is a strong stride, so when I am in a crowd, I instinctively try to find a gap so I can walk at my comfortable pace. I’m not in a rush, I’m finding my equilibrium, my happy pace.
A fast pace can be an indicator of ability, and/or limits.
During my first session of rock climbing, I scurried to the top of the 5.4 wall, then the 5.5, then 5.6, and only when I hit 5.8 did I realize I didn’t have the core strength to scurry to the top. That realization then slowed me down, it brought me to the level I should be learning and growing at.
I tend to quickly find out where my limits are, and the ideal pace for me. By testing myself at a faster pace, I don’t waste time on something too easy to do, and challenge myself at my true, personal, “beginner” level.
Is this true in all things? For me, yes.
Any time I have tried to bike slowly, or run slowly (my style is #sprintwalksprint #Imnotarunner), or take a step back in the middle of a creative process or project, I lose momentum. That lack of momentum then creates imbalance…and down I topple.
When I am in the middle of writing and have momentum, the last thing I should do is slow down. I lose focus and the writing clearly exhibits this tripping and falling, through lack of clarity.
So never slow down? No, slow down, but incorporate it into your day, every day.
Now does that mean I am always busy? No, staying busy does not equate being effective. Does that mean I don’t see the value in taking a break? No, taking a break – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – is healthy, it resets you and brings balance to your life. I have many friends who have worked hard for months, and then gone on vacation, and immediately gotten sick.
Taking a break, finding balance, should be a part of your every day process. Personally, I try to meditate in the morning, complete my stretches, throw out a few journal notes, and then hit the ground running. Tim Ferriss and James Altucher both stress the need for morning routines, and creating balance.
“When you find yourself in the thickness of pursuing a goal or dream, stop only to rest. Momentum builds success.” – Suzy Kassem
My word this year is “Create”, and part of staying true to this commitment is to embrace the creative process and create energy every single day, whether that is in building workshops, writing blogs and articles, or climbing mountains…and slowing down is the last thing I should do!
Energy is created by ongoing momentum.
Keep going. Stay motivated.
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